Asset Management/Portfolio Firms
Omar Aguilar is a passionate advocate for behavioral finance in his role with
Schwab Asset Management. Aguilar implemented the Biagnostics toolkit — a framework advisors can use to incorporate behavioral finance into their practice. His process creates an emotionally and financially customized client experience by addressing behavioral biases and generational/life-stage challenges. He also uses his expertise in the collaboration between CSIM and the Investments & Wealth Institute to help educate advisors about behavioral finance. The collaboration included the launch of “Behavioral Finance Week,” which features a range of programming and content for advisors to help them understand behavioral finance.
Lisette Cooper, Ph.D., is vice chair of
Fiduciary Trust International. She has more than 30 years of investment management experience. She is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and a member of Franklin Templeton’s Management Committee. Cooper founded Athena Capital Advisors in 1993, which Fiduciary Trust International acquired in March 2020. Under her leadership, the Athena Capital team developed an endowment-style approach to building diversified portfolios for a variety of clients. They also specialize in risk management, quantitative investment management, outsourced chief investment officer services, and family office support.
, co-founder and president of
Hill Investment Group
, has led advisor education programs tied to marketing, client service and practice management. His book, “
Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor
,” focuses on the shift in the investment world to a model that draws on academic evidence to better serve the real interests of investors. His podcast, “Take the Long View with Matt Hall,” features real-life success stories of experts in their respective industries who discuss how they think about their money, emotions, behavior and time, providing investors with strategies they can implement in their own lives.
David Waddell, chief investment strategist,
Waddell & Associates, provides global macroeconomic analysis that drives the team’s strategic direction. He also writes W&A’s Weekly Strategic Insight, which provides analysis and commentary for clients. He is often featured as a global economics and investment expert by national media outlets, and has appeared internationally on CNBC’s European Squawk Box. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Waddell provided the international community with financial context for the pandemic, along with a comparative analysis to historic analogs. He has also championed tax strategies to address the challenges presented by impending changes in the U.S. tax code.
Loreen Gilbert, chief executive and Founder of
WealthWise Financial Services, offers wealth management and financial planning to business owners, key executives and women investors through her affiliation with LPL Financial. She is passionate about educating and helping women achieve financial success. Currently, she is writing her first book, “WealthWise for Women.” Last year, Gilbert hosted 11 webinars to educate her clients and the general public on what was happening in the markets and economy. In September 2020, she hosted a virtual seminar for business owners on topics such as succession, exit avenues and retirement income strategies.
Individuals – Other
Barrett Ayers, Adhesion Wealth, is leading his firm’s mission to break down disintermediation between managers and advisors and deliver improved results for investors. In 2020, he introduced features to the Adhesion Model Exchange to provide advisors with distribution capabilities. Ayers also oversaw the launch of Tax Alpha reporting, which shows the value of an advisor’s decision to enable active tax management; Manager Communities, which connects advisors with the asset managers to help in portfolio construction; Personal Indexes with ESG Overlay that allow advisors to develop their own direct index models inside a unified managed account and OCIO+, a turnkey modular portfolio solution.
LaChadra Mason of BNY Mellon’s Pershing leads its Subscribe annuity platform, which helps advisors streamline how they process, service and maintain annuities. Among her accomplishments, she led the successful conversion of the firm’s order entry platform. Over the past two years, she drove the development of digital capabilities with Pershing’s new eSignature order entry functionality. She was also a co-champion of efforts to introduce annuities into fee-based managed accounts — a new capability to launch a proposal, open a new account and initiate an annuity order. Most recently, Mason has revamped how the firm introduces annuities to its RIA clients.
Amy Webber, Cambridge Investment Research president and CEO, with nearly 30 years in the business, has been a strong and thoughtful voice for IBDs as well as a leader in the financial services arena. Her leadership has helped the firm, with more than $136 billion in AUA as of Dec. 31, 2020, to be the largest IBD in the business. Webber hosts a podcast launched in December 2020, the Cambridge Stronger, which features financial professionals as guests – with each talking candidly on how they serve clients, how they got started in the profession, the twists and turns of their career path as well as their life lessons for others to consider.
Samantha Russell, FMG Suite’s chief evangelist, helps advisors create digital marketing strategies to grow their businesses through website development, content marketing, SEO, social media and video. Her role is closely tied to the marketing and product development departments. She is tasked with constantly staying ahead of trends to feed that back to the organization’s various departments. Russell has attained status as one of the top female marketing consultants in the fintech space, regularly partnering with industry thought leaders and emerging technology companies to host co-branded educational webinars that help advisors drive business success.
, chairman and chief investment officer,
Jacob Gold & Associates
, is also a finance professor at Arizona State University, where he teaches personal financial management and hosts a variety of student workshops at the Barrett Honors College. He also created a new business degree with a concentration in financial planning. Students are eligible to take the CFP examination upon graduation. He also consults with companies to teach their executives how to responsibly manage their financial affairs. In addition, Gold has written two books — “
Financial Intelligence: Getting Back to Basics after an Economic Meltdown
”” and “
Money Mindset: Formulating a Wealth Strategy in the 21st Century
Jeffrey Rotman, Rotman and Associates, is a wealth management advisor who has provided financial education in the workplace and universities for 30 years. He developed a practice management program to facilitate young physicians’ transition from academia into practice, and has become part of the curriculum in many teaching hospitals in Florida. He teaches an adult education course called Retirement Planning Today at Florida International University and Nova Southeastern University. Rotman is a sponsor and donor to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Florida International University, which provides noncredit educational experiences and social engagement opportunities for people 50 and older. He also is currently launching an initiative to educate parents on the college funding and application process in South Florida.
Individuals - Partnerships and Consulting
Gretchen Halpin, is co-founder of
Beyond AUM, a marketing agency for advisors. Her main focus is to accelerate and guide their growth in a positive, sustainable way with a focus on the communities they serve. She believes in working directly with advisors and their teams to cultivate a deep understanding of the importance and impact of their service and how to support client relationships. She also introduced an internship program to help foster the next generation of college students in the industry and beyond. Halpin and her team have developed a personal finance blog, and she has been a featured speaker at numerous industry conferences.
Amy Florian, is CEO of
Corgenius, which is dedicated to teaching financial professionals and their clients about handling death, loss, grief, aging and transition. During the past 18 months, she created webinars for both advisors and their clients in which she explained the multiple levels of grief, taught practical and implementable skills for communicating through it, and offered scientifically validated strategies for coping with resultant stress and anxiety. Florian also taught generalized sessions to help advisors support clients in grief. Her efforts are intended to provide economic value to financial professionals while fostering meaningful personal growth for both advisors and their clients.
Doug Fritz, of F2 Strategy, a wealth technology consulting firm, has emerged as an industry influencer in the areas of wealth technology, innovation and digital transformation. In the past year, he founded F2 Strategy’s proprietary research arm, which takes best practices and lessons from some 70 of the top wealth management C-suite technology decision-makers. They also formed a quick response format around work-from-home. Recently, he has hosted the podcast, “Wealth Tech Gets Vocal: On The Road With The Man In The Van,” which tells what wealthy investors, advisors and leaders think about the industry, where it is headed and its effect on society.
Marie Swift, president and chief executive officer,
Impact Communications, which is a full-service marketing communications firm. In August 2020, she and her colleagues initiated “Conversations That Matter” with strategic support from Allianz Life, entailing original research, content creation and promotional efforts. Its primary goals were to help advisors understand where they may have missed opportunities to galvanize client relationships during the pandemic; attract new business and remain resilient under duress; provide the means to help them weather the next storm; and show how — and why — many advisors thrived during the 2020 chaos.
, chief financial planning nerd of
, hosts the Financial Advisor Success podcast, which after 228 episodes has had nearly 5 million downloads. It also has featured 114 women in the industry whose stories have been heard nearly 2.5 million times. From its very founding in January 2017, the podcast has committed to maintain a 50/50 ratio of men and women amongst its guests. Kitces has been involved in numerous volunteer capacities in the industry, from the Financial Planning Association to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Investments & Wealth Institute, and he has chaired multiple national conferences and co-founded NexGen.
Sheryl J. Moore, President & CEO of Wink Inc., is an entrepreneur and a leader in the life insurance and annuity industry. Her goal is to provide education on product lines, increase awareness of value-added life insurance products, and promote healthy and accurate publicity in the market. More than 60% of her workday involves pro bono advocacy in the annuity and life insurance industries. Moore works with regulators, legislators and journalists fact-checking inaccuracies, providing education and addressing insurance-related issues, and regularly assists the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in its work to promote understanding of indexed insurance products.
Individuals – RIAs
Eric Roberge, heads up
Beyond Your Hammock, which is a fee-only firm that focuses on meeting the needs of 30 and 40 something professionals dealing with major life transitions and milestones, and opening their eyes to opportunities with the support of good financial planning. For early-to-mid career professionals who are not paying clients, he and his team have developed content in the form of articles and blogs for Forbes, Kiplinger and Business Insider and content for the “Beyond Finances” podcast to get listeners to think differently about financial planning and money management. Roberge also delivers personal finance education to students through relationships with Babson College's undergraduate and MBA programs.
Sue Stevens, of Buckingham Strategic Wealth, serves 80 clients as lead advisor and supports another 80 clients she has transitioned to her successors. In addition, she owns a separate company, Stevens Visionary Strategies, that creates financial education content. A new brand of the firm, Dreams of Wealth, recently launched a website; a series of four books Stevens wrote during the pandemic to address the financial planning process at the heart of building wealth; and a subscription service for advisors of educational content found in the books to use with their clients. She also is a presenter at several industry conferences.
, founder and CEO,
, is co-founder (with Justin Castelli) of The Advisor Growth Community, a paid-membership group of more than 150 advisors whose intent is to foster collaborative conversations and communication between those who are looking to grow their firm with advice from their peers. In 2020,
named Schulte the No. 2 independent advisor in the United States, citing his influence in bringing financial education to diverse audiences. That meant addressing common concerns of retirement savers around the world about the pandemic’s effects on financial markets, retirement goals and personal finances through his Define Financial blog and “Stay Wealthy” podcast.
Peter Krull, CEO,
Earth Equity Advisors, is a longtime advocate for fossil fuel-free and sustainable, responsible and impact investing. He has been investing his clients’ assets responsibly for two decades. He regularly speaks on panels, at events, and with journalists and other advisors about how investors can align their investments with their values. In December, Krull launched a self-guided digital investment platform with a minimum of only $5,000 that offers a portfolio of individual stocks complemented by responsible ESG and green bonds that can be customized to align with an investor’s values.
Kimberly Foss, president and founder of
Empyrion Wealth Management, provides affluent family stewards, women in transition and retirees with tools and analysis to help them make the best financial decisions to meet their needs. To enhance her clients’ experience and knowledge, she has implemented the resources portal on Empyrion’s website during the past year, adding life stages checklists and calculators. She also created landing pages for the white papers “Informed Investor” and “Divorce.” Foss is active on social media, discusses financial topics during regular television appearances and writes columns for Financial Planning, Advisor Perspectives and Rethinking 65.
Hannah Moore, owner, Guiding Wealth, is a financial planner who, last year, when the pandemic lockdown caused students to lose their internships, stepped in to create the
Financial Planning Association Virtual Externship, an eight-week internship experience that shows students what a career as a financial planner looks like at a variety of firms. The program gave some 1,100 ethnically diverse students the ability to do the work as if they were in an internship, but for many different firms. It provided an opportunity for people — including career changers, stay-at-home parents and college students — who would never have had access to a traditional internship experience.
Gary Furukawa, Chief Investment Director,
Freestone Capital Management leads a team that sources, investigates and manages private investments that create both social and financial returns. In 2020, they brought to conclusion a strategy to provide low-cost housing to America’s most financially fragile citizens, raising some $400 million to invest in low-cost housing units. This money combined with the prior years’ efforts amounted to nearly $1 billion that has already bought 20,000 units with the potential to house at least 100,000 people. Furukawa wants to be part of the advisory community seeking a “win for all solution” that will lead more advisors and investors to find similar opportunities.
Josh Crawford, vice president of coaching at
Matson Money, equips U.S. advisors with skill sets to build robust long-term financial plans for clients and teaches them how to garner net new assets and grow organically. He educates investors on the right allocation strategy. In 2020, Crawford and his team encouraged advisors to keep their clients invested during the sharp market decline and subsequent volatility. He also successfully pivoted Matson Money’s business model, built around live events, into a virtual event, bringing to more people the firm’s American Dream Experience, a group seminar for investors focused on the empirical and behavioral dimensions of wealth creation.
Stacey McKinnon, chief operating officer, Morton Capital, enthusiastically advocates for women in finance and closely mentors several female team members. She is also an active writer and regularly speaks on podcasts and contributes to leadership training programs. In the past 12 months, McKinnon wrote two white papers. One encouraged leaders of organizations to spend time building a hybrid work environment for their teams. The other proposed that acting in the clients’ best interest goes far beyond financial advice, and is actually dependent on the resiliency of firms, growth, the employee experience and establishing a culture of learning.
, founder and CEO,
Private Ocean Wealth Management
, believes that by lifting others, everyone wins. In the past 18 months, he helped roll out an all-virtual content platform called the Ocean Current that includes interactive events, webinars, resources and a podcast. He also tapped his experience as the founder of Junxure CRM to create a customized RIA customer relationship management platform integrated with Salesforce. Friedman also published “
Integrating Culture in Successful RIA Mergers and Acquisitions
” with co-author Cynthia Greenfield. The book focuses on work culture, which he has long advocated as one of the keys to his success in the industry.
Rick Wedell, chief investment officer,
RFG Advisory, built a next-generation investment platform to give retail investors bespoke access and customization long available to large institutions and made it available via a dedicated website, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Called Steadfast, the platform combines due diligence with account-level customization; it uses a goals-based approach whereby every investment is allocated toward either appreciation, income, preservation or opportunistic sleeves. With the technology in place, Wedell began using social media to educate financial advisors, clients and the general public around topics that can improve their understanding, financial literacy and client outcomes.
Justin Castelli, of RLS Wealth, teamed with Taylor Schulte to found the Advisor Growth Community (ACG), whose sole purpose is to promote professional growth for U.S. advisors. In addition, he has designed a subscription fee platform to help younger professionals who don’t have large investment portfolios access to quality financial planning and advice. Active on social media, Castelli publishes content to educate both his clients and anyone else who may be interested, for example, in how he views current issues that may affect their portfolios or how parents can educate their children on the importance of understanding finance early in life.
, leader of
Transitus Wealth Partners and Advisors 2X
, which educates and trains chief executives of financial advisory firms and their advisors. At Advisor 2X, he is responsible for leadership and strategic planning, and creates content and oversees programs. During the past year, he published “
Shaping Change: How to Respond When Life Disrupts Your Retirement Plan
,” co-authored with Susan Bradley, and launched two podcasts, one for retirement plan advisors who serve plan sponsors and participants, the other for consumers and financial planners who want to make better financial decisions by understanding human and financial issues.