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Founded Year



Acquired | Acquired

About SmithBucklin

SmithBucklin was an association management and professional services company. The company provided full-service management and outsourcing services to trade associations, professional societies, technology user groups, corporations, government institutes/agencies and other nonprofit organizations. SmithBucklin Corporation was acquired in 2005.

Headquarters Location

330 N. Wabash Ave. Ste. 2000

Chicago, Illinois, 60611,

United States


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Latest SmithBucklin News

NAPFA to search for new CEO as Geof Brown exits after 9 years

Aug 16, 2022

July 27, 2022 5:56 PM He joined NAPFA in 2013 after prior tenures with a trade association called the North-American Interfraternity Conference and as a consultant to nonprofits with management firms SmithBucklin and Sentergroup, according to Brown's LinkedIn profile. His upcoming December move to the state CPA Society will place him at the helm of a larger professional association with nearly 23,000 members. Brown's background as a consultant to foundations and other nonprofits stood out to NAPFA's board when it was looking for a replacement for the previous CEO Ellen Turf, who stepped down in 2013, according to then-board member Carolyn McClanahan of Jacksonville, Florida-based Life Planning Partners. Brown brought "another level of organization and professionalism" to NAPFA, said McClanahan, who's been part of the group since 2003. "I was pleasantly surprised that he was around for as long as he was because he's just very dynamic," she said, calling the vacancy a good opportunity for NAPFA. "Organizations need leadership change every now and again just for fresh ideas." The outgoing CEO "has led NAPFA through an incredible phase of growth," said Ben Jacobs, an Athens, Georgia-based advisor with Elwood & Goetz Wealth Advisory Group. Jacobs is a current board member with NAPFA's Genesis group for younger planners, and he'll begin a term on the organization's overall board in September. "[Brown] has always been supportive of the efforts of NAPFA Genesis and has helped develop younger planners into leaders," he said in an email. "On a personal note, I'm sad to see Geof go, but I know that he will do fantastic in his new role and am excited for this next opportunity for him." Brown's ideas and approach during his time as CEO served as an inspiration to non-members as well, such as Synergy RIA Compliance Solutions founder Scott Gill. The compliance consultant has come to know Brown in recent years, and he's planning to attend his first NAPFA conference later this year, Gill said. "He was a leader and a mentor for me, in terms of not just being a successful and visible African American in this space but also the way that he always carried himself," Gill said. "He left a strong impression on me and in a lot of ways really helped me find my footing in the industry." August 12, 2022 11:06 AM Board Chair Karla McAvoy, who's tasked with spearheading the selection of an interim CEO and the hunt for a successor, said that the organization sent a message to all members on Aug. 16 announcing Brown's upcoming resignation. The organization is "incredibly thankful for his work on behalf of NAPFA and [looks] forward to finding a leader to carry on what he has helped us build," McAvoy said in an email. "As we look to replace Geof, we will be looking for a strong leader who can communicate and help manage a broad range of people: the NAPFA staff, members, consumers, and government representatives," she said. "It is important that we also find a person who shares Geof's understanding of the financial planning profession and our passion for promoting fee-only planning. Fortunately, Geof is leaving us in a very strong position." A group of planners created NAPFA in 1983 after a discussion the previous year at a meeting for an FPA forerunner organization called the Society of Independent Financial Advisors. The founders of the group sought to create a model for planning without any commissions and as few conflicts of interest as possible. It has expanded to its current size from 125 advisors who responded to a general invitation about starting fee-only practices. In the last fiscal year, Brown earned compensation of $292,000 and the organization generated $2.8 million in revenue, with most of it coming from member dues and NAPFA's conferences, according to the nonprofit's latest filing with the IRS. That level of revenue slipped 11% from the previous year due to the lack of in-person events, but contributions and grants soared by 98% to more than $382,000. Brown credited members and staff for their fundraising and said he wouldn't be surprised if the donations are at the same level this year. Asked to name his proudest accomplishments of his tenure, Brown said the rising membership is "top of mind" and a reflection of planning professionals who "wanted to be part of the best community for fee-only financial planners." He mentioned the launch of NAPFA's diversity, equity and inclusion program as another significant achievement. In addition, Brown thanked the staff, volunteers, NAPFA members and counterparts at the CFP Board, FPA and the Foundation for Financial Planning for their partnership. As for the industry's future, he said he hopes that more professionals "practice under a fee-for-service model because it's really in the best interests of the public," and that wealth management adopts a "true fiduciary standard" for advisory and brokerage accounts alike. "I think we're headed in that direction," Brown said. "The groundwork has been laid, but there's still a lot of fighting to be done."

SmithBucklin Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was SmithBucklin founded?

    SmithBucklin was founded in 1949.

  • Where is SmithBucklin's headquarters?

    SmithBucklin's headquarters is located at 330 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago.

  • What is SmithBucklin's latest funding round?

    SmithBucklin's latest funding round is Acquired.

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