CFA Institute’s Long CEO Search Comes to an End

Margaret Franklin will be the first woman to hold the role in the group’s 73-year history.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

After a lengthy search process, the CFA Institute has selected its next chief executive officer and president, the group announced Monday.

Margaret Franklin — who currently works in a leadership role at BNY Wealth Management — will join the CFA Institute September 2, the nonprofit said. Franklin will take over from Paul Smith, who has been with the group since 2012, according to its website.

According to the CFA Institute, which offers the chartered financial analyst designation, Franklin will be the first woman CEO in its 73-year history.

Franklin is president of BNY Wealth Management’s advisory services division in Canada and head of international wealth management for North America, according to the announcement. A BNY spokesperson wrote, “We can confirm that Marg Franklin is departing the firm in mid-August and will be succeeded by Tim Wilcox, as president of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Advisory Services for Canada in addition to [retaining] his existing role as president of BNY Mellon Asset Management Canada. Tim has a tenure of 12 years with BNY Mellon.”

Beyond BNY, Franklin has worked for firms including State Street Global Advisors and Barclays Global Investors, the announcement said. She was the chair of the board of governors at the CFA Institute in 2011 and a founding member of the group’s women in investment initiative.


“Marg joins CFA Institute at a time when candidate growth and our global society network are at all-time highs,” said Heather Brilliant, chair of the board of governors, in a statement. Brilliant added that Smith will leave behind a “strong organization ready to address the challenges of markets and economies in flux.”

The CFA Institute formed an executive search committee to fill Smith’s role in May 2018, a document shows.

In March, the former deputy CEO Bjorn Forfang told Institutional Investor that Smith had said from his first day as a CEO that his last day would be December 31, 2019. Smith will remain on through the year’s end in an advisory capacity.

Forfang stepped down as deputy CEO in March. A spokesperson for the CFA Institute said that a deputy CEO has not yet been found to replace Forfang.

[II Deep Dive: CFA Institute’s Deputy CEO to Step Down]

The CFA Institute laid off a group of employees back in August 2018, Institutional Investor reported at the time. The layoffs, which affected 31 people, were considered a reorganization by management at the time.