FPSC yet to replace Johnston

By Heidi Staseson | May 25, 2006 | Last updated on May 25, 2006
3 min read

So far it would seem Don Johnston hasn’t been able to fully enjoy retirement on his southwestern Ontario farm. After announcing last May that the FPSC founding member and two-term president would step down in 2006, the organization still not found a replacement for its 67-year-old leader.

“If they had found a replacement by March 31, then I’d be gone,” Johnston said in an interview. “I had told them much earlier in the process the most important thing is you get the right person, and if that takes me beyond March 31 that’s perfectly fine.”

So what’s the hold up? Johnston notes such an endeavour takes time, and that today particularly, boards take their CEO replacement task “very seriously,” citing “all the kerfuffle in the United States, whether it’s Enron or what have you.”

“Boards, I think, had a wakeup call with all those cases and they now realize that a board member has a very significant role to play and probably one of the most important parts of that role is choosing a successor. So I think in all organizations now you’ll find that the timeline is extended, the number of interviews is extended and they really want to make sure that they’ve done the right thing and that in hindsight their actions will prove to be very prudent.”

Johnston says the process is well underway, however, and he’s confident the transition will happen soon. “My understanding, and they properly keep the CEO out of the process as much as they can — is they certainly have been active and I think they’re getting closer all the time now. I definitely think by the fall, and I’m rather hopeful that before the middle of the summer. They’ve seen some extremely good candidates.”

In January, Johnston was awarded a $10,000 gift in association with the inaugural “Donald J. Johnston Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of Financial Planning in Canada,” to be granted annually.

At the time, Johnston indicated he planned to put the prize money toward an educational program for financial planning. This week, Johnston resurfaced from his rustic retreat to award the monetary gift to Toronto organization Youth in Motion, and its Top 20 Under 20 Program which scours the country to find, honour and mentor youth who have demonstrated considerable achievement, innovation and leadership in the Canadian community.

“What they’re doing is just a wonderful thing for the FPSC to have been able to support,” notes Johnston. “It’s a very, very thoughtful process they go through to identify these people…and then stay with them and assign a mentor to them and hopefully they’ll develop into the leaders of tomorrow.”

Youth in Motion president and CEO Akela Peoples says she is delighted to accept Johnston’s donation. “We were very honoured. He’s a delightful man and is obviously passionate about young people and believes in the future of our country and saw our program as really trying to do our piece to create future leaders in Canada.”

Filed by Heidi Staseson, Advisor’s Edge heidi.staseson@advisor.rogers.com


Heidi Staseson