IMHO: Making a List

Believe it or not, PLANADVISER Magazine is five years old this year.


As such, we wanted to commemorate our fifth anniversary by recognizing as “legends” five individuals who had made a “significant personal impact to the retirement plan industry and the advisers who support it”.

Now, perhaps you think that would be easy—but I can promise you it’s harder than it looks.  And over the past several weeks we have gone through our list—moving some off, bringing others on, and “sleeping on it” more nights than you might think.

First off, we limited the list to five individuals (for five years), and we also tried to focus in on the past five years.  Limiting the list to five was hard enough (certainly once we got started), but trying to focus in on the period since we launched the magazine created an even more daunting task.  Sure, it was “only” five years ago, but it’s amazing how much has happened during that time.  That was the year the Pension Protection Act was signed into law, after all, not to mention the year that the first wave of revenue-sharing lawsuits was filed, and the year that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), responding in the aftermath of the mutual fund trading scandal, introduced rule 22c-2.  In fact, the cover story of the first issue of PLANADVISER was titled simply, “Now What?”.

When it came to compiling that list, however, while some names were, IMHO, obvious, some were perhaps “too” obvious.  There are those who have had an impact, albeit a controversial one, while others have arguably had an impact, but one that is softer, quieter, or perhaps simply not as pervasive as others.

The discipline of a finite list forces you to make tough choices, but it also inevitably leaves you wanting to create a list that is longer, and perhaps more inclusive, if only to give full recognition to the many professionals who have had—and continue to have—that “significant personal impact.”  That said, we have chosen five individuals. 

They come up in conversation with advisers all the time, and for good reason.

They are people we have watched and are watching—and people who bear watching in the years to come.

They are, quite simply, legends—and tomorrow we’ll “introduce” them to you.


The PLANADVISER “legends” will be featured in the fifth anniversary issue of PLANADVISER and will be honored at our annual Awards for Excellence celebration in New York City on March 24.  At that event, along with sister publication PLANSPONSOR, we will also be honoring our Retirement Plan Advisers and Adviser Teams of the Year, as well as our Plan Sponsors of the Year, as well as other retirement industry luminaries.