Cary List leads Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) as the premier standards-setter for the financial planning profession in Canada. He has spent the past decade as CEO, working tirelessly on behalf of FPSC to ensure that CFP® certification is recognized as the standard for financial planning and to see financial planning recognized in law as a distinct profession.
Cary received his Honours Bachelor of Mathematics from University of Waterloo in 1985 and became a Chartered Accountant in 1986.
Cary transitioned to financial planning in the mid-1990s, and spent much of that decade developing and delivering financial planning education programs and workshops for corporate employees facing downsizing or early retirement. From there he went on to establish the financial planning services business for Metro Credit Union (now Alterna Savings).
He earned his CFP designation in 1997 and began volunteering for FPSC in 1998, joining the organization’s first ever Panel of Examiners until 2002 when he joined FPSC on staff as the organization’s Vice President of Standards. He became President & CEO in 2006.
Immediately before joining FPSC in 2002, Cary established the Centre for Financial Services (now the Centre for Business) at George Brown College as its inaugural Director. He ushered in the first ever Bachelor’s degree in an Ontario College, and in 2016, George Brown College fittingly honoured Cary by conferring an honorary Bachelor of Commerce for his leadership and impact on the College, on the community and throughout the financial services industry in Canada.
Cary is a valued member of the global financial planning community, and was instrumental in the development of the international competency profile now used for over 170,000 CFP professionals around the world. He is Canada’s delegate to the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), the international standards body for CFP certification, and the 2018 Chairperson of the international FPSB Council, the advisory and ratification body to the FPSB Board of Directors. He continues to work closely with FPSB and FPSB’s other international affiliate organizations to advance international excellence in financial planning.
Cary’s volunteer work for the public good has included two years as a volunteer member of the Investor Advisory Panel of the Ontario Securities Commission and a two-year term on the federal government’s first National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy under Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader, Jane Rooney.
Cary has also spent many years providing volunteer leadership to the North American credentialing industry, serving six years on the Board of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), including as President of ICE’s Board in 2012.
Through his leadership, Cary has positioned Canada as a world leader in standards of excellence in financial planning.