For the 2016 IA 25, the editorial team at Investment Advisor decided to focus on the less well-known operators in the advisory industry; the staffs supporting the big names advisors hear every day and the smaller players toiling behind the scenes in ways that affect advisors and their businesses.
Because of that self-imposed mandate, there were few familiar faces in the 14th annual IA 25. However, as we’ve learned over the years making this list, the industry’s influencers leave big ripples. As the people in the slideshow have shown through their consistent efforts to support advisors, there’s a good chance some of them will be on the list again in 2017.
Sheryl Garrett, Garrett Planning Network
Times Honored: 6
First appearing on the inaugural IA 25 in 2003, Garrett has built a network of advisors dedicated to making trusted financial advice accessible to all investors, even the less wealthy ones. She’s grown the Garrett Planning Network from 130 advisors in 2003 to 320 as of her last appearance on the list in 2015.
For firms in the Garrett Planning Network, serving clients is about “finding new and different ways to meet the needs of younger people, millennials, people just getting started, middle-income clients and folks with even more modest means than that,” she said in a conversation with IA last year.
John Bogle, The Vanguard Group
Times Honored: 6
As the founder of Vanguard and creator of the first index mutual fund in 1975, Bogle’s impact is still felt in the industry despite having stepped down as CEO in 1996.
When he spoke with IA for the 2010 IA 30 for 30 (we celebrated our 30th anniversary with more work), he said, "I'd just like to bring common sense, reality and mathematical truth back into the world of investing,"
Bogle is still championing index funds for investors. In an interview with Barry Ritholtz in March, he said, “Index funds give you the advantage of long-term compounding of returns while eliminating the tyranny of long-term compounding of costs.”
Harold Evensky, Evenksy & Katz/Foldes Financial
Times Honored: 6
Evensky is a valued thought leader in the industry, freely giving his time and insights to journalists. That dedication to enlightenment should come as no surprise given his background teaching the investment portion of the CIP program at the University of Miami.
Back then, financial planners were typically leaving another industry entirely. “Back in those days, everybody came from somewhere else; nobody started off in planning,” Evensky told IA in 2015. As awareness of what advisors do, not to mention the number of educational programs to teach them, has increased, more advisors are starting their careers in this industry. Evensky believes that over time, the industry will adopt a “modular comprehensive planning” approach that focuses on individual portions of a client’s portfolio, building a comprehensive plan as they go.
Mary Schapiro, Securities and Exchange Commission
Times Honored: 7
We first recognized Schapiro when she was tapped to lead the National Association of Securities Dealers in 2006. She led the effort to merge the regulatory arms of NYSE and NASD into the single self-regulatory organization we know as FINRA.
Following her tenure at FINRA, she returned to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009 as chairwoman, having previously served as an examiner. Many of the SEC’s current initiatives were implemented under Schapiro’s leadership, like crafting a fiduciary rule for brokers and increasing the number of advisor exams.
Schapiro expressed uncertainty about an SEC fiduciary rule for brokers in her interview for the 2012 IA 25 (rightfully so, as it’s 2016 and the SEC still hasn’t issued a rule), but she said, “I know that my personal view is that investors should not have to figure out based on the title on the business card of the person sitting in front of them what standard of care they are entitled to.”
Schapiro currently holds a number of board positions, including independent non-executive director for the London Stock Exchange Group, non-executive board director for General Electric and vice chair on the advisory board at Promontory Financial Group.
Deena Katz, Evenksy & Katz/Foldes Financial
Times Honored: 9
As associate professor at Texas Tech University and co-chairman of Evenksy & Katz/Foldes Financial, Katz clearly values education. Part of that education includes focusing on the process of financial planning, not just the outcome.
“We now understand how valuable that process is, and how valuable it is to take people through their life issues and have them weigh in on what's happening and be a productive part of the planning aspect,” she told IA in her interview for the 2015 IA 35 for 35.
“In the early days, we charged for transactions and gave away advice. Today, we do just the opposite,” she said.
Dale Brown, Financial Services Institute
Times Honored: 9
In his nine-year run on the IA 25, from 2007 to 2015, Dale Brown has grown FSI to include more than 100 independent broker-dealer member firms.
“We make sure we work on the right issues that matter to our members, and focus on being effective in impacting those issues,” he told IA for the 2015 IA 35 for 35. “It doesn’t do our members any good — or the industry — if we’re not focused on effectiveness.”
That work has paid off, as over 80% of the broker-dealer leaders who responded to Investment Advisor’s Broker-Dealer Presidents Poll cited FSI as the No. 1 association representing their interests in Washington.
Mark Tibergien, Pershing Advisor Solutions
Times Honored: 13
Tibergien has appeared on the IA 25 every year until this one, and while his firm and title may have changed, his insight and passion are as strong as ever. In 2003, as a principal at accounting firm Moss Adams, Tibergien worked tirelessly to help advisors improve their business.
As chief executive officer of PAS, Tibergien is still working to serve advisors in their effort to transform their practices into businesses.
Tibergien said in his interview for the 2015 IA 35 for 35 that the most successful advisory firms will be the ones that “combine people and technology.” To help advisors do that, Pershing has added several robo-advisors to its NetX360 platform, including SigFig Wealth Management, Vanare and Jemstep’s Advisor Pro.