This issue features our annual list of ten individuals who we think will have an outsized impact on the wealth management industry in the future. Each is, in their own way, creating companies or pursuing initiatives that we feel will resonate broadly with the larger wealth management community.
It might more easily be described by what it is not. This is not a list based on age or experience; it’s not a 30-under-30 list, and some individuals here have had long tenures in the broader world of financial services. It’s not a list of innovators, though there are some innovative ideas here. There is no weight given to social media clout—we’re not trying to curry favor with any self-styled industry “influencer.” Being on social media a lot does not, in our view, equal impact.
At the risk of seeming too loose with our criteria, these simply are individuals we—meaning the editorial team of this publication—think are doing interesting things, or working on interesting problems that advisors face, and we’re betting you have not yet heard of many of them. Beyond that, we have no other requirements or boxes to check.
Technology obviously plays a large role here, and we highlight a few individuals working to bring high-level math and computing power together to give advisors tools to create portfolios that more deeply and continuously track a client’s risk tolerance, and help advisors show clients why certain allocations still make sense despite the wild swings in valuation.
I’m sure that is a conversation many advisors are having with clients right now. Because, while we’ve experienced some market drops in recent memory, the current environment feels more fragile.
At the Money Management Institute’s recent annual conference, Natalie Wolfsen, chief executive officer of TAMP AssetMark, put this bear market in a sobering historical perspective. The current downtrend has lasted 100 days longer than investors experienced in 2018 or during the first days of the pandemic, but it is still 100 days shorter than the average. Add the unexpected steep dive in fixed income, and clients who, for over a decade, have only seen the numbers go up, could be in for a shock.
“It feels very different than recent experience,” Wolfsen said. “It likely will last longer than the average. This is where advisors come in. This is where we earn our money.”
Times of crisis are an opportunity for new ideas to take hold. It’s not a given all the individuals on this list will radically change the industry, but each is contributing new tools and resources that may help financial advisors weather the storm and, hopefully, flourish when we come out on the other side.