This is the 12th year that we have published the IA 25, our annual list of the most influential people in and around the advisor industry. All the editors of the Investment Advisor Group—of Investment Advisor and Research magazines and ThinkAdvisor.com—weighed in over several months to choose individuals who in our judgment have been influential, are influential and likely in the future will influence the markets; how advisors invest and plan retirement for clients; and who will affect the regulatory and legislative environment in which advisors operate.
These are women and men whose decisions, intellectual capital, guidance and example—for good or ill—will affect how advisors run their businesses and invest their clients’ money.
As you might expect, some of the people on this year’s list are repeat honorees—Mark Tibergien has been on the list every year we’ve published it, while Dale Brown and Deena Katz have been honored eight times. However, there are 11 people (well, 12, counting Dave Drucker and Joel Bruckenstein, whose close partnership allows us to count them as one) who are on the list for the first time.
This is the fourth time that Bill Gross has been a member of the IA 25, and while money has been flowing out of PIMCO’s flagship Total Return Fund for some time, we know that advisors continue to be keenly interested not simply in the drama surrounding Mohamed El-Erian’s departure, but in Gross’ thoughts about the future behavior of the Fed and the direction of interest rates. How do we know that? The analytics that our editors access on an intraday basis confirm our readers’ keen interest in Gross. They also display the primary concern of advisors: regulation.
That has been the top worry of advisors and their partners for a number of years, as reflected in our annual Broker-Dealer Presidents’ Poll (look for those findings in the June issue), and in TD Ameritrade’s annual sentiment survey of its affiliated RIAs for five straight years, as honoree Skip Schweiss told me. That’s why we’ve included on this year’s list the SEC’s enforcement chief, Andrew Ceresney, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard’s Knut Rostad, consumer advocate Barbara Roper, securities attorney Tom Giachetti and the aforementioned Mr. Schweiss. Then there’s SEC Chairman Mary Jo White, who shared her insights into what the commission will be focused on in an exclusive interview with our Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell. As in the markets, advisors and their partners hate uncertainty in the regulatory arena as well. Here’s hoping for more certainty.