Rex Staples, director of investigations for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., will be leaving his post Friday.
The CFP board is searching for a replacement.
Mr. Staples “is leaving to become more involved in complex areas of securities regulation and administration,” CFP Board spokesman Dan Drummond said in a statement.
Mr. Staples, who did not return calls seeking comment, joined the organization in April 2012 to take on the newly created role. The board was seen as becoming more active in flexing its enforcement muscles.
In an interview last year, Mr. Staples, the former general counsel of the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc. and past enforcement chief for the Washington State Securities Division, said he wanted to see a quicker turnaround of CFP-related cases and fair penalties executed without delay.
The issue of fairness has dogged the CFP Board's disciplinary process since November, when Alan Goldfarb, then the board's chairman, resigned after a disciplinary proceeding against him was announced.
In June, the board's disciplinary panel concluded the case by issuing a public letter of admonishment to Mr. Goldfarb, saying he had misrepresented his compensation as “fee-only” because he was also part-owner of a broker-dealer that took commissions.
Separately, a long-simmering dispute between an advisory firm and the CFP Board, which appears to have precipitated Mr. Goldfarb's resignation, has come to light.
CFP holders Jeffrey Camarda, chairman of Camarda Wealth Advisory Group in Fleming Island, Fla., and his wife, Kimberly Camarda, president of the firm, are suing the CFP Board in federal court over a disciplinary case it brought against them in 2011.
The board says that, like Mr. Goldfarb, they improperly used the term “fee-only” to describe their compensation.
The Camardas filed a lawsuit in June, asking the court to reverse the case and block the board from issuing a public admonishment.
Mr. Goldfarb said the Camarda case sparked the organization to look into the entire board for similar issues regarding compensation disclosures. Two members of the CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission also resigned at the same time as Mr. Goldfarb.
The Camardas' complaint “is without merit,” Mr. Drummond said.