(Corrects ninth paragraph to say Alan Goldfarb left his post as
director of wealth advisory services for Weaver Wealth
Management late last year)
* Alan Goldfarb to receive public letter of admonition -source
* Sanction to be administered by Certified Financial Planner
* Texan said to have wrongly called himself a "fee-only" adviser
June 7 The former chairman of the Certified
Financial Planner Board of Standards, which develops ethics and
standards for financial planners, is expected to receive a
public rebuke for running afoul of the organization's rules, a
person familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Alan Goldfarb, who was chairman of the CFP Board from
January 2011 until his abrupt resignation last November, will
receive a "public letter of admonition" this month from the
organization for inaccurately characterizing himself as a
"fee-only" financial planner, the source said.
The board is expected to say that Goldfarb, who also is
affiliated with an insurance agency and a broker-dealer,
received a salary from one of his other ventures that
supplemented his fees, the source said.
A call left at the office of Goldfarb, who is registered as
both an investment adviser and securities broker, was not
In an email to Reuters last November, Goldfarb wrote that he
"did not commit any violation" but that he slipped with a
mischaracterization of his compensation. The chief executive of
the planning board issued a statement at the time that took
issue with Goldfarb's excuse.
The CFP's expected admonishment is the most lenient type of
publicly disclosed penalty that it can take. It also has
authority to temporarily or permanently suspend the right of
people who pass its tests to use the CFP designation. In 2012,
the Board issued 27 letters of admonition, 17 suspensions and 41
revocations or administrative revocations of the designation.
Many independent financial planners flaunt fee-only
compensation to distinguish themselves from brokers who receive
commissions and other incentives for selling financial products.
They typically receive about 1 percent of the assets they
manage, meaning their compensation rises and falls with the
fortunes of their clients.
Obtaining a CFP does not preclude a certificant from
receiving salaries, commissions or other forms of compensation,
but its ethics code does not permit inaccurate disclosure.
Goldfarb, a former director of wealth advisory services for
Weaver Wealth Management in Dallas, Texas, stepped down from the
position last November. The firm advises on a total of $313
million in client assets, according to its website.
He was a pioneer of the independent planning movement,
receiving his CFP certification in 1978 and serving on the
ethics task force that developed the CFP Board's most recent
standards of professional conduct.
When the group announced Goldfarb's resignation as chairman
last year, it said that a special committee of its board was
also examining two members of its disciplinary and ethics
commission who were not named.
The members were Tina Florence, an adviser and broker at
Lane Florence LLC, and Mary Hastings, an adviser for Wells Fargo
Advisors in Waltham, Mass., according to a source familiar with
the situation. A Wells spokeswoman did not immediately respond.
The fact that no action is being announced against the women
means that no violations of ethics rules were found or that they
received a less severe private rebuke, sources said.
Phone messages left with Florence and Hastings were not
(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn and Jed Horowitz; Editing by