Since the late 1990s, Mark’s been a visionary and a voice for change, as he’s touched the lives of tens of thousands of advisors with his thoughtful advice and wise perspective.
There’s no doubt the industry will feel his absence, as we need more leaders like him to carry financial services forward.
—Ron Carson, founder and CEO, Carson Group
Mark is one of the great industry leaders of our time. His impact on the independent wealth management community reaches far and wide. Mark’s professional success speaks for itself, but it is the truths that exist beyond his biography that matter even more.
Mark’s commitment to the next generation — both within our industry in highlighting the need for the development and nurturing of next gen advisor talent and outside the industry in his commitment to advancing personal literacy by underwriting a high school course for students at his alma mater Gladstone High School — have created a ripple effect of positivity that will last for years to come.
Personally, I am a better and more successful business owner in finance because of Mark. His encouragement, time, direct feedback, introductions, referrals and support have truly shaped my journey to leadership.
Mark is the definition of a mentor and servant leader. He gives so much without expecting anything in return. His selfless nature is a priceless gift for those of us he believed and supported.
I hope to see others rise to the occasion and not just follow in Mark’s footsteps but embody the spirit of Mark’s intent in how he truly gave to others.
—Megan Carpenter, CEO and co-founder, FiComm Partners
One of my favorite Mark quotes is, “if you torture the data long enough, it will confess.” Today, working with advisor clients on interpreting the industry benchmark data, I often find myself quoting Mark.
I know I am a better consultant because of working with Mark, and it’s made me a smarter person.
—Kelli Cruz, founder of Cruz Consulting Group
Mark’s contributions to our industry are countless. His decades of work and rich body of thought leadership will serve as blueprints to help advisors build professionally-managed, enduring businesses and guide us as we take the advisory business to the next level.
For our Advisor Solutions team specifically, one of Mark’s most consequential and long-lasting impacts will be his leadership style and commitment to grooming future leaders.
Mark always treated us as partners and equals, but that’s not to say he was an easy boss. Mark constantly challenged us to think differently.
He asked the questions we had not thought of, pushed us to bring our best thinking to the table, and empowered us to come to our own decisions.
His leadership style was based on mutual trust — in that we would always do the right thing and that he would always have our backs.
I and our leadership team are grateful to Mark for his endless passion for our industry, visionary leadership and for being the best coach we could have asked for.
—Ben Harrison, head of Advisor Solutions, BNY Mellon’s Pershing
Mark will always be regarded as the father of the business-side of independent financial advice.
Through his leadership, consulting work, work with the CFP board and passion over the past 30 years, he has championed and built the foundation for RIAs to be business leaders, as well as financial advisors.
The industry owes him much appreciation and credit for helping all of us build a profession and career. Through his writings, knowledge and wisdom he has lifted all of us, an entire industry, … to be the best we can be.
—Angie Herbers, chief executive, Herbers & Company
Mark has left a permanent mark on the business of financial advice. His benchmarking studies — and indeed pioneering the use of benchmarking with advisory firms — documented not only the birth and growth of the independent RIA movement, but the evolution of the advisory business from individual practices to the emergence of scaled enterprises.
The people he trained in his early career have in turn gone on to become leaders of practice management in their own rights.
Meanwhile Mark executed the ultimately consultant’s coup, by moving from the consulting side of the table to actually implement his advice within Pershing, turning the “Big Three” RIA custodians into the “Big Four” and proving that in-depth practice management expertise and a true understanding of the needs of the advisory business can guide the success of not only advisory firms themselves, but the enterprises that serve them as well.
Mark’s presence, and his endless witty remarks and stories, will be greatly missed. But his legacy will unquestionably live on.
—Michael Kitces, head of Planning Strategy at Buckingham Wealth Partners, and head of Kitces.com.