Johnston to retire from FPSC

By Doug Watt | May 17, 2005 | Last updated on May 17, 2005
2 min read

(May 17, 2005) There’s another major changing of the guard in Canada’s financial services industry — Don Johnston is retiring as president of the Financial Planners Standards Council (FPSC) next year.

Johnston has led the FPSC since its creation in 1995, when he negotiated with the owners of the CFP trademark to sub-license the designation in Canada.

Johnston will step down at the end of the FPSC’s next fiscal year, in March 2006. “We’ve had a great beginning but I think it’s time that I moved over and let somebody else take it to the next stage,” the 66-year-old said in an interview. “We’ve got a super staff in place and I think the FPSC is well-regarded within the industry. We’ve been true to our mission which is protecting the public and you do that by setting high standards. “

Among his major accomplishments over his two five-year terms as FPSC president, Johnston cites educating the public about financial planning, establishing the CFP as the “gold standard” for professional financial planners and creating practice standards for CFPs.

During his last 10 months as president, Johnston and his staff will be working on a competency analysis, which will probably change the format of the CFP exam. He also hopes to establish closer ties with the Quebec Institute of Financial Planning.

Even after he retires from the FPSC, Johnston will maintain involvement in the industry, finishing out a two-year term on the international Financial Planners Standards Board. “But I have no plans beyond that other than going to the farm as much as I can.”

Prior to joining the FPSC, Johnston served as vice president and COO of the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning. From 1985 to 1994, he was a partner and national director of education standards at Ernst and Young.

“I only have the utmost respect and kind words for Don Johnson,” says Keith Costello managing director of the CFP-exclusive Canadians Institute of Financial Planners. “I think he’s done a fantastic job, — he’s grown the CFP and financial planning from its infancy. I think he’s left the organization in good standing and ready for another spurt of growth.”

The council is in the early stages of a search for Johnston’s replacement, says FPSC vice president Ann Bowman, and has taken out job postings in both the Globe and Mail and the National Post.

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Doug Watt