Skip to main content
News Release

Board Appoints Michael Kothakota, Ph.D., CFP® as Head of Research

May 02, 2022

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today that it has named Michael Kothakota, Ph.D., CFP® as its first Head of Research. In this newly created position, Kothakota will lead the organization’s research enterprise and develop and execute a research agenda.

Michael Kothakota Headshot 

Based in CFP Board’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, Kothakota will drive empirical and longitudinal research studies to assess the impact that financial planning has on clients’ well-being. Further, he will develop new research and resources for practitioners and CFP Board business intelligence. He will report directly to COO Elizabeth Stewart.

“This newly created position will oversee cutting-edge studies to demonstrate the value proposition of CFP® certification to the public, policymakers, firms and advisors,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “Michael’s experience as a veteran, small business entrepreneur, CFP® professional and adjunct professor makes him uniquely qualified to implement a comprehensive approach to research in an age of constant data expansion.”

Kothakota joins CFP Board from WolfBridge Wealth, where he served as CEO and conducted all parts of the financial planning process for retail clients. He also designed and implemented surveys and analyzed data as a Partner at DataTactix and Research Consultant at Bento, Inc., and served on the Research Council at IncomeLab™. Kothakota holds teaching positions at Kansas State University, the University of Georgia and Columbia University.

Kothakota holds a Master of Science degree in predictive analytics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in personal financial planning from Kansas State University.

about cfp board

CFP Board is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board consists of two affiliated organizations focused on advancing the financial planning profession for the public’s benefit. CFP Board of Standards sets and upholds standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification — widely recognized by the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planners — so that the public has access to the benefits of competent and ethical financial planning. CFP® certification is held by nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning addresses diversity and workforce development challenges and conducts and publishes research that adds to the financial planning profession’s body of knowledge.


Joseph Feese
Director of Public Relations
Twitter: @CFPBoard