In a move that highlights its increasing emphasis on enforcement, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. has hired its first director of investigations.
Rex Staples, former general counsel for the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc., has been tapped to fill the newly created position at the CFP Board. He will lead a team that pursues cases of alleged violations of the conduct standards that CFPs must follow to maintain the designation.
The CFP Board grants CFP certification and enforces the related ethical requirements for the approximately 63,000 U.S. investment advisers who hold the mark. Certified planners, for instance, must adhere to a fiduciary-duty standard when providing investment advice.
“Our CFP professionals, stakeholders, regulators, policymakers and, most important, the public rely on CFP Board to rigorously enforce our professional standards,” CFP Board chief executive Kevin Keller said in a statement. “The creation of this position and Rex Staples' arrival underscores the high value we place on our enforcement function to ensure our CFP professionals are acting in a competent and ethical manner.”
Prior to working for NASAA, Mr. Staples served as a branch chief for enforcement and compliance in the Washington State Securities Division. He also got his education in Washington, earning a law degree from Gonzaga University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington.