Influential financial advisor Michael Kitces posted a scathing criticism this evening of the Financial Planning Association for naming TD Ameritrade’s Skip Schweiss as its next president.

On Wednesday, the FPA announced that Schweiss will serve as the 2020 FPA president-elect. Schweiss is president of the TD Ameritrade Trust Company, TD Ameritrade’s retirement plan solutions business for financial advisors, and managing director of advisor advocacy and industry affairs for TD Ameritrade Institutional. Last night, the FPA issued a statement in response to Kitces' article in which it stood by its decision to appoint Schweiss.

Kitces, in his article “FPA Selects Largest Corporate Sponsor As First Ever Vendor Representative To Become National Board President,” sharply criticized the FPA for its “bombshell announcement” naming Schweiss to the post. “Which is significant because it means Skip Schweiss is not only not a financial planner himself (or from an advisory firm or organization that teaches financial planning, as every prior FPA president has been in the past), he will be the first-ever FPA Chair that doesn’t actually hold the CFP marks (even as FPA promotes itself as the principal membership association of CFP professionals), and the first-ever FPA Chair who represents a vendor whose business is selling solutions to FPA members."

Kitces wrote it was even more concerning that TD Ameritrade has been the FPA’s leading top-tier sponsor nearly every year for more than a decade. Kitces said he believes the appointment presents an apparent conflict of interest, and "perhaps most problematic is the reality that TD Ameritrade has a history of lobbying on regulatory issues in a manner that directly opposes the FPA’s own advocacy for a uniform fiduciary standard for all investment advisers and broker-dealers providing financial advice.”

The FPA disagreed that Schweiss was a controversial choice. “Skip is an extraordinarily skilled leader with unquestionable character and integrity who has been an unwavering supporter and advocate of the financial planning profession, the CFP® marks and an unambiguous fiduciary standard of care. He is an exceptional leadership choice for FPA,” the organization said in a statement.

In actuality, Schweiss himself has long been an advocate of fiduciary standards for advisors and has been an expert on the subject. Prior to joining TD Ameritrade, he ran Fiserv's 401(k) platform for RIAs, a business where advisors are required to act as fiduciaries.

Kitces is well known as co-founder of the XY Planning Network, an organization dedicated to supporting younger advisors and has popular podcasts and an industry blog called "Nerd's Eye View." He also is a partner and the director of wealth management for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm located in Columbia, Md.