The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards announced the appointment of Joseph Maugeri, a former Merrill Lynch executive, to head its business development.

Maugeri, who came on board March 1, will serve as the CFP Board's key contact for top financial planning officers in large financial service firms. The position's main purpose is to increase preference for the CFP certification within those large firms and to strengthen the organization's position within the financial services industry, according to the CFP Board.

Maugeri previously served as vice president and head of the Professional Alliance program at Merrill Lynch. Prior to that he was a director at SEI Investments Inc. and worked for more than 14 years as a financial advisor at AXA Advisors LLC.

"My background as a financial advisor, of being a CFP designee, and having worked in the home office of a Wall Street firm gives me a unique perspective and understanding to allow me to develop a great partnership with these firms," Maugeri says. "This role will be to position the CFP designation as the gold standard with these firms and to increase the visibility and change the way firms think about it."

Maugeri says he will meet with executives across various channels including banks, insurance companies, wirehouse firms, independent broker-dealers and RIAs. He notes the conversation with these various entities will differ depending on the audience, but his basic message to them is to look at the CFP marks not just as an education and professional standard for their advisors, but also as a way to create a better client experience.

"I'm realistic about this role in that I know firms have a lot of things on their plate right now and that the CFP [designation] may not be at the very top of the list," Maugeri says. "But the firms I've spoken to have been very receptive."