On February 24th, more than 20 members of FPA of Minnesota participated in the second annual Advocacy Day at the State Capital in St. Paul. It was another successful venture. We were very fortunate to have a presentation by representatives of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. FPA of Minnesota members also met with State Representatives and Senators to educate them on the mission of FPA of Minnesota and to offer the financial expertise of FPA of Minnesota members as a resource in helping Minnesotans improve their financial situation.
Four of the people from the Department of Commerce did a panel discussion. The panelists were Marty Fleischhacker, Assistant Commissioner, Brian Edstrom, Asst. Director of the Securities Section, Annette Minor, Principal Examiner, and Lois Durenberger, Senior Examiner. The panelists discussed various aspects of the Investment Adviser Examination program, and generously submitted to a lengthy question-and-answer session.
Other members of the Department of Commerce in attendance were Deborah Knooihuizen, Senior Investigator, Annie Overfors and Donny Wynia, Examiners, and Peter Brickwedde, Director of Government Affairs.
Our warmest thanks go to Commissioner Mike Rothman and his team for helping us with our Advocacy Day. We have invited them to participate in Symposium 2015.
Prior to the Department of Commerce panel, attendees were provided advice on what to expect when interacting with their elected officials from Professional Issues Committee Director Scott Nelson. Scott distributed ‘leave behind’ brochures containing information about FPA. Follow-up ‘Thank You’ cards were also distributed.
Our session with our regulators helped build personal connections with FPA of Minnesota so as to improve future communication between regulators and Financial Planners.
The Professional Issues Committee will begin now to plan next year’s Advocacy Day. We know it is an obvious point; however, we don’t want to only focus on FPA of Minnesota’s relationship with state officials one day per year – we know that is not enough. The impetus for Advocacy Day was the realization that FPA of Minnesota needs to engage state officials on a regular basis. Regular communications are necessary in order to be involved in shaping relevant financial issues before they become law. Advocacy Day participants know that our experience and expertise is welcomed by our regulators and elected officials. This year’s Advocacy Day showed again that FPA of Minnesota members can make a positive impact when we act together.