The CFP Board’s strategy of punishing some certificate holders over compensation disclosure issues in what critics charge is an arbitrary manner threatens the future of the CFP designation, according to one of the early leaders of the board who also chaired its disciplinary commission.

“If we make the holding of the [CFP] marks such a potential liability that, at any place and any time, someone could say, ‘Gotcha,’ and that is the end of your career … then, in my opinion, that will be the end of the designation. It will not be worth the risk to hold it,” says Malcolm Makin, president of Westerly, R.I.-based Professional Planning Group and Barron’s No. 1 advisor in Rhode Island for 2013, as well as the previous four years.

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