Sarah Teslik, CEO of the Certified Financial Planner Board, which monitors and supports the widely used CFP designation, announced in mid-October that she would resign from her post on Oct. 31 to take a position at Apache Corporation, an energy company.
Some say Teslik's sudden departure reveals weakness in the CFP Board's efforts to rewrite its code of ethics. The rewrite included a clause that would have made it possible for CFP-holders to avoid assuming fiduciary responsibility for client accounts as long as the client agreed in writing.
But a spokesperson for the CFP Board says Teslik's departure is unrelated to the proposed changes to the CFP Board's ethical standards, and the Board of Governors will continue to review those standards.
The fiduciary standard has been a topic of heated debate in the financial-advisory industry for the past several years. Investment advisor reps (IARs) are required by law to meet the fiduciary standard, while brokers must meet the less stringent suitability standard. The CFP designation, which is held by some 52,000 individuals, has long been common among planners and IARs, but has become more popular with brokers of late.