CFP Board chief executive Kevin Keller joins $1 million compensation ranks

Other seven-figure earners include top executives at ICI, SIFMA

Feb 27, 2019 @ 4:30 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

The head of the organization that grants the certified financial planner credential has joined a couple other financial industry trade group executives in earning a seven-figure compensation.

Kevin Keller, chief executive of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., received $1.1 million in total compensation in 2017, according to the latest data available through the board's IRS Form 990 filing. That was a 22% increase from the $901,525 reported for Mr. Keller in 2016.

Other big paychecks went to Paul Schott Stevens, president and chief executive of the Investment Company Institute, who was paid $2.5 million between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017, and Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr., president and chief executive of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, who earned $2.4 million between Nov. 1, 2016, and Oct. 31, 2017, according to the groups' Form 990s.

The filing of Form 990s usually runs well behind the current tax year.

Mr. Keller's pay included $224,460 in bonus and incentive compensation as well as $200,000 in compensation that was reported as deferred in previous Form 990 filings.

In recent years, Mr. Keller, who has served as chief executive of the CFP Board since 2007, has led the organization as it strengthened the fiduciary requirements of the CFP mark, mounted a public awareness advertising campaign to promote CFPs to investors and promoted diversity in the financial services sector.

In a statement, the CFP Board said Mr. Keller's total compensation is set at a level that is "competitive with similar-sized financial services and certifying organizations." The board said it uses an outside consultant to determine his pay level and ties a "significant portion" of his variable compensation to achieving board goals.

Linda Leitz, co-owner of Peace of Mind Financial Planning Inc. and a member of the CFP Board committee that set the mark's new advice standards, credits Mr. Keller with raising the status and influence of the designation.

"The new CFP standards, the diversity campaign and the consumer awareness drive all point to the CFP being a major element in protecting consumers and elevating the profession," Ms. Leitz said. "So while it looks like Kevin is paid in the top tier of related executive positions, it's reflective both of what he has done and what's on his plate to do going forward."

Other trade association leaders who made more than $500,000 included former Insured Retirement Institute chief executive Cathy Weatherford ($831,400), Financial Services Institute chief executive Dale Brown ($758,264) and Kevin Mayeux, chief executive of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors ($504,630), according to the groups' Form 990s.

Karen Barr, chief executive of the Investment Adviser Association, made $449,352; Lauren Schadle, chief executive of the Financial Planning Association, made $346,953; and Geoffrey Brown, chief executive of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, earned $197,616, according to the groups' Form 990s.

CEO pay
Pay* (Annual increase)
Firm revenue
Paul Schott Stevens
ICI (Revenue: $73.9M)
$2.5M Annual increase: (0%)
$73.9M
Kenneth Bentsen Jr.
SIFMA (Revenue: $46M)
$2.4M Annual increase: (↑4.3%)
$46M
Kevin Keller
CFP Board (Revenue: $38.2M)
$1.1M Annual increase: (↑22%)
$38.2M
Cathy Weatherford
IRI (Revenue: $6.8M)
$831,400 Annual increase: (↑0.1%)
$6.8M
Dale Brown
FSI (Revenue: $9.6M)
$758,264 Annual increase: (↑10.7%)
$9.6M
Kevin Mayeux
NAIFA (Revenue: $11.9M)
$504,630 Annual increase: (N/A**)
$11.9M
Karen Barr
IAA (Revenue: $5.5M)
$449,352 Annual increase: (↑2.5%)
$5.5M
Lauren Schadle
FPA (Revenue: $10.1M)
$346,953 Annual increase: (↑7%)
$10.1M
Geoffrey Brown
NAPFA (Revenue: $3.5M)
$197,616 Annual increase: (↑8.2%)
$3.5M
* Pay data comes from the most recent IRS Form 990 filings, which cover either the calendar year of 2017 or organizations' tax years that ended at some point in 2017.
** Mr. Mayeux was hired in 2015, which makes 2016 reporting a patchwork not easily comparable.

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