FSP Board Expands Definition of Associate Membership

FSP Board Expands Defnition of Associate Membership

Associate membership is now open to professionals who share FSP core values and would find membership beneficial for their careers and practices but who may not currently be working toward one of FSP’s accepted credentials. This expansion, which is effective immediately, is the result of a Board decision at its April 6-7 meeting in Chicago.

In announcing this change, President-Elect Jim Aussem stated, “We are excited about the recruiting opportunities that this creates. There are a number of trusted professionals in the Cleveland-Akron area that I can now invite to join our Chapter.”

Associate Membership Redefined

Under the expanded definition, a person qualifies for Associate membership if he/she is a financial service professional; is recommended by a Regular member in good standing; and meets any of the following criteria:

• Has a minimum of fve years’ experience in a financial service-related field, such as life insurance, accounting, estate planning, financial planning, retirement planning, charitable planning, trust management, investment management, wealth accumulation planning, etc.

• Is enrolled in an educational program leading to the attainment of one of the credentials/degrees meeting the eligibility requirements of Regular membership.

• Holds a Series 6, 7, 63, 65, or 66 securities license.

How many of you have been in a situation where you have known a great candidate for FSP membership but can’t “close the deal” because she doesn’t hold one of our approved credentials and isn’t working on one? Perhaps, this candidate holds a Series 7 license, has a successful investment advisory practice, and you have the utmost respect for her approach to working with clients. She’s interested in joining, but
A doesn’t have a credential, so she’s never been invited. The Board’s decision now makes it possible for her to be a member.

Strengthening the FSP Brand

For those with concerns that this change may dilute the FSP brand which has always been about credentials, keep in mind that the change applies only to Associate members and Associate members have never been credentialed—that has always been the distinction between Associate and Regular members.

“I take the view that the expansion helps strengthen membership by opening the doors to a new group of accomplished professionals who were previously precluded,” said Jim Aussem.

President Anthony Bartlett adds, “Though not credentialed these successful professionals bring their valuable insights to the FSP community. This supports our proposition that all members serve as resources to each other, that we create broader knowledge by enabling the exchange of ideas from different perspectives. This adds to the value of membership for all.”

As with all members, the new Associate member will continue to be bound by the FSP Code of Professional Responsibility.

Keeping FSP Relevant

“This expansion is a logical evolution of our commitment to remaining relevant and continuing as the organization that reflects the nature of the profession today,” according to FSP CEO, Joe Frack.

“The environment in which we operate changes, so we must adapt to maintain our stature and take steps to ensure sustainability. FSP is about to celebrate its 90th year because we respond to industry changes, keeping the membership experience vital and valuable,” said Frack.

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