March 2018 Newsletter

From the Desk of Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, Executive Director

March 2018

Marilyn Mohrman-GillisMarch found the Center team catching our breath following the conclusion of our very successful, second annual Academic Research Colloquium on Financial Planning and Related Disciplines. Held in Arlington, Virginia at the end of February, the Colloquium convened over 200 distinguished researchers, academicians and practitioners from around the world for presentation and robust discussion of cutting-edge research in financial planning and associated disciplines. The Colloquium is a critical component of the Center’s Academic Home initiative that aims to establish financial planning as a recognized academic discipline in our nation’s colleges and universities, and expand the profession’s body of knowledge. I want to extend a special thanks to Merrill Lynch, the Signature Sponsor of the 2018 event. We look forward to hosting the Colloquium again in 2019 and hope you will join us.

The Center has also been busy planning our Diversity Summit, scheduled for October 23, 2018 at The Times Center in New York City. The Summit will convene thought leaders from within and beyond the financial planning profession for discussion and action on the important topic of racial diversity and inclusion in the profession. The agenda will include a presentation of the Center’s new research on the barriers to entry into the profession for people of color, as well as a new thought leadership paper outlining recommended research-based initiatives to foster a more diverse financial planner workforce. Our newly established Diversity Advisory Group will play a critical role in shaping these recommendations and guiding the Center’s diversity initiatives. We are very thankful to them for their time and leadership. If you are interested in participating in the Summit, or know individuals who fit this bill, please contact Eddy Demirovic at

You can read more about these and other Center developments below. I would also like to thank Vanguard for becoming a Visionary Circle Sponsor of the Center, and AssetMark, Inc. for becoming a Chairs Circle Sponsor. Their generous contributions – along with those of our Lead Founding Sponsor TD Ameritrade Institutional, Founding Sponsor Northwestern Mutual and our other valued contributors – make the Center’s work possible. As always, I encourage you to consider making a contribution to the Center’s Capital Campaign, which has raised over $9.8 million in gifts and pledges as of March 5, 2018.

We appreciate your continued interest in the Center and commitment to creating a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession. We also invite you to visit our website for additional Center news and announcements.

Warm Regards,

Executive Director
CFP Board Center for Financial Planning


  • Second Annual Academic Research Colloquium is a Success: The Center hosted its second annual Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines on February 20-22, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia, with Merrill Lynch as the Signature Sponsor. The event brought together 200 of the best and brightest researchers, educators, and thought leaders from around the world to showcase research within financial planning and related disciplines. The colloquium featured keynote addresses by distinguished scholars, 32 presentations of new research papers (reflecting a highly selective 30 percent acceptance rate), 30 research posters and 5 Best Paper Awards presented. Dates for the 2019 Colloquium will be announced soon.
  • New Client Psychology Book Now Available: The second volume of the Center’s financial planning book series, Client Psychology, edited by the Center’s Director of Academic Initiatives Dr. Charles Chaffin, is now available for purchase through John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The book explores the behaviors, biases and perceptions that influence client decision-making and financial well-being, and discusses how they impact financial planning practice. Click here for Financial Advisor’s review of the book, highlighting some of the insights about client behavior particularly relevant to practitioners. Order your copy.
  • New Diversity Advisory Group Announced: At the beginning of March, the Center announced the formation of its new Diversity Advisory Group. Comprised of experts in diversity and inclusion, leaders from financial services firms, academics, and CFP® professionals, the Advisory Group will provide critical insight and guidance for the Center’s efforts to foster greater racial and ethnic diversity within the financial planning profession. As part of its work, the Advisory Group will review the findings of the Center’s comprehensive study of barriers to diversity in the financial planner workforce and recommend solutions to these challenges. The recommended solutions will be presented in a thought leadership paper, to be released publicly at the Center’s 2018 Diversity Summit. The group is chaired by Cy Richardson, senior vice president at the National Urban League, and supported by a grant from Capital One Investing, the Center’s Chairs Circle Sponsor. Learn more about the group.
  • Digital Advice Working Group Releases New Report on the Future of Financial Advice: On March 6, the Center’s Digital Advice Working Group released its second annual report on digital trends and their expected impact on consumers and financial advisors, including predictions through 2021. In addition to these predictions, the group created a roadmap for financial firms and individual practitioners to help guide their business strategy development amid the shifting digital landscape. The Working Group is comprised of leaders in technology, financial services and academia.  The Working Group is being led by Joe Maugeri, CFP®, CFP Board’s Managing Director of Corporate Relations, in consultation with the global leadership advisory firm Heidrick & Struggles. Click here to read the full report and here to view the roadmap.

  • Center Names New Special Adviser on Gender Diversity: The Center welcomed Kathleen McQuiggan as its new Special Adviser on Gender Diversity in January. In this role, Kathleen helps to lead the Center’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) and implementation of programs designed to attract women to the financial planning profession and support female financial planners. Kathleen has served on the WIN Council since the initiative’s inception in 2013 and has long been an advocate for advancing women in financial services. She takes over the role from Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, who recently established the Eleanor Blayney Gender Diversity Fund in concluding her official role with the Center. Blayney will continue her involvement in the Center’s Women’s Initiative as a member of the WIN Council and as a WIN Advocate.
  • Center’s Executive Director and Volunteers Among InvestmentNews’ “Women to Watch:” InvestmentNews held a luncheon on March 13 to honor several industry professionals who were on its 2017 “Women to Watch” list, including CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Executive Director Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis. CFP Board’s 2018 Board of Directors Member Peggy Ruhlin, CFP®, was also honored with the Alexandra Armstrong Award for Lifetime Achievement in Financial Planning, while 2018 Chair-Elect Susan John, CFP® and Center Diversity Advisory Group Member Marguerita Cheng, CFP® were chosen from more than several hundred nominations for InvestmentNews’ honor. “I am a CFP® Pro” campaign spokeswoman and Diversity Advisory Group Member Rianka Dorsainvil, CFP® was also honored with the Rising Star Award.

  • April 18 Spring Online Career Fair: The CFP Board Career Center’s next Online Career Fair will take place on April 18 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm and on April 19 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (all times Eastern). Our Online Career Fairs connect financial planning firms with hundreds of CFP® professionals, financial planning students and other qualified individuals seeking employment. Employer registration and sponsorship opportunities are now open. Contact with any questions.
  • May 1 Deadline to Apply for Milton Stern Scholars Fund: The Milton Stern Scholars Fund offers scholarships to qualified students who are residents of New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, and who are seeking to complete a CFP Board-Registered Certificate Program that qualifies them to take the CFP® exam.  Learn more and apply.
  • Second Offering of the Financial Planning Teaching Seminar with Columbia University Scheduled on June 4-8: The Center and the Columbia University School of Professional Studies are pleased to announce a West Coast offering of the popular Financial Planning Teaching Seminar. This seminar will take place on June 4-8, 2018 in San Francisco. The weeklong, experience-based seminar will focus on financial planning content as well as basic instructional design, learning objectives, student assessment, and ways to provide students with experiential learning. The program is designed for current faculty, CFP® professionals looking to begin a career teaching financial planning, and doctoral students looking to become adjunct or full-time instructors in a CFP Board Registered Program. Registration is now open. Register by March 31 and receive an early bird discount. 
  • Center to Hold Diversity Summit on October 23: The Summit will serve as a springboard for discussion and action on the important topic of racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion in the financial planning profession. At the daylong event, scheduled for October 23, 2018, at The Times Center in New York City, the Center will release a thought leadership paper examining causes and research-based recommendations for addressing the underrepresentation of African Americans and Latinos in the financial planning profession. We are seeking participation to this invitation-only event from financial firm executives with responsibilities related to diversity and inclusion, leaders of “influencer” organizations that can reach diverse populations, and practitioners interested in advancing diversity in the profession. If you are interested in participating in the Summit, or know individuals who fit this bill, please contact Eddy Demirovic at


Participate in Center’s Programs

  • Be a Part of the Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative: The Center is currently seeking firms to join the second cohort of the Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative (FPRI), a program for qualified professionals that features paid return-to-work internships at financial planning firms around the country. Firms interested in participating in this program and increasing the number of senior-level financial planning professionals in their ranks can contact Dee Dee Mendez at for more information.
  • Promote the “I am a CFP® Pro” Campaign: Since the launch of the “I am a CFP® Pro” campaign last year, many of you have joined the conversation through social media. We encourage you to continue sharing your stories on Instagram and Twitter using hashtag #CFPPro on why you chose to join the profession and why young people should consider becoming a financial planner. The Center is also seeking out organizations that can spread this message to young people, including schools and alumni associations. We welcome any introductions or referrals to such organizations. Please contact Eddy Demirovic at
  • Mentor a Woman Seeking CFP® Certification: We encourage CFP® professionals to sign up for our WIN-to-WIN Mentorship program and mentor a woman seeking CFP® certification by providing guidance and support through the certification process. Close to 700 mentors have engaged over 1350 mentees. Become a mentor and help increase the number of female CFP® professionals. Learn more and sign up for this important initiative today.
  • Financial Planning Review Accepting Papers on FinTech: The Center’s forthcoming double-blind, peer-reviewed academic journal, Financial Planning Review, invites the submission of research papers on topics related to FinTech, and how technological innovations are transforming – and adding complexity to – financial services. Topics of interest include digital financial advisory/wealth management services; technology-driven lending and investment; innovations in value storage, transfer and payments (e.g., crypto currencies); and the use of technology to facilitate financial inclusion. Papers must be submitted by December 31, 2018 to be considered. Selected papers will be published in a special FinTech edition of the Review in December 2019. Additional details are available here.
  • Participate in Future Research: CFP® professionals are encouraged to volunteer to be part of the Center’s research list for the opportunity to participate in innovative research projects in the future that may help their practice and the entire profession. Participating CFP® professionals will receive a copy of the final research paper for any study in which they elect to participate. More information can be found here.

Support the Center

  • Support the Eleanor Blayney Gender Diversity Challenge Fund: For the past five years, Center’s Special Adviser on Gender Diversity Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, has worked tirelessly with female leaders in financial planning to attract more women into the profession. Now, Eleanor has made a $100,000 gift to the Center to support its gender diversity initiatives and has challenged others to help match her contribution. We want to extend a special thanks to all of the donors who already contributed over $74,000 to the fund.  Learn more about the Challenge Fund
  • Make a Gift to the Annual Fund: You can make a difference today! Your donation to the Center for Financial Planning supports important work to secure the financial future for all Americans by advancing a more diverse and sustainable financial planner workforce and building a research-based recognized body of knowledge for the financial planning profession. Support the Center.


The Center is grateful to Vanguard for becoming a Visionary Circle Sponsor and to AssetMark, Inc. for becoming a Chairs Circle Sponsor. Their generous contributions will provide important support for the Center’s ongoing efforts to grow, diversify and sustain the financial planning profession.

Campaign Development Committee member Charlie Fitzgerald, III, CFP® (middle) receives a $250,000 check for the Center from AssetMark President and CEO Charles Goldman (left) and EVP, Chief Client Officer Michael Kim (right). 

We are very pleased to report that the Capital Campaign has raised $9.8 million in gifts and pledges through March 5, 2018. A listing of our corporate sponsors and donors is available here.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Center, please click here or contact us at 800-487-1497. If your company is interested in sponsoring the Center, please contact Rochelle Zeidman at or 202-379-2255. One hundred percent of your contribution will go toward funding the Center’s programs.


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