Every year, the editors of Investment Advisor identify 25 people who we believe have had or will have the greatest influence on the financial services industry and the work that advisors do. Sometimes that means people who have created the products and strategies that you use to serve clients; sometimes that means people who are making your jobs harder.
This year, we wanted to see who you felt has had the biggest impact on the industry. We polled readers in March and April, asking them to choose up to 10 people from a list of 30 former IA 25 honorees. Here are the results.
• The most influential person in financial services, as determined by respondents in our poll, is Mark Tibergien, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions. Almost half of respondents voted for Tibergien, with one noting that Tibergien is one of the country’s “best thinkers, innovators and communicators of custodians” for advisors.
Tibergien is a well-known speaker and author, but beyond his expertise, commenters pointed to his generosity, integrity and humility as reasons they voted for him. One commenter said Tibergien is “continually thinking outside of the box to reinvigorate and revitalize [advisors] to move through this ever-growing industry, and he does it all with integrity and a smile.”
• Warren Buffett, legendary investor and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, was counted among the most influential people in the industry by almost 38% of respondents.
Another example of how being a good person can get you a long way, one commenter noted that Berkshire’s “honorable management team,” along with the value investing-based philosophy Buffett is known for, “struck me like lightning early on.”
• John Bogle, founder of Vanguard, is considered by many to be the “father” of the index fund, and to more than a third of respondents he’s among the most influential people in financial services.
Vanguard launched the first index fund for individual investors, the 500 Index Fund, in August 1976. Since then, investors have put $2.2 trillion into index funds, according to the Investment Company Institute.
• Skip Schweiss, head of advisor advocacy at TD Ameritrade Institutional, is an outspoken advocate for RIAs and for the fiduciary model.
Regardless of what happens with the DOL fiduciary rule, advisors are already fiduciaries and “will benefit from the public attention given to fiduciary advice,” he said in February.