As a testament to their enduring influence, several of our current honorees have been here before. That should come as no surprise. After all, the issues they face—managing money, educating the next generation, meeting regulators’ challenges head on, turning practices into businesses—don’t become less important as the years go by.
Here we feature the 2014 honorees who have consistently impressed us with their dedication to their field and their continued influence on the industry.
After the contentious departure of co-CIO Mohamed El-Erian and the continued bleeding of PIMCO’s Total Return Fund, you might wonder why we put Bill Gross on the list this year. The fact remains that Gross is managing the world’s largest bond fund and investors still look to him for his expertise. Over the past 15 years, risk-adjusted returns for PTTRX have been among the highest.
When we first featured him, back in 2003 on the first ever IA 25, Louis D'Avanzo, municipal bond fund manager with First Pacific Corp. in Honolulu, told us of Gross, “He is one of the people who moves markets, but even before that, he had convictions and was willing to go against the grain of popular thought. And that is what has made him so successful."
Taken together, Evensky and his wife, Deena Katz, have been on the IA 25 13 times, but their influence separately can’t be ignored. Both were on the inaugural IA 25 back in 2003. We said of Evensky then, “Harold Evensky is one of the most well recognized people in financial planning, and it's not just for his bow tie.” Little has changed—even the bow tie—and Evensky is still generous with his time and expertise when reporters call.
Katz, also a professor at Texas Tech, gave us some early advice that applies as much to clients as it does to students.
"Ninety-five percent of planning is the ability to explain complex things in an easily understandable way," she said in 2003.
In our 2014 Broker-Dealer Presidents Poll, BD leaders overwhelmingly pointed to FSI as the association “most essential to advancing” their point of view. That’s in no small part down to the leadership of Dale Brown’s, who has led the organization since its inception 10 years ago. In fact, Brown has been featured every year since his first appearance in 2007.
One reason for his success is his dedication to the industry. "Obviously I'm biased," he said when he was on the IA 25 in 2010, "but I think the independent advisor who has partnered with an independent broker-dealer is in the best position to be that advisor of choice" for Americans.
Mark Tibergien is the only IA 25 honoree to appear on the list every year that we’ve published it. Lest you think we’re just getting lazy, consider this: Accounting Today made him one of their 100 Most Influential people in accounting for eight consecutive years and InvestmentNews listed him among their Power 20 in 2012. We’re not the only ones who have noticed his influence.
“This is such an incredible business,” he said of the financial planning industry. And although “we’ve created a scary image of what the business is about” instead of showing how it’s “actually helping people to accomplish goals,” he said, “it’s a tremendous opportunity—there’s still a lot of money that has to be managed.”