The May issue of Investment Advisor magazine features the 2011 IA 25 – our ideas on who the most influential people in the business are, be they lawmakers or moneymakers. In the nine years that Investment Advisor has published the IA 25, we’ve never ranked honorees in the order of their importance, but it would be hard to argue that Mary Schapiro shouldn't be somewhere near the top. Among her accomplishments are implementing the most wide-ranging legislation to affect the financial services world since, possibly, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940; and negotiating a political tug of war between those who believe the SEC should get additional funding to implement 2010’s Dodd-Frank Act.

Not that she's the only one shaking things up in Washington and the industry; we identified 24 other notables who have influenced and will continue to influence the advisor community and the investing, practice management, technology and regulation universe in which advisors operate. Find out who they are and let us know if we missed anyone you think is a powerful presence in the industry, or if there's anyone here who shouldn't be.

Also in the May issue, Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell uncovers the issues advisors have with the SEC's Advisers Act Rule 206(4)-5, which restricts advisors’ and their employees’ ability to make political contributions to government officials to influence the selection of advisors to public pension funds and other government entities.

For a while in March, it seemed Japan would never get a lucky break. Savita Iyer-Ahrestani discusses the short- and long-term effects that the aftermath of the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster could have on the country, and investors who have money in Japanese companies.

Click through the following slides to see the rest of the May 2011 features.

The 2011 IA 25Follow the Leaders: The 2011 IA 25

Who are the most important people in advisors' universe? We present our opinions on the most influential people in the investing, practice management, technology and regulation universe.

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.

Read the full article.

 The Fight Over Rule 206(4)-5Fair Play: The Fight
Over Rule 206(4)-5

On March 14, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “pay-to-play” rule, officially known as the Advisers Act Rule 206(4)-5, went into effect. But, Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell writes, advisors are crying foul, stating that the SEC rule encroaches on their First Amendment rights to free speech, and some securities attorneys maintain that lawsuits could indeed be filed against the SEC arguing this constitutionality issue—and possibly others.

Part of the problem is the "broad definitions" and "gray areas" in the rule; definitions that are "sweeping and vague in their application" will make it difficult to comply.

Read the full article.

Shared Sorrow, Shared StrengthShared Sorrow, Shared Strength: Rebuilding Japan

The resilience, discipline, strength and respect of the Japanese people following not one but three disasters in March are "typically Japanese," Savita Iyer-Ahrestani writes, and contributed to the rapid expansion and economic development of Japan after World War II. Now, the social cohesion and solidarity that is characteristic of the Japanese people will be called upon once again to serve as the backbone for the rebuilding of Japan.

Despite the will and strength of the people, though, a long struggle with deflation, the pressures of increased globalization, and an aging population coupled with a low birth rate, will make rebuilding efforts more difficult.

Read the full article.

 Where Do We Go From Here?

SEC and the Fiduciary Study: Where Do We Go From Here?

AdvisorOne Wealth Editor in Chief Kathleen McBride concludes her three-part series on the SEC's Fiduciary Study. What's next for advisors in the fiduciary debate? As McBride writes, it seems it’s not whether to extend fiduciary duty, but how to extend it.

The landmark report to Congress from the SEC is commonly known as the Fiduciary Study—in part to keep it from being confused with the similarly named earlier study conducted by the SEC and released in early 2008—(the RAND Report on Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers).

The question all the groups, which have different points of view, very different agendas and some that have powerful financial interests, are asking is: Where do we go from here?

Read the full article.

 Prospector Capital Appreciation FundThe Value of Experience

Forty years in the business means Rich Howard, lead manager on the Prospector Capital Appreciation Fund, can tell a lot about a company from a simple phone call. He shares his wisdom with Editor in Chief John Sullivan and explains what makes him so successful. Here's a hint: “I wouldn’t call it intuition,” he says. “I’d just call it experience.”

Read the full article.