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CFP Board Elects First Black Woman Board Chair-Elect

Kamila McDonnough, the president of an RIA firm and a member of the CFP Board, will take over the role of board chair in 2022, becoming the first Black woman to do so.

Kamila McDonnough, a president and partner at Washington, D.C., and North Carolina-based GRID 202 Partners, is the CFP Board’s 2021 board chair-elect, the first Black woman to hold that position. The CFP Board’s board of directors elected McDonnough this month, and she will succeed current Chair-Elect Douglas S. King after his tenure ends at the start of 2022.

Kamila McDonnough

Kamila McDonnough

“I’m honored and excited to have been elected Board Chair-elect by my colleagues on the Board of Directors,” McDonnough said. “I look forward to working together with CFP Board’s Board of Directors to advance CFP Board’s tradition of excellence and to continue its visionary efforts to positively impact the financial planning profession.”

McDonnough joined GRID 202 Partners in February of this year, leading a team of advisors offering financial planning and investment management to individuals and institutions alike. Prior to joining GRID 202, she was a wealth manager at Rutledge Financial Partners and a financial advisor at Dimensional Fund Advisors. Additionally, she also worked at Vanguard, managing ultra-high-net-worth individuals’ assets, as well as institutions’ endowment funds and foundation resources throughout the Southern United States. She has been certified as a CFP since 2013.

Additionally, McDonnough served on the board of the Philadelphia-based Investment Committee for Women Against Abuse, and she is the foundation board president of the Junior League of Charlotte Legacy Foundation in Charlotte, N.C. Current CFP Board Chair Jack Brod said the CFP Board was looking forward to her tenure.

“Kamila has significant experience as a leader in the financial planning profession, and I value tremendously her expertise and insight which have been very apparent during her time on CFP Board’s Board of Directors,” he said.

McDonnough’s appointment comes in an eventful period for the CFP Board, during which it implemented its new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct on June 30. In response to a Wall Street Journal article last year finding that thousands of CFPs had failed to disclose customer, criminal or regulatory incidents, the CFP Board created a new task force to update its enforcement protocols. Brod told earlier this year that the CFP Board would plan to conduct a governance review for reform, potentially examining the board’s composition and revising members’ term limits. Late last month, the CFP Board detailed updates to its enforcement procedures, noting that it was moving away from relying on CFP members to self-disclose regulatory or disciplinary issues. 

The CFP Board claimed that an internal investigation yielded 1,240 CFPs with unreported FINRA disclosure events that it would pursue further. However, some critics argue that this number understates the breadth of the problem and that the number of CFP members with undisclosed events is likely much higher.

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