Griffin Becomes Chair-elect of International CFP Council: Ray Griffin, CFP (Australia), was elected as the first international chair-elect and will become the chair of the International CFP Council in 2003 - a joint task force comprised of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. and International CFP Council.

The new organization would oversee CFP certification on a global basis.

Under the proposal presented at the Council’s recent meeting in Tokyo, the CFP Board would continue to administer the CFP marks in the U.S. and shift responsibility for development, promotion and protection of the CFP marks internationally to the International CFP Council.

A tentative launch date of Jan. 1, 2003, has been scheduled.

However, issues that need to be resolved prior to the launch date include: funding, governance, management structure, staffing, existing license and affiliation agreements and certification program operations.

The joint task force, composed of four CFP Board governors and four International CFP Council members, recommended a move to broaden the role international affiliates play in the leadership of the Council.

The governing body of the CFP Board said over the last decade, the number of financial planners with CFP certification outside the U.S. has grown from 76 to 29,000.

H&R Block upgrades its Web-based Tax Center with FinanCenter Tools: FinanCenter ( ), a provider of Web site personalization products and services, teamed with tax-preparation concern H&R Block Inc. to offer personal finance analysis and educational tools via the H&R Block Web site at .

The Web site enables H&R Block clients to better understand their tax, mortgage and savings situations by providing various self-help tools.

FinanCenter’s interactive finance tools include analyzers, educators and planners that engage customers while capturing key data. The site features a series of ÔSolution Centers,’ which educate customers about critical financial topics such as home buying, investing, taxes and, subsequently, steer them to "best fit" products.

The e-Merchandising System Web site personalization platform facilitates customized, personalized, one-to-one client interaction.

ByAllAccounts unveils WebPortfolio Version 2.1: ByAllAccounts Inc., a provider of financial technology solutions, released WebPortfolio 2.1, an online business development solution which showcases a host of new features such as AdvisorAlert, a service offering email alerts that inform advisors as to when opportunities arise within a client’s entire portfolio.

Other features of WebPortfolio include:

  • Investor Account Access Facility - addresses privacy concerns and institutional compliance.
  • Fixed Income Recognition and CUSIPS - offers improved display and handling of fixed income securities. Fixed income security identifiers (CUSIPs) are now cross-referenced to BARRA fundamentals.
  • Direct Data Feed - facilitates direct feeds to load back-office data into WebPortfolio.
  • Data API - provides an XML interface to retrieve data via the Internet.

ByAllAccounts’ roster of clients includes State Street Corp., 1st Global, CCC Alliance, Evensky, Brown & Katz, WealthTouch and Private Family Networks.Despite Economy, Millionaires Made More in 2001: While many U.S. investors saw their portfolios plunge last year, the net worth of millionaires in the U.S. actually increased, according to a report released from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch.

The combined wealth of high-net-worth individuals (those with assets totaling at least $1 million) rose 3 percent last year to 26.2 trillion.

Diversification was apparently the key to the millionaires’ success, as these individuals diversified their money among different asset classes, according to James Greene, global head of financial services for Cap Gemini.

In addition, the nation’s wealthiest investors sought out more alternative vehicles such as hedge funds, which aren’t tied to equity and fixed income investments.

The study also found that many millionaires chose to move equity holdings from growth to value stocks and also relied more on their financial advisers in 2001.

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