‘Making’ the Lists

Several years ago, I was surprised (and quite pleased) when a friend reached out to tell me that I had made it to one of those retirement industry lists.

I was sure he was pulling my leg, of course – but after a couple of congratulatory emails from other associates, I decided to check it out, and sure enough – there I was.

At the time, I remembered being more than a bit humbled at my inclusion alongside a number of individuals who, at least in my estimation, were a much bigger deal than I. Still, the recognition was gratifying, particularly when you consider how many very special people in so many different walks of life, work hard, make a difference, have an impact, and yet never really get any kind of public acknowledgement.

As much as I like being on those lists, it has been my great good fortune over the years to have a hand not only in evaluating the composition of such accolades, but in determining the categories of recognition. The first, years ago, had to do with plan sponsors rating their providers, followed by the development of the Retirement Plan Advisor of the Year award, and Top 100 Plan Advisors (albeit at another publication). Here I have been glad to have a hand in elevating and expanding the quality and importance of our Top DC Wholesalers (the “Wingmen”), the Top Young Advisor list (our “Young Guns”), and more recently in launching the Top Women Advisor list and this year our first-ever Top DC Advisor Team list.

We’ll be publishing this year’s list of Top Women Advisors shortly – and the list of Young Guns just after the new year (voting on the latter remains open through Dec. 15 at www.napatopyoungadvisors.org). Each year we get more nominations, and yet each year the quality of the candidates rises as well. Clearly the competition, not only “out there,” but here, is fierce. And well it should be.

Each list has unique attributes, of course, and participating in the development and refinement of the criteria – making those lists – is always a learning experience, not least because it gives me the privilege of having those discussions with some of the nation’s leading experts on our panels of judges.

I am pleased and proud to be able to acknowledge the good and valuable work of so many industry professionals – including those who may not make the list, but who nonetheless are making a difference in the nation’s retirement security every day.

But as much as there is to be learned from the evolution of the objective, quantitative standards for each list, there is the learning that comes from the qualitative responses of the nominees – the individuals who not only make those lists – but who, in their words and deeds – make those lists important.

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One Comment

  1. bobb8
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Making the List

    As Nevin eloquently stated being recognized as one of the leaders in any profession is both humbling and gratifying. Fortunately, over my 30+ years in the financial service industry, I’ve been included on a number of lists from “young Turk” to “Wise old Fool”. But our goal wasn’t in the past and isn’t today to make a list. Our goal is and always has been to help people save for a secure retirement. As far as the upcoming Top Young Advisors list, I suggest the nominees ponder Groucho Marx’s famous quote, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”

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