In the nine years that Investment Advisor has published the IA 25, we’ve never ranked the 25 most influential people in and around the advisor universe in the order of their importance. This year, however, it would be hard to argue with the choice of Mary Schapiro as the most influential person in the professional lives of advisors. The SEC chairman has stood at the center of implementing the most wide-ranging legislation to affect the financial services world since, possibly, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Schapiro may arguably be the most influential person on this year’s list, but she’s in good company. The 2011 IA 25 includes political powerhouses like Phyllis Borzi and Rep. Spencer Bachus, and industry leaders like Ken Fisher and Mohamed El-Erian.
Two years ago at the Morningstar Investment Conference, Mohamed El-Erian of PIMCO warned advisors: “Get used to the government being your partner.” As group editor-in-chief Jamie Green wrote in his May column for Investment Advisor, “For good or ill, that is certainly the case for the foreseeable future.”