In a recent article on AdvisorOne, Rex Staples, CFP Board of Standards Inc., wrote that HighTower CEO Elliot Weissbluth’s claim that his company has “zero conflicts of interest” is an “incredulous” suggestion. “I agree with author Knut Rostad’s premise and conclusion…” he writes. “It is simply inappropriate for a CFP® professional to say to a client that he/she has zero conflicts of interest.”
Staples added that there is no such thing as a “technical conflict”, suggesting that perhaps Weissbluth was referring to the legal distinction between material conflicts and those conflicts not deemed to be material. However, even if that was the case, his claim of “zero” conflicts would still be false. He then goes on to discuss the legal and regulatory background regarding material conflicts of interest.
The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard applauds CFP Board for giving this issue the thoughtful treatment it deserves.