The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors has elected Lauren Locker national chairwoman less than two weeks after its incoming chairman, Ron Rhoades announced he would not assume the organization's helm because of a compliance violation by his firm.
Locker founded Locker Financial Services in Little Falls, N.J., in 1992, which targets middle-income individuals, especially women and non-traditional families. She became a certified financial plannerin 1994 and joined NAPFA in 1998.
On Aug. 20, Rhoades announced he would not assume the helm of NAPFA. At that time, NAPFA released a statement saying the association decided to "move on" and seek a new chair after Rhoades voluntarily disclosed the violation.
"Over the past several weeks," Rhoades wrote in an open letter in August, "I discerned that I and my firm (of which I serve as Chief Compliance Officer and President) had committed a compliance violation by failing to timely file registration papers with the State of Florida Division of Securities."
Locker is the immediate past-Chair of NAPFA's Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Board and has served on NAPFA's National Board for the past two years.
"I am humbled that the National Board chose me to fill this position at NAPFA at a critical time for the organization and our industry as a whole," Locker said. "The current debate regarding oversight and regulation of our industry presents NAPFA members with a unique opportunity to bring their commitment to the fiduciary standard to the forefront. Our members already pledge to employ full disclosure, transparency and accountability in every interaction with every client. We can't let uncertainty about regulatory issues cause us to lose that all-important focus. We need to forget about 'business as usual' and begin to think in terms of business as it should be to meet the needs of the public who have their eyes open and their expectations set high."
During her more than twenty years in the field, Locker has seen a growing demand for financial services that focuses on the aging and elderly. To target this growing group, she became a Registered Financial Gerontologist as well as a Certified Senior Advisor. She also created ElderLife, a new division of her business, to work specifically with aging adults.