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News Release

Center for Financial Planning Releases Design Summit Proceedings Detailing Challenges, Opportunities and New Initiatives

June 14, 2016

Center to undertake programs to advance a diverse and sustainable financial planning profession

In a proceedings report memorializing its January 2016 Design Summit, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ (CFP Board) Center for Financial Planning announced the ambitious agenda of initiatives it will undertake to address the challenges resulting from a financial planning workforce that is aging, shrinking and lacking diversity.

The Design Summit brought together 42 distinguished thought leaders in the areas of financial planning, workforce development, diversity and academia to discuss the state of the financial planning profession as well as an initial agenda of projects that the Center could undertake to begin to tackle these systemic challenges. A complete list of participants is included in the proceedings.

“If we are to meet Americans’ growing demand for personal financial advice, we need a collective effort to transform the face of the financial planning profession,” said Robert J. Glovsky, CFP®, Chair of the Center’s Advisory Council and past Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors. “Through the efforts outlined in the Design Summit Proceedings, the Center for Financial Planning is well-positioned to be the unifying platform needed to bring about real change in the financial planning profession.”

During the day-long summit, guests participated in moderated workshops focused on: attracting the next generation of financial planners to replace those retiring in coming years, improving the diversity of the workforce to mirror that of the public, and establishing an academic home to build a research-based body of knowledge for financial planning. The Design Summit Proceedings report captures these discussions, and lays out the programs and initiatives the Center has committed to implementing across its priority areas, including:


  • Launch a “Faces and Voices of Diverse CFP® Professionals” campaign to showcase leaders in the profession who epitomize gender, racial and age diversity, highlighting reasons these professionals pursued CFP® certification and why they believe financial planning is a great career.
  • Pilot a “WIN-to-WIN” mentorship program that connects women pursuing CFP® certification with a network of CFP® professionals who will provide mentorship and support.
  • Continue the work of the Women’s Initiative (WIN) Council comprised of leading experts on gender parity in financial services to provide advice on the development and implementation of additional projects related to gender diversity.
  • Establish a Diversity Advisory Group made up of diversity and recruitment experts, leaders from financial advisory firms and CFP Board-Registered Programs. Similar to the WIN Council, the Advisory Group will provide guidance on the Center’s development of projects related to racial and ethnic diversity.
  • Launch a research study that explores barriers to racial and ethnic diversity in the financial planner workforce, examines the perceptions and attitudes of key stakeholder groups around the importance of maintaining diversity and articulates the business case for a diverse workforce. The Center will publish findings along with research-based recommendations for promoting diversity within the profession.

Workforce Development

  • Launch pilot projects to support financial services firms in establishing re-entry internship programs for experienced professionals seeking to return to the workforce.
  • Expand the CFP Board Career Center to include a greater number of entry-level positions, as well as internships available to graduates of financial planning programs.
  • Establish scholarship programs for qualified students seeking to complete CFP® certification and pursue careers in financial planning.
  • Launch research studies to gain insight on how to raise awareness of financial planning careers and develop clear career paths into the profession.

Academic Home

  • Create the Financial Planning Body of Knowledge, a searchable online compilation of research from financial planning and related disciplines for use by academics, practitioners and the public.
  • Convene first-ever Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines, a forum to gather, share and showcase relevant research within financial planning and related disciplines on February 7-9, 2017, in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Canadian-based Financial Planning Standards Council and the international association, the Financial Planning Standards Board.
  • Establish the Financial Planning Teaching Program, in collaboration with the Columbia School of Professional Studies, designed for faculty and CFP® professionals who desire to become adjunct faculty in a CFP Board-Registered Program.

“The Design Summit challenged us to reexamine our assumptions and broaden our scope of engagement, informing what the Center for Financial Planning can do to advance a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession,” said Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director of the Center. “Armed with the insightful recommendations of our honored guests, the Center will take its first steps toward creating real, measurable change in the financial planning profession.”


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 83,000 people in the United States.


Dan Drummond, Director of Communications
Mobile: 202-243-8621

About the CFP Board center for financial planning

The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning seeks to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession so that every American has access to competent and ethical financial planning advice. The Center brings together CFP® professionals, firms, educators, researchers and experts to address profession-wide challenges in the areas of diversity and workforce development, and to build an academic home that offers opportunities for conducting and publishing new research that adds to the financial planning body of knowledge


Jessica Lewis
Communications Specialist
Mobile: 301-655-0389