Pinnacle partner and Wealth Manager Deb Kriebel is the 2016 President of the Financial Planning Association of Maryland (FPA). We spoke with her about her new role with the FPA, the organization’s purpose and activities, and her plans for 2016.
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What does the Financial Planning Association of Maryland do? What’s its mission?
I like to think we have a multi-layered mission. First of all, we offer professional development for financial planners. That includes continuing education. We also help planners grow their businesses by identifying ‘best practices’. We share the processes and techniques that can be used to help planners better serve their clients, and how they can effectively support and nurture their employees.
The Maryland FPA also carries out a lot of community outreach. We’re active throughout Maryland, and we offer community education, free financial evaluations, and opportunities to ask planners questions on everything from budgeting to handling student loans.
Lastly, we’re involved in financial planning advocacy over certain issues, laws, or policies. We’re involved at both the state and national level. For example, each year we travel to Annapolis to meet with our representatives and to encourage them to support current issues that are important to financial planners—financial literacy education and the new fiduciary law, for example.
How long have you been involved with the organization?
I’ve been with it from the very beginning in 2000. Since then, I’ve served on just about every committee. The FPA plays an important role in the profession and in the community, so I’ve been very happy to support it. We also support and recognize the importance of being a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).
You mentioned community involvement. Is this primarily charitable work?
Some of it is, but we reach out to all parts of the community, across economic demographics. We have programs for everyone from middle-schoolers to retirees. We also offer a financial planner search function at the organization’s website (fpamd.org).
You mean, if a person is looking for a Wealth Manager and somehow hasn’t heard of Pinnacle?
Yes, exactly. [Laughter]
As president, what are your plans for the year?
I hope to get involved in all the various areas of the FPA, and to get to know as many people as I can. We need to energize our membership and get them excited about the financial planning profession. This is a great field! I also want to encourage more women to get involved in planning. Only about 30% of Certified Financial Planners ® are women, and I think we can do better than that.
It’s great that the national meeting for the Financial Planning Association will be held in Baltimore this year.
Yes, we’re very excited. This is the largest gathering of financial planning professionals in the country, and it covers every aspect of professional development. People come from all over the nation—even internationally—to attend the meeting and share ideas and insights.
For example, there’s a group of advisors coming in from Brazil to attend the conference. They reached out to the Maryland FPA to find local firms to serve as hosts, and we’re gladly participating. We’ll be introducing them to Pinnacle and sharing how we do things here, and we’ll be learning from their own experiences as well. Everyone wins—the advisors, the FPA, and most of all, our clients.