Chartered financial planning firms can use the chartered logo, and both the website and advisers can point at the fact that they are connected to a chartered firm with little if any qualification of their own, as they do not necessarily form part of the CII application.
But where there is a single chartered individual, or perhaps two, in a firm of tens or hundreds of individuals offshore how can it be right for a firm to market themselves as the first or best?
I did a quick review with my peers in the UK, advisers that I had met with at organised chartered events. This made me realise we are blinkered. Since we all believe that chartered is a distinction, and that individually we have all worked hard to obtain it, we never considered the possibility that large firms could use it as a marketing initiative with just one or a few planners.
Challenging the status quo
So, what will I do as a chartered financial planner and certified financial planner of many years?
I am proud of what I have achieved and I will promote the ethos and philosophy that I believe that the clients want adviser firms to have. I insist on all new joiners, and existing level four planners, in my UK firm to be working towards improving themselves through a mixture of qualifications, CPD and business planning.
I hope that the rest of the individual chartered planners out there, who from my research are largely oblivious to these larger firms and their marketing offshore, will not be content to accept this status quo as well.
If they do not, then they must face the fact that the term “chartered” will reduce in value and significance, and their hard work will not be recognised.