Following last week’s announcement easing requirements to its certification process, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards hired a former Holland & Knight partner in the newly formed role of general counsel.
Leo G. Rydzewski will lead the CFP Board’s professional standards and legal team, a similar role that was recently held by managing director Michael Shaw before his abrupt departure on Dec. 12. Rydzewski wrapped up his 17-year run at Holland & Knight at the end of 2014 to start at the CFP Board this week.
“We think there’s nobody who has a better in-depth understanding of our standards of professional conduct and our investigative and adjudicatory functions,” says CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller.
Rydzewski comes to the role with experience working with the CFP Board, serving as lead counsel defending the CFP Board in the recent case brought by Jeffrey and Kimberly.
“He’s lived with us over the last two years essentially on this case and so we think he’s a candidate from central casting to join CFP Board’s executive leadership team,” Keller says.
But before members start thinking this means a decrease in legal fees, Keller says that Rydzewski will not lead the case going forward.
In his new role, Rydzewski will oversee the organization’s guidelines and issues pertaining to standards, ethics and conduct guidelines. He will be working with Director of Investigations John Loesch and Director of Adjudication Adam Zajac, with no changes planned to those two roles under the reorganization. “We intend to continue business as usual in that capacity and so there’s no restructuring contemplated at this time,” Keller says.
Rydzewski will also provide strategic corporate legal counsel to both Keller and the CFP Board as a whole. “It’s a broader role than the former managing director of professional standards and legal,” Keller says. Rydzewski will be part of the CFP Board executive leadership team, but not a member of the Board of Directors. Keller will remain the only staff member to serve both roles.