The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has taken the next step in improving its reporting of negative information about CFP mark holders by appointing the members of a task force charged with beefing up the information it makes available to the public.

Four members have been appointed to the Independent Task Force on Enforcement created by the CFP Board of Directors in July after revelations that the CFP Board was not making detrimental information about CFP designees accessible to the public.

The task force, led by former Texas state regulator Denise Voigt Crawford, “is charged with examining [the] CFP Board’s current enforcement program and making actionable recommendations to the Board of Directors for improvements,” the CFP Board said in announcing the members Tuesday.

The task force’s report and recommendations will be made public after the board’s November meeting. The Task Force’s members were selected by Crawford and will be working independently of the CFP staff and the board of directors.

The task force was created after research by The Wall Street Journal showed that advisors with criminal allegations, client complaints and bankruptcies on their records were listed on the Board’s LetsMakeAPlan webpage without noting the negative actions taken against them. The directory on the LetsMakeAPlan site is designed to help the public find a CFP.

The CFP Board has spent some $12 million a year since 2011 for a public relations campaign promoting the CFP designation as a mark of competence and ethical standards.

The board said in July it would immediately take steps to make improvements to its reporting system. It said it would no longer solely rely on self-reporting by CFP professionals; it would check FINRA’s BrokerCheck and the SEC’s IAPD each time a CFP professional renews his or her designation, and it would provide consumers access to BrokerCheck and IAPD information on and

The task force members are Mercer Bullard, Michael Huggs, Richard Salmen and Nancy M. Smith.

Bullard is a Butler Snow lecturer and professor of law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is an expert on securities law and teaches courses on securities, banking and corporations and serves as the director of the university’s Business Law Institute.

In addition to his teaching, Bullard is an advocate for investors, having founded the advocacy group Fund Democracy, where he serves as its president. Bullard has testified before Congress, published dozens of business law commentaries and articles, led successful advocacy initiatives, and made presentations before the U.S. Labor Department, SEC and FINRA.

Huggs is a veteran state securities regulator and currently serves as director of the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Securities Division, which he joined in 2001. In addition to overseeing the overall operations of the division, his duties include examining brokerage firms and investment advisors, as well as conducting investigations of possible violations of the Mississippi Securities Act.

An investor advocate, Huggs participated in the Mississippi Secretary of State’s investor education programs as a speaker for the Jump Start Coalition “Money Matters” seminars, which promoted financial literacy to high school students. He serves as chairman of the North American Securities Administrators Association’s Investment Adviser Operations Project Group.

Salmen served on the CFP Board’s Board of Directors from 2015 through 2018 and as its chair in 2018. He was president of the Financial Planning Association in 2009, at the height of the financial crisis. While president of FPA, he and his colleagues at the CFP Board and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors helped to form the Financial Planning Coalition, which advocates for public policy initiatives that protect investors and advance the financial planning profession.

Salmen is president of the Family Investment Center located near Kansas City.

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