That's just one of the potentially vexing issues Kanaly is likely to encounter in the final half of his term. By January 1, Kanaly says he expects NAPFA to produce a white paper that will propose changes in the way the organization brands itself and the way it's structured.

It's a transitional effort that began before Kanaly took over as chairman, but which he became involved with almost as soon as he started. He got things going in the spring with a strategic-planning meeting run by a management consultant he hired. "He's there to help us and NAPFA members think not like individual firms, but to think like an industry," Kanaly says. Among the goals the committee decided to strive for was a move from NAPFA's trademark "fee-only" label to one that more fully exemplifies the fiduciary responsibilities NAPFA members value. Kanaly says the organization also is looking to increase staffing and marketing and wants to perform some of the due diligence to which members are devoting time, such as researching the best computer hardware and software.

To beef up staffing and services, NAPFA also is going to have to grow its membership and its $1.9 million budget, Kanaly says. To do that, he says, the organization needs to speed up the time it takes to approve members. It's a potentially prickly issue because it raises the possibility of altering admission standards, but Kanaly insists the organization has no intention of lowering standards to boost membership. In fact, he says, he wants to raise standards in areas such as client disclosure.

NAPFA already has made some moves in advance of the white paper. Ellen Turf, for instance, recently was elevated from office manager to executive director and then to chief executive officer.

NAPFA officials also give Kanaly high marks for moving the initiative forward with a light touch that has fostered cooperation. "He's allowing us to do the work and follow through on initiatives that were already set in place," says Gary Schatsky, who was NAPFA chairman in 2000.

One person who thinks Kanaly will give NAPFA new direction successfully is his father, E. Deane Kanaly, who was a pioneering proponent of fee-only financial advising back in the 1960s.

"It's a rough chore and, you know, it's unlikely he's going to get everything done," he says. "But I think he's going to sow enough seeds where there will emerge a totally new profession."

-Raymond Fazzi

First « 1 2 3 4 5 6 » Next