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News Release

CFP Board Announces Effort to Increase the Ranks of Women CFP® Professionals

May 14, 2013

Initiative Includes Women’s Advisory Panel Led by CFP Board Chair Nancy Kistner, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Board of Directors Chair Nancy A. Kistner, CFP® announced today an initiative to increase the number of women entering the growing financial planning profession, including the number of women CFP® professionals.

“As more and more Americans need help to meet their financial goals CFP® professionals – and those who aspire to join our ranks – have an important opportunity to help Americans get back on track and take control of their financial lives,” Kistner said. “Growing the ranks of female CFP® professionals not only makes good business sense, but it builds the heart and soul of this profession, which is all about helping Americans achieve financial security. When more women advisors are helping more women clients, they are also helping spouses, children, families and communities.”

Kistner, who also serves as the Managing Director and Wealth Planning Solutions Market Director at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, made the announcement during a keynote address at the Women Advisors Forum in New York City.

Currently, only about 23 percent of the 68,000 CFP® professionals are female – a statistic that hasn’t budged for a decade.  With fields like education, medicine and law, among others, seeing more gender parity, Kistner said in her remarks, “it is well past time that we welcome more women in financial services, particularly financial planning.”

To inform the initiative’s efforts, CFP Board has appointed a Women’s Initiative Advisory Panel made up of leading experts in the financial planning field.  The Advisory Panel will help to identify the challenges women face when becoming certified and beginning a career in financial planning, as well as recommend solutions to increase the ranks of female CFP® professionals.  Kistner will serve as Chair of the panel, in addition to leading the overall effort.
Members of the panel include:

  • Alexa von Tobel, CFP®, Founder and President, LearnVest
  • Bob Glovsky, CFP®, Former Chair of the Board of Directors, CFP Board
  • Karen Schaeffer, CFP®, Former Chair of the Board of Directors, CFP Board and Former Chair, Financial Planning Standards Board
  • Kate Healy,  Managing Director, TD Ameritrade Institutional  
  • Mindy Diamond, President and CEO, Diamond Consultants
  • Mary Beth Franklin, Journalist
  • Lazetta Braxton, CFP®, Founder, Financial Foundations
  • Kathleen McQuiggan, President, Catalina Leadership
  • Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, Consumer Advocate, CFP Board

The panel will meet twice in 2013, beginning with a spring meeting to closely examine the problem.  Following this inaugural meeting, CFP Board will draw upon the panel’s discussion to conduct in-depth quantitative and qualitative research.  The panel will meet again in the fall to review the research findings and make recommendations, resulting in the release of a report by CFP Board detailing research conclusions, as well as recommended solutions to increase the number of American women providing ethical and competent financial planning advice.

“While there are certainly challenges to encouraging more women to attain certification and enter the financial planning profession, the opportunities are enormous,” said CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller. “CFP Board is dedicated to increasing the ranks of women in financial planning, beginning with research to better inform our understanding of the challenges and barriers women face, and to help identify actionable solutions to grow the number of women CFP® professionals.”

Ten Reasons Women Should Become CFP® Professionals – From Remarks by CFP Board Chair Nancy A. Kistner, CFP® at the Women Advisors Forum (5/15/13)

  1. CFP® certification offers greater recognition.
  2. CFP® certification affords more opportunities for advancement.
  3. CFP® certification represents the high ethical standards clients are looking for.
  4. Financial planners are looked to as coaches, mentors and educators.
  5. The financial planning profession is rapidly growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the number of financial advisors will grow by 32 percent over 20 years.
  6. A career in financial planning provides a more flexible schedule for family and personal time.
  7. Women increasingly look to other women for financial advice.
  8. Financial planners are better at multi-tasking and being able to put together the pieces of a client’s financial puzzle.
  9. The more women there are in the profession, the more leaders and mentors there will be for the next generation of women to look up to.
  10. Financial planners make a difference in others’ lives.