May brings the 10th annual IA 25 (well, ninth if you don’t count our special 30th anniversary edition, “Thirty for Thirty,” in 2010), Investment Advisor’s editors’ pick of the 25 most influential people in the industry. Over the years, we’ve named people to the list for good influences, as well as bad, but ultimately, we feel everyone listed here will change the way advisors do business in some way.
This year includes some new faces and a few familiar ones. Unfortunately, print constraints being what they are, we were forced to cut—a lot—from the profiles in the magazine to fit everyone in. So, we’ll be publishing extended profiles online over the rest of April and through May. Click here to see a schedule of special IA 25 coverage.
Also in this issue, Savita Iyer-Ahrestani asks, “Is Russia another Arab Spring in the making?” She speaks with several experts on Russia to find out how political movements there are affecting the Russian investing landscape.
Plus, Bob Seawright explains why passively managed products have robbed active managers of market share and what they need to do to get it back. “Successful active management demands bravery,” he says.
Finally, Timothy Welsh of Nexus Strategy explains why advisors need to invest in technology now in order to take advantage of the tremendous return on investment it will provide.
Click through the following pages to see the May 2012 features. Click here to view the entire magazine.
Some people ride a wave, and some people create a wave. Elliot Weissbluth of HighTower is a creator and has changed the conversation on and about Wall Street and the role of advisors. His backers at the Chicago-based firm founded five years ago believed in his vision, and the many top wirehouse brokers who have bought into the HighTower approach have validated that vision.
It’s a simple approach: Clients can benefit from the intellectual capital of the biggest firms on the Street while being served under a strict fiduciary mantle. Those ex-wirehouse brokers benefit from HighTower’s growing scale and ability to force everyone from bond trading desks to RIA custodians to compete for their business. They also benefit from being part of an elite peer group that has input on who else can join the partnership, while retaining the independence to run their own specific practices in their own way.
“The old dialogue,” Weissbluth tells Group Editor-in-Chief James J. Green, “which was ‘independent good; Wall Street bad,’ was never an intellectually honest discussion. There’s tremendous value and innovation on Wall Street.”
Historically, advisors have underinvested in technology because they could afford to. For the last couple of decades, advisors have benefited from a general upward march of the markets, which translated into a nice annual raise based on an asset management fee. This “hidden subsidy” weakened management discipline, fostered manual processes and created larger operational footprints than are currently sustainable.
With today’s volatile markets and wirehouses shrinking themselves, combined with an onslaught of baby boomers just beginning to retire, the demand for independent advice has never been greater. Timothy Welsh, president and founder of Nexus Strategy, shares what advisors can do to get the most out of their technology dollar.
When a tearful Vladimir Putin accepted the Russian presidency in early March, his political opponents, who had endorsed the view that his victory was fraudulently won, were confident that the protests that began after a disputed parliamentary election in December were not a flash in the pan.
Russia and Russians were angry, they said, fed up of the allegedly undemocratic ways in which their politics have been run. They wanted change, they would fight for change, and they would continue to protest until they got the changes they sought.