Luke Deanage 35

Financial planning program director, William Paterson University

I am an Idealist

40 Under 40
40 Under 40

I am a Leader

40 Under 40
Leaders

I am a Trailblazer

Trail Blazers

I am an Entrepreneur

40 Under 40
Entrepreneurs

I am a Visionary

40 Under 40
Visionaries

I am an Idealist

40 Under 40
Idealists

Meet the Leaders

Whether in their own firms or in their communities, these young people are leading the charge toward innovation in financial planning, bringing new opportunities to advisers and clients alike. Here, they share the best leadership advice they’ve received in their careers.

Meet the Trailblazers

This group doesn’t subscribe to groupthink. They are spearheading new ways of practicing and delivering financial advice — in some cases reaching populations previously considered unprofitable to serve. We ask them about the most unique and unusual ideas they’ve had.

Meet the Entrepreneurs

In addition to helping clients reach their financial goals, some in the advice industry face the challenge of running a business or a team. Others have started companies to support this pursuit. These young people are flourishing amid the balancing act — and some got an early start.

Meet the Visionaries

It’s not about what is, but what will be — and what can be — the future of the financial planning industry for this group of forward-looking advisers, educators and executives. Their insights pull the rest of the profession into the next stratum.

Meet the Idealists

Life experiences shape our ideals, especially for these young professionals who see challenges in the advice industry and the world — and set out to meet them. They also have words of wisdom for the next generation.

About Luke

Luke Dean would love to become a planner and help clients achieve their financial goals. But the way he sees it, he's helping so many more people as the financial planning program director at William Paterson University.

"I could go into the industry and help maybe 40 clients," Mr. Dean said. "But if I help get 40 students every semester into the profession and they each help 40 clients, that's a lot of impact."

During his six years at the university, in Wayne, N.J., the program had become one of the most respected in the nation. Demand for his students, in terms of jobs and internships, greatly outstrips supply. Last year, Mr. Dean received 200 employment queries for his 80 financial planning students. This year, the school will get about 300 offers for its 115 students with the major.

When he began at the school the first place Mr. Dean worked in the profession he would cold call advisory firms, hunting for student work opportunities.

In August, he will join Utah Valley University, in his hometown of Orem, Utah, as director of its financial planning degree program.

"Utah Valley has called me for years, and the offer got better and better, as did its financial planning program," said Mr. Dean, who has four children, ages 2 to 9.

Mr. Dean, who earned a doctorate in financial planning at Texas Tech University and degrees from Brigham Young University, said he'll miss William Paterson's student diversity.

"I have loved helping the first-generation college students here at William Paterson succeed," he said. "I get a huge thrill out of it."

Liz Skinner

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Fast Facts

  • Never had a cup of coffee (he's Mormon)
  • Runs a marathon a year
  • Always orders the unhealthiest thing on the menu