What sets independent advisors apart is the personal advice you give to clients. Your technology tools may be great, your investment strategy may be a world beater, your office armchairs may be oh so comfortable, yet in the end it is you, the person, on whom the success of your practice rides. That’s not just you, the principal of the firm, but every partner and employee in your firm. That’s not just you and the members of your nuclear team, no, the personal connection extends to those investment and technology and custody or broker/dealer and back-office partners with whom you choose to ally your firm.
That’s why the IA 25, our annual listing of the most influential people in and around the profession, is not just fun for the editors of this magazine to hash out, but also mirrors what’s best about the independent advice model. These 25 women and men are accomplished in different ways–some are researchers, others legislators or regulators, still others leaders of companies who for better or worse will affect your lives in the future, in our opinions, and some are advisors themselves who have blazed trails for their peers to follow.