Ellen Turf is handing over the reigns of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, where she has worked since 1992 and has been chief executive since 1999.
Ms. Turf, 60, announced Monday that she will stay on board through the end of her current contract, which expires at the end of August 2013, or whenever her successor is hired.
Founded in 1983, NAPFA is an organization of more than 2,400 members and is known for a staunch commitment to fee-only financial advice with an emphasis on acting as a fiduciary for clients.
Ms. Turf, who was not immediately available for comment, made her resignation plans known to NAPFA board members early last month.
NAPFA already has formed a search committee to begin the process of finding a new CEO.
“Every expectation is that a new CEO will be in place by the time Ellen is scheduled to leave in August,” said Lauren Locker, current NAPFA chairwoman and owner of Locker Financial Services LLC.
“We don't think there will be a problem, but Ellen has graciously agreed to stay on if necessary.”
Theodore Feight, owner of Creative Financial Design and a longtime NAPFA member, said Ms. Turf “has done a great job for the organization.”
“I'm surprised she's leaving, but she's going to leave NAPFA in a good position,” he added.
Ms. Turf's tenure at NAPFA began as a part-time position 20 years ago. When she became CEO in 1999, the organization had fewer than 1,000 members.
In 2007, she was recognized by Accounting Today magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in accounting.
Prior to joining NAPFA, Ms. Turf worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including Women's American Organization through Rehabilitation and Training, where she held positions as president, treasurer and national board member.
In a prepared statement, Ms. Turf said she plans to spend some time with her husband traveling and visiting their grandchildren.
“NAPFA turns 30 in 2013, and it's hard to believe I've been a part of it for more than two-thirds of the time,” she said in a statement.
“I have had great pride in the accomplishments of the organization under my tenure,” she added. “To be a part of so many meaningful moments at the organization, and watch the growth of a profession I love, will have no equal in my career.”