Coming off a victory at the polls, President Barack Obama moves center stage as he tries to negotiate a tax and spending package with Congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
Given the importance of his actions to the economy and to high-net-worth taxpayers in particular, Mr. Obama was a hands-down favorite among reporters and editors to make InvestmentNews' Power 20, our list of people expected to have an impact on the financial advisory industry in the year ahead.
In addition to Mr. Obama, all eyes will be on the Securities and Ex-change Commission, as Elisse Walter, the new chairman, determines which causes to champion. Advisers will tune in to see whether she presses for creation of a self-regulatory organization and how keen she is to widen the fiduciary standard in the advice community.
But it isn't just government officials and regulators who will influence the evolution of the financial planning profession next year. Industry leaders will shape the daily operations of business, while heads of trade groups seek to provide advisers with a home and a unified voice.
And the thinkers among us — such as Ian Bremmer and Wade Pfau, who question conventional wisdom on securing healthy financial futures and the global issues that can disrupt them — will keep advisers' minds primed for the challenges ahead.
We couldn't include everyone, but but here is a snapshot of the people we think are poised to shake up the advisory world in the coming year.
— Christina Nelson, series/features editor