If you’re looking to develop your professional connections within the financial services sector, there are a number of great ways that can expand your network through participation in a professional association. There are a wide variety of associations out there, including groups that cater to professionals in certain sectors of finance, as well as organizations that operate on a state or regional level. Here is a look at five of the largest national networks for finance pros to look at joining to expand their contacts and their business connections.
American Finance Association
The American Finance Association (AFA) has served financial advisors and professionals since 1939 and still ranks as one of the largest financial organizations for those who work in the industry. The AFA gives two awards annually – the Fischer Black Prize, in recognition of a body of original research work relevant to financial practices, and the Morgan Stanley AFA Award, which started in 2008 and is awarded bi-annually to honor an individual’s lifetime achievements in thought leadership within financial economics circles. Find out more on the AFA’s website.
An international association headquartered just outside of Washington, D.C., the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) represents finance professionals from around the world. The organization also established the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional certification credentials, and administers the testing, as well. Members of the AFP have access to a wealth of community resources and career development opportunities, such as virtual seminars and webinars, and the group’s annual conference is the largest gathering of corporate financial experts each year. Learn more about the AFP on the association’s website.
Society of Financial Service Professionals
Serving financial practitioners for more than 80 years, the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP) strives to aid its nearly 11,000 members around the U.S. in achieving the best results for every client. Members are all recognized professionals in their industry and work with estate planning, retirement accounts, employee benefit plans and insurance coverages for individuals and companies. All members must hold at least one professional certification to be considered a full member, with those who are still in school or pursuing a credential eligible for associate membership. In addition to ongoing educational opportunities, SFSP members can participate in a wide range of annual training meetings and events, as well as networking opportunities through regional chapters. Find out more at the society’s website.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
The only organization with more than a century of history, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is the modern-day version of the National Association of Life Underwriters, founded in 1890 in Boston. This group is comprised of members working in both insurance and financial advisory roles, regardless of their products or specific industry niches. The organization recognizes several of its leading members annually through several different awards programs, and all members are able to participate in NAIFA’s myriad professional development opportunities, ranging from management courses to ethics and leadership studies, and sales and marketing lessons to Affordable Care Act primers. Find the full range of continuing education opportunities and more information on NAIFA’s site.
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Rounding out the list is the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), one of the youngest organizations that serves financial pros. Founded in 1983, the association serves fee-only financial advisors, or only those advisors who operate on a predefined scope of business without the conflict of interest that can come with commissioned sales or profit sharing activities. Each member signs an oath to uphold the NAPFA code of conduct and consistently work only for the benefit of their clients, not their own pockets. The organization lists nearly 2,500 members in its ranks, and offers a searchable database to help prospective clients find a financial professional who is a member. Check out the NAPFA site for more information.
Whether you’re looking to find a qualified financial professional to join your team or are a certified pro who is looking for the next great opportunity, CSS can help employers and prospective financial experts embark on the path to a new career. Find out more today by contacting CSS and let us use our network to help you.