Top 10 WSR Articles Of 2023

Janeesa Hollingshead, Senior Editor, Wealth Solutions Report
Janeesa Hollingshead, Senior Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Excellence, Growth, Tax Strategy, AI, M&A And More Comprise Our List Of WSR’s Top 10 Articles For The Past Year

The year passed by in a flash, with surprises and challenges, continued development of markets and products, wealthtech advancements including the surge of AI, regulatory uncertainty to match geopolitical uncertainty, and falling inflation. Like a good television show, the final episode leaves cliffhangers for the upcoming season.

A year ago, we provided you with a roundup of 2022’s top stories, and in July we continued with the top stories of the first half of 2023. As with previous installments, to select the full year 2023’s top articles, we considered timeliness, the reputation of firms and professionals featured in the stories, audience engagement and the strength of insight and analysis. We also did not repeat any articles from our July roundup.

WSR’s top 10 articles of 2023 are presented below in chronological order. We thank you for your continued participation in our WSR Community and wish you all the best for the new year!

1. WSR Pathfinder Awards – Top Black Industry Leaders Of 2023

    LeCount Davis, Founder, Association of African American Financial Advisors
    LeCount Davis, Founder, Association of African American Financial Advisors

    In February, WSR kicked off our second annual Pathfinder Awards series with the Top Black Industry Leaders of 2023, honoring a group of outstanding industry professionals, including LeCount Davis, Founder of the Association of African American Financial Advisors, who won our first Lifetime Pathfinder Award, and naming the first organization to receive a Pathfinder Award, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Three professionals received Pathfinder Awards as the Top Black Rising Stars of the Year.

    The awards, which occurred in four installments throughout the year in conjunction with Black History Month, Women’s History Month, AAPI Heritage Month and National Hispanic Heritage Month, honor excellence in executives and professionals from underrepresented communities in wealth management, and the organizations that support them.

    2. Three Ways To Help Finance Achieve Gender Parity

    Jennifer Dempsey Fox, Executive in Residence, F2 Strategy
    Jennifer Dempsey Fox, Executive in Residence, F2 Strategy

      Concurrently with our celebration of Women’s History Month in March by naming winners for the WSR Pathfinder Awards – Top Women Industry Leaders of 2023, we brought you a guest editorial by Jennifer Dempsey Fox, Executive in Residence at F2 Strategy, explaining how finance can achieve gender parity. Fox offered three methods, including a move away from jargon to plain language, starting financial literacy education at a younger age and removing barriers in venture capital.

        3. The State Of M&A So Far In 2023, And How To Close Your Deals

        Bomy Hagopian, Partner, Berkshire Global Advisors
        Bomy Hagopian, Partner, Berkshire Global Advisors

        Our CEO, Larry Roth, provides quarterly views on M&A and wealthtech. His May installment of the M&A quarterly discussed headwinds that faced industry M&A at that time and how the industry was moving forward. Although M&A now appears to be on solid ground, its condition was less certain in May.

        Roth set out views from professionals close to the pulse of wealth management M&A, including Bomy Hagopian of Berkshire Global Advisors, Louis Diamond of Diamond Consultants, Jessica Polito of Turkey Hill Management, Jodie Papike of Cross-Search and David DeVoe of DeVoe & Company.

          4. How Wealth Management Is Navigating The Shifting Investment Products Landscape

          Shannon Larson, SVP of Platform Management & Product Development, Osaic
          Shannon Larson, SVP of Platform Management & Product Development, Osaic

          In June, we reviewed the investment products landscape, including innovations that investment providers are implementing to attract wealth management firms. We looked at whether TAMP and annuities platforms need to provide both fee-based and commission solutions, as well as the issue of large enterprises that offer investments platforms to wealth management firms simultaneously competing with those same firms through other services offered by the enterprise.

          We heard from Brad Goodman of SYSTM, Matt Regan of Wealthcare and Shannon Larson of Advisor Group (now called Osaic).

            5. Guide To Industry Conferences: M&A

            David DeVoe, CEO & Founder, DeVoe & Company
            David DeVoe, CEO & Founder, DeVoe & Company

            Our Guide to Industry Conferences series helps advisors and professionals sort through the blizzard of industry conference opportunities to narrow their focus on top conferences in a variety of categories. Our July installment, covering M&A conferences, featured the ECHELON Partners Deals & Dealmakers Summit and the M&A+ Succession Summit by DeVoe & Company.

            In 2023, we published guides to industry conferences for Wealthtech; InsuranceCompliance, Governance and RegulatoryCustodians; and Asset Management.

              6. Surge CEO On Key AI Issues For Advisors And Compliance

              Sid Yenamandra, Founder, CEO & Managing Partner, Surge Ventures
              Sid Yenamandra, Founder, CEO & Managing Partner, Surge Ventures

              AI has been a top-of-mind issue for the industry all year, from the T3 Conference in March to the MarketCounsel Summit in December, as advisors and professionals contemplate what it can do both for us and to us.

              Throughout the year, WSR has brought you insights from executives at the center of wealthtech as AI renovates the landscape, including the views of Sid Yenamandra, Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Surge Ventures, who in July opined on AI’s effects on compliance, how to educate advisors on AI, ethical issues, and human collaboration with AI to serve clients.

                7. WSR Names PRO 10: Top Wealth Management Professional Services Firms

                Brian Hamburger, President & CEO, MarketCounsel Consulting
                Brian Hamburger, President & CEO, MarketCounsel, and Chief Counsel, Hamburger Law Firm

                In August, we honored the top wealth management professional services firms in four categories: compliance and regulatory affairs firms, investment solutions consultancies, law firms and marketing firms. Winners included Compliance Risk Concepts, COMPLY, MarketCounsel Consulting, Oyster Consulting, Alliance160, Peak Capital Solutions, Davis Wright Tremaine, Matasar Jacobs, FMG and Snappy Kraken.

                The PRO 10 is one of several recognition lists we named in the year, which also included the M&A 5: Top Wealth Management M&A Investment Bankers, the COO 5: Top Wealth Management COOs and more.

                8. Private Advisor Group On Outsourcing Solutions For Growth-Oriented Practices

                Verne Marble, Director of Business Development, Private Advisor Group
                Verne Marble, Director of Business Development, Private Advisor Group

                In August, we interviewed Verne Marble, the Director of Business Development at Private Advisor Group. Marble discussed how advisors can leverage outsourcing, including how outsourcing can help them grow through increased scale and capacity, as well as the benefits of outsourcing for investment management. He concluded with a discussion of ways to minimize disruption to clients when implementing outsourcing solutions.

                  9. Addressing Taxes In Holistic Wealth Planning

                  Grant Van Horn, Executive Director, Wealth Solutions, Hightower Advisors
                  Grant Van Horn, Executive Director, Wealth Solutions, Hightower Advisors

                  As always, tax strategies featured high on clients’ minds in 2023. In September, Grant Van Horn, Executive Director, Wealth Solutions at Hightower Advisors, explained why holistic planning that covers investments, estates and finances must also include tax considerations. Van Horn reviewed models and considerations for advisors to incorporate tax planning into their services, concluding that advisors need to “build, buy or partner to deliver tax services to their clients.”

                    10. The Future Of Third-Party Custody Solutions

                    Richard Lofgren, Head of Advisor Engagement, GSAS
                    Richard Lofgren, Head of Advisor Engagement, GSAS

                      The custodial space in wealth management continues to change, with this year seeing the long-awaited consolidation of TD Ameritrade into Schwab while niche custodians continued to develop capabilities and recruit firms.

                      In November, we covered the future of third party custody solutions, speaking with leaders in the space across both the large, established enterprises and the niche, industry-focused firms, including Tom Bradley of Schwab, Ainslie Simmonds of Pershing, Noni Robinson of Fidelity, Steve Earner of LPL, Richard Lofgren of Goldman Sachs and more.

                      Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at editor@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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