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FPSB CEO Update: And the Award Goes To…

By Noel Maye, FPSB CEO

Last month, as the Academy Awards experienced its ups and downs, I was able to experience a flawless show in São Paulo, Brazil, as a guest of FPSB’s member organization Instituto Brasileiro de Certificação de Profissionais Financeiros (IBCPF). IBCPF invited me to a series of meetings and events to add a global perspective to its local promotion of CFP certification, including engagements with banks, regulators, associations, media and educational institutions. While in Brazil, I also met with the chairman of the International Organization for Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) SRO Consultative Committee (FPSB was accepted as an affiliate member of IOSCO last year).

In keeping with the Oscar-themed week, one of the highlights of my trip was participating in IBCPF’s awards ceremony recognizing Brazil’s newest CFP professionals, with many turning up with family and loved ones to celebrate their accomplishment. IBCPF also celebrated the milestone of exceeding 1,000 CFP professionals thanks to a 27 percent growth rate last year, an outstanding contribution to growing the number of CFP professionals, which is approaching 150,000 worldwide. The energy and enthusiasm for financial planning and CFP certification in Brazil was infectious – the IBCPF team has much to be proud of. Moreover, the conversations I had with the financial planning community in Brazil reflected the strategy discussions FPSB is having at a global level.

Building Consumer Trust with Financial Literacy 

Financial literacy was a re-occurring theme during many of my meetings in Brazil. Upon my return, I read IOSCO’s recently released report on Investor Education Initiatives. A key takeaway from this report is that only a few regulators from FPSB Member territories had a national financial literacy strategy. This got me thinking about how the financial planning community could partner with regulators on financial literacy programs that result in meaningful behavioral change. Australia’s regulator (ASIC) noted in its strategy document that when allocating financial literacy resources, it considered:

  • What would create broad-based generational improvements
  • Which groups in society most needed assistance
  • What issues caused the greatest problems

I know consumer trust has been a popular topic of discussion on this site, so I’m interested in your thoughts on financial literacy initiatives, particularly in light of ASIC also reporting (from an ANZ survey) that only five percent of consumers wanted education from a financial adviser or planner.

I also met with Brazil’s Institute of Education and Research, which is developing a pilot test program with IBCPF to evaluate young people’s appetite for a career in financial planning. FPSB has developed an integrated financial planning course that allows students, through use of case studies, to explore the art and science of practicing financial planning, including identifying needs, objectives and goals, and delivering a written financial plan. What other opportunities do you see to engage the global academic community in developing a global body of knowledge for the financial planning profession?

My week in São Paulo was action-packed, invigorating and proof that our profession is focusing on the right things at the right time. It was fantastic to see so many stakeholder groups in Brazil looking to partner with FPSB and recognizing CFP certification as the standard of excellence in financial planning. From a working group meeting next week in Dubai to discuss FPSB’s Planner and Adviser Competency Profiles, to our biannual meeting attended by our 24 member organizations next month in Hong Kong, FPSB is making progress in establishing financial planning as a distinct global profession. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this and many more topics here on Financial Planet, so let me know what is on your mind!

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This is the first in a series of blogs from Noel Maye, CEO of Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd., to share FPSB activities to establish financial planning as a globally recognized profession. FPSB owns the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification program internationally, and is committed to putting consumers in control of their lives through the use of personal financial planning. FPSB created Financial Planet in 2011 to encourage dialogue among members of the global financial planning community.

 

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