FPA and foundation for financial planning forge closer ties: The Financial Planning Association and the Foundation for Financial Planning are forging closer ties in their efforts to foster public understanding of the value of financial planning.

The FPA will include an opt-out contribution of $10 per member on its membership applications and renewals to help defray foundation operating costs, while the foundation will provide ongoing support to the pro bono programs and disaster-relief efforts of the FPA’s National Financial Planning Support Center. The NFPSC, created as a result of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, includes online resources, planning tools, a speakers’ bureau, literature on planning topics, a CFP referral service and pro bono consultations for those in need.

Separately, the FPA Board passed a resolution affirming the importance of making pro bono financial planning services available to eligible recipients in times of disaster and for other identifiable needs. In its resolution, the board also affirmed the need for the FPA and its affiliated chapters to cooperatively adopt model pro bono guidelines.

MDE Group Inc. Names Massey: Parsippany, N.J.-based MDE Group Inc. has tapped Stewart Massey, formerly a managing director in the institutional securities division of Morgan Stanley, as its president. He joins the firm’s management and investment committees, and assumes oversight for the development of the firm’s products and services.

Massey spent 22 years with Morgan Stanley, including six years developing the firm’s high-net-worth businesses in Hong Kong and Japan, and four years as head of institutional sales and marketing for Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage business.

Brennan Joins Bear Stearns: David Brennan has joined Bear Stearns as a managing director in the firm’s newly established Private Client Advisory Services Group.

Brennan reports to Fred Patykewich and John Hyman, senior managing directors and co-heads of the group.

Prior to joining Bear Stearns, Brennan was a managing director at Oppenheimer & Co.

Morningstar Divides Foreign-Stock Funds Into Five Categories: Driven by increasing specialization among foreign-stock mutual funds and increased interest in smaller foreign companies, Morningstar is doing for foreign funds what it’s done for domestic funds since 1996 — grouping them by investment styles and market-cap sizes.

The fund research giant will split the foreign-stock category into five categories: large-cap value, large-cap blend, large-cap growth, small/mid-cap growth and small/mid-cap value.

According to Kunal Kapoor, associate director of fund analysis, investors who own funds in the small/mid-cap value category should prepare to see their funds drop a few stars. Since they invest in hot segments, strong showings over the past few years helped them all earn four or five stars. However, under the new system, they’ll compete only among themselves for the top ratings, with just the top 10 percent receiving five stars.

E&Y’s Pape Named CFP Board Chair-Elect: The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has elected Glenn Pape chair-elect of the organization’s Board of Governors for 2004.

Pape, a certified financial planner and CPA/PFS based in San Francisco, will assume his new duties Jan. 1, 2004, when current chair-elect David Diesslin assumes the position of chair. Pape is a partner and the West Zone leader for Ernst & Young’s human capital practice.

Illinois Fee-only Firms Join Forces: Fee-only planning firm Successful Financial Solutions Inc., based in Northbrook, Ill., has joined forces with Leonetti & Associates, a fee-only provider of family office services in Buffalo Grove.

The combined entity, which manages about $350 million in assets, operates under the Leonetti moniker. The merger gives Leonetti a presence in Las Vegas, where SFS had a second office. Six SFS staffers moved into Leonetti’s Buffalo Grove office, expanding its ranks to 22.

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