FPSB Ltd. CEO Noel Maye’s reflections on 2021 and beyond

Noel Maye is Chief Executive Officer of Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd., a nonprofit association that benefits the global community by establishing, upholding and promoting worldwide professional standards in financial planning. FPSB’s commitment to excellence is represented by the marks of professional distinction – CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and CFP® Logo Mark.

Oi to the financial planning community in Brazil!

As each of you in your practices, the global FPSB Network including Planejar, and the global CFP professional community wrap up one of the most unprecedented and challenging years in recent memory, I want to say muito obrigado for all that you’ve contributed—and continue to contribute—to positioning and promoting financial planning as a global profession, with CFP certification its symbol of excellence. You met the challenges of 2020 with an unflinching commitment to serving your clients well and to our shared mission of establishing, upholding and promoting professional standards in financial planning. Planejar has continued to contribute strongly to our growing global footprint each year, and we salute the work you’ve done to maintain momentum in Brazil.

In setting the stage for 2021 and beyond, I’d like to share some of the recommendations that came out of FPSB’s “Planning our Tomorrow” strategy session. I think I speak for everyone who attended when I say that it was inspiring to see how the volunteer and executive leadership from the global FPSB Network – including Planejar – came together with the FPSB board of directors and team to envision our future and set priorities for the year ahead.

“We’ll need our human advisors to ‘become more human’, mastering empathy, relationship building, interview techniques, coaching”

I’ll frame the outcomes of our 2020 strategy session in the context of LASER – Leadership, Awareness, Standards, Engagement, and Recognition.

Leadership

In the area of leadership, the focus for FPSB is to continue to be seen at the global level as the authority for financial planning, with CFP certification as the symbol of excellence for financial advice. Further, we want each of our CFP certification bodies, such as Planejar in Brazil, to be seen as authorities in their respective territories. Relevancy and impact are key to strengthening our leadership role; to that end, we’ve made it a priority to promote thought leadership and grow the number of CFP professionals in each territory, and grow the number of territories offering CFP certification, as well.

To promote growth, we’ll increase our outreach to national, multi-national and global financial services firms about the value of embracing financial planning and hiring CFP professionals, and support increased best practice sharing among CFP professionals on how build and grow sustainable financial planning practices. We’ll also gather more data and align research agendas among FPSB affiliates to produce thought leadership pieces that will shape thinking, policies and practices for financial planning in Brazil, and around the world.

Awareness

Each year, the FPSB Network continues to strengthen consumer awareness about the value of working with CFP professionals globally. In 2021, the global FPSB network – including Planejar – will coordinate even more closely on messaging, content and branding to elevate consumer awareness of the financial planning profession and CFP certification. CFP professionals in Brazil can expect to see more social media content from around the world and we look forward to CFP professionals from Brazil participating in our global branding efforts as well.

“You not only value being part of a Brazilian community of financial planning professionals, but you feel part of a collaborative, committed community of 190,000+ CFP professionals worldwide”

I’d like to thank the CFP professionals in Brazil who support World Financial Planning Day year after year. As you know, in October 2020, we promoted World Financial Planning Day with a live panel appearance by José Alexandre Vasco, CVM Director of Investor Protection and Chair of IOSCO’s Committee on Retail Investors, who talked about the importance of increasing financial literacy. We plan to carry these efforts into 2021, and to host even more events and promotions on the global and local levels, and I hope you’ll continue to participate. The FPSB Network will also evaluate how we can best support increased access to financial planning and to CFP professionals for people across income levels, and enhance levels of diversity and inclusion among financial planning clients and practitioners.

Standards

The major focus for FPSB in 2021 in the area of standards is our Global Job Analysis project. This will be an initiative whereby we research the practice of financial planning among CFP professionals worldwide to update the global education, exam and certification content and requirements for CFP certification. A new feature in 2021 will be industry and futurist data gathering with the goal of future proofing the profession through identifying emerging issues that need to be addressed in our program—particularly addressing product, demographic and technology changes that will reshape our profession in the years to come.

We will continue the technology review project we began several years ago to position and communicate the value of human advisors in a tech-enabled financial services space. Think of it this way: we’ll need our human advisors to “become more human”, mastering empathy, relationship building, interview techniques, coaching etc., and spending more time understanding and working with clients on their goals and dreams.

“In 2021 and beyond, FPSB at the global level, and Planejar and other FPSB affiliates at the territory level, will continue to engage with regulators and governments”

As an extension of this work, we will also look at opportunities to digitize the financial planning and CFP certification processes. To some extent, 2020 forced us to re-think elements of our profession. Rather than relying on the traditional approaches—such as in-person meetings and physical learning/exam environments— CFP professionals and FPSB affiliates around the world had to adjust and digitize the delivery of financial planning and the CFP certification program. We can reflect on those experiences and ask, “What did we learn in 2020? What can we continue in 2021? How can we improve the ways in which we continue to use technology in a post-pandemic world?”

Engagement

When FPSB looks at engaging key stakeholders of the global financial planning profession in 2021, we’ll focus on two groups. First, we want to support a more globally connected community of CFP professionals, so that you not only value being part of a Brazilian community of financial planning professionals, but you feel part of a collaborative, committed community of 190,000+ CFP professionals worldwide. Look for more webinars, more opportunities to share best practices, and more cross-border opportunities for practitioners next year. I hope you’ll contribute with your views and know-how to that effort, as well.

As our next generation of practitioners enter the profession, they will think differently, expect different things, and will ultimately change how we do things—because that’s the nature of generational change. As we look at careers in financial planning for these new entrants, we need to re-think their opportunities to build careers and grow professionally. We need to look at mentorship and development opportunities, which are critically important for the next generation. We may even want to consider the digitization of certification requirements. For example, do we need to shift our 240-hour block of education into 24 blocks of micro-learning? There’s an opportunity for us to rethink the way things have been done in the past, while maintaining the rigor, standards and integrity of our profession. And we need to ask ourselves, “Are there ways we can make our profession more attractive for young people, for women, for a more diverse group of professionals who are reflective of the community we seek to serve in each territory?”

Recognition

FPSB and the global FPSB Network, including Planejar, seek regulatory and governmental understanding, appreciation and recognition for the value of the financial planning and the value that a community of competent and ethical CFP professionals brings in terms of consumer protection and building public trust.

In 2021 and beyond, FPSB at the global level, and Planejar and other FPSB affiliates at the territory level, will continue to engage with regulators and governments so that policies, regulations and laws being put in place are not only appropriate for consumer protection, but also provide for and foster the emergence and growth of a community of advice professionals committed to working in their clients’ interests.

Looking ahead to 2021

This past year showed us that, in times of uncertainty and stress for all of us around the world – whether clients, financial planning practitioners, professional bodies or governments, the value of financial planning, the need for sound financial advice, and the connectivity and contribution of the global financial planning community are more important than ever before.

FPSB is enthusiastic about the future opportunities for financial planning and CFP certification in Brazil, and throughout the world, and we are committed to supporting increased sharing of ideas, knowledge and best practices among the global FPSB Network and CFP professional community.

I look forward to a successful and prosperous 2021, to working with you, and to growing, together, in terms of leadership, awareness, standards, engagement and recognition, so that increasing numbers of consumers around the world can see how working with a CFP professional will help them live their best today, and plan their best tomorrow. Obrigado e Feliz 2021!

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