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‘Nothing could be further from the truth': Rebuttal to op-ed on CFP Board

It is most unfortunate that Don Trone’s June 20 column suggesting that the CFP Board use 1% of its budget for its own oversight was published. The piece is full of innuendo and it insults a decade’s worth of volunteer leaders who served on the CFP Board.

What are my credentials to refute his assertions?

I have served the CFP Board as a volunteer since 2008, first appointed to the board’s Discipline and Ethics Commission, then elected to the board of directors in 2009 and subsequently served as chairman in 2014. I further chaired the Commission on Standards, which raised the ethics bar by crafting the new standards that will go into effect Oct. 1.

Photo by Scott Wenger

Specifically, Trone challenges CFP professionals to demand that current Chairwoman Susan John “hire outside counsel to ensure that the board’s staff and directors hew to the same ethical standards they are imposing on certificants.”

It certainly is best practice for any board to have outside counsel, but Trone is obviously unaware that the board has had outside counsel for the past 12 years. During my six years on the board we have called upon outside counsel from time to time, as needed. Furthermore, John does not need to be “fearful” of not having the money to hire outside counsel as it is in the budget already.

Trone further states: “For more than a decade, the board’s staff and directors have faced accusations from myself and others in the industry regarding conflicts of interest, self-dealing and other improper behavior.” If Trone believes that he, or anyone, has evidence of any impropriety, they should be specific and bring it to light. Trone then claims that John “is the first [CFP leader] in years to possess both integrity and guts.”

Trone and I have known each other for about two decades and are professional acquaintances. While I find the above personally offensive, I am not here to defend myself. I have worked with every one of the chairs and most of the board members in the past 10 years and can unequivocally confirm that nothing could be further from the truth.

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