Marvin W. Tuttle Jr., the Financial Planning Association's chief executive and executive director, will step down as the organization's leader when he retires on May 31, 2014.
Tuttle, 57, announced his retirement in May at the 2012 FPA Retreat in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Tuttle joined the Institute of
Certified Financial Planners-one of two groups that combined to form the FPA-in 1983 and helped create the Journal of Financial Planning, which he considers one of his greatest accomplishments at the organization. Tuttle has held a variety of positions at the ICFP and FPA in communications and marketing and he was the publisher/editor of the journal. He was named head of the FPA in January 2004.
The Denver-based FPA says it's the nation's largest membership group for personal financial planning experts. But its membership base of 23,538 (as of 2011) is down from its peak of 29,000 in 2000, when the association formed from the merger of the ICFP and the International Association for Financial Planning.
At the same time, other associations like the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) and the Financial Services Institute (FSI) have strong membership growth, although the latter's advisor member dues have been mostly subsidized by broker-dealers. Tuttle says some members have had a hard time accepting the stands the FPA has taken on stronger fiduciary standards and on the right-to-file suit against the SEC.
There have been other factors, too. "People don't interact with or within associations like they once did," says Dan Moisand, a partner at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC in Melbourne, Fla., and a past president of the FPA. "Members are aging, no one needs meetings to get CE, and other change is rapid. Lots of other associations in other fields are dealing with similar [issues]. Some of what FPA is dealing with is unique to it and some not so."
Tuttle says the FPA needs to continue to provide education for financial planners and to conduct outreach to the community, among other initiatives, in order to grow in the future. Tuttle expects the FPA to become a national and world leader in the financial planning community.
"I am very proud of our work after 9/11 to start pro bono efforts to serve the needy," Tuttle says. "The vast majority of the 95 chapters now have a pro bono committee, and I am proud of that because of the impact it has had on the community."
David Hoyer, a financial planner in Yardley, Pa., and a leader in the pro bono efforts at the FPA's Philadelphia Tri-State Area chapter, believes a key to the FPA's future lies with its local chapters. "I think membership is an outgrowth of what individual chapters provide to their members," he says.
Hoyer notes that the FPA is a diverse group that includes both certified financial planners at RIAs and other advisors more focused on insurance products. "It's a matter of deciding who we are and what constituents we want to speak to and attract," he says.
Tuttle says it will take some time for the board of directors to conduct a search for his replacement, and he wants to be part of the search, which is why he made the announcement so far ahead of time. He also wants time to work on initiatives now under way at the association. The FPA Board said it will start the search for Tuttle's replacement in late 2012 or early 2013.
Meanwhile, Moisand believes the association is finding its way in a changing industry. "Organizationally, FPA has to continue to evolve," he says. "When I got on the board in '03, there were still people wanting to undo the merger. FPA has come a long way since then, and Marv was a key part of its development."