Between them, Deena Katz and Harold Evensky have been on the IA 25 list 13 times, which isn’t bad when you consider this is only the 12th time we’ve published the list.
Why is this husband-and-wife advisor team, leaders of the wealth management firm Evensky & Katz who teach classes and mentor students—and help graduates get actual jobs—at Texas Tech University’s Personal Financial Planning department, on the list again? Partly it’s their body of work—they’ve both been influential for years because of their intellectual capital, their early adoption of the fee-only model, their work on getting advisors recognized as a profession, their promotion of female advisors, how they’ve managed their now joint practice, how they’ve implemented a succession plan that benefits their employees and their clients and their standing among their peers.
At a stage of their careers where many advisors might be expected to slow down, both Katz and Evensky are instead doubling down on their commitment to the next generation of advisors. Ah, the next generation of advisors! Where will they come from? How can veteran advisors attract younger people to the profession they love? How will those younger people find jobs once they’ve gone through an education process that didn’t exist when the now-veterans of the profession started out? How can advisors raise the intellectual profile of a profession so that it’s treated as a profession by others, with a common body of knowledge based on rigorous academic but also practical research that meets the intellectual needs of advisors while providing real-world benefits to end clients?
These are questions that many people in the profession are talking about and, in some instances (I’m thinking of Mark Tibergien), have been warning about for years?
Well, Katz and Evensky are not just talking about those questions, they’re doing something about finding answers to all them.
In an interview with the couple in early May, Evensky agreed that all these issues “are important; they’re all critical,” and that both he and Katz “share the passion” about finding answers to these next gen questions. Katz quoted Robert Schiller, the University of Chicago academic, in saying, “We have to solve real world problems, not just do what we’ve been doing.”