This is an extended version of the profile that appeared in the May issue of Investment Advisor, part of AdvisorOne's Special Report profiling this year's members of the IA 25, the most influential people in and around the advisor universe. See the complete list and Special Report schedule for extended profiles of all the 2011 members of the IA 25.
In any given year, Harold Evensky is a leading candidate for inclusion on the IA 25. After all, he’s built a successful wealth management practice based in Coral Gables, Fla., which he leads along with his equally brilliant thought-leader wife, Deena Katz. He has served in leadership positions on everything from the FPA to the CFP Board, has written extensively on everything from practice management to the changing equity premium, and has been listed on “Best of” and “Top” lists in multiple associations and magazines, including this one. In fact he was the first member listed on the original IA 25 in 2003. We wrote then that “his thoughts have shaped the media picture of financial planning, and by extension, the public’s view of the profession.”
When it comes to Harold (like Madonna and Brazilian soccer players, only one name is necessary when it comes to identifying Mr. Evensky), his influence on and contributions to the profession of independent advice-giving continue to grow. To begin, most advisors and many of the companies that hope to partner with advisors could learn plenty from Harold’s media savvy. While he’s always available to the press for a pertinent quote for a story, his ubiquity in print and online only tells half the story. Because he is so generous with his time with the media, when he reaches out to editors and writers, they pay attention, even when he is criticizing them for what they’ve written (such criticism is never ad hominem). In his even-handed way, Harold sets high standards not only for himself and his profession, but for those who write about the profession as well. Journalists need to be held to standards, too.
Speaking of which, Harold has also had quiet but insistent influence when it comes to the current debate over the fiduciary standard, which as of this writing has yet to be extended to all advice givers, though in the first profile of this year’s IA 25—Mary Schapiro’s—we learn that a decision on the fiduciary standard will likely happen in the second half of this year. In his role as a member of the Committee for a Fiduciary Standard, which has led the charge for such an extension of an authentic fiduciary standard, Harold continues to serve as the conscience of the profession.
Read more about the rest of the IA 25.
Don't see someone on this year's IA 25 that you think belongs there? Submit their name and your justification for why they should be considered among the most influential people in and around the advisor universe in the Comments field below. We promise to consider reader nominations, but please, no ad hominem attacks on those who were named in this or past years.--Ed.