Northwestern Mutual will be a founding sponsor of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.’s Center for Financial Planning, the CFP Board announced Tuesday.

The center was created to promote diversity in the financial planning profession.

“We are very grateful for Northwestern Mutual’s support of key initiatives that will advance the financial planning profession by developing a more diverse and sustainable pipeline of financial planners and creating an academic home for the profession,” says Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director of the center.

Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual president, adds, “The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning is a great opportunity for Northwestern Mutual to help strengthen and advance the financial planning profession. We look forward to working closely with the center, including enhancing educational opportunities in colleges and universities, attracting more diverse talent to the profession, and providing tools and resources for current and future financial planning professionals.”

Mohrman-Gillis adds: “The center will serve as a catalyst and a convener to unify all corners of the profession and beyond, providing solutions that will help secure the financial future of all Americans by advancing a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession.”

“Our decision to sponsor the center was driven by our commitment to grow the profession, increase diversity and advance financial planning programs in top colleges and universities,” says Betsy Hoylman, a Northwesern Mutual spokesperson. “We look forward to working with the center to introduce more people to the career and hlep meet the growing need for comprehensive financial planning.”

The sponsorship has no bearing on Northwestern Mutual's consideration of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule requiring retirement planners to act as fiduciaries to put the best interests of the client first. The CFP Board is a supporter of the new rule.

Hoylman says Northwestern Mutual is still reviewing the rule and will comply with it when it goes into effect in April.