Don't expect the CFP Board of Governors to make quick, irrational decisions any time soon. It learned its lesson. The hard way.
After a survey showed 80 percent of CFP licensees wanted the Associate CFP designation dropped, the CFP board relented. CFP board officials didn't skirt the issue. They issued a lengthyapology in September and made a commitment to solicit more licensee input on board decisions.
The proposed new designation was designed for entry-level financial planners. It created a storm of protest among existing CFP holders.
"Any watering down of the distinctiveness of the CFP mark is going to affect the credibility of CFPs, and they were just not prepared to accept that," says Nigel Taylor, president of the Los Angeles Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners.
"I think [the CFP board] got the shock of their lives when they found that CFP licensees decided to ... mount formidable opposition," which included the threat of legal action, Taylor adds. "In the past, licensees have formed little, if any, opposition."
After the plan was rejected, the CFP board not only withdrew its trademark applications for "Associate CFP" and "CFP Associate," but also rescinded its proposed firm-level accreditation program.