The best bank advisors in the industry keep upping the ante. To compile our annual Top 50 Bank Advisors list, we combine six variables into one composite score. And our high-producing advisors keep pushing the threshold ever higher with record numbers in just about every category.

This makes the list a tougher proposition for advisors, although also more interesting. Not knowing who will get toppled from the list or who will ascend to new heights—a function of the numbers—makes for a long wait each year.


Consider assets under management, just one of our categories. For the top 50, the average AUM now stands at $172 million. Two years ago, it was $131 million. Trailing-12 production, same story. For the top 50, the figure hit $1.5 million on average this year; two years ago, it was $970,000.

Bear in mind, these numbers aren’t the norm for bank advisors. Averages for the entire bank channel are closer to $80 million for AUM and $550,000 for production, according to estimates from research and consulting firm Aite Group.

Still, some advisors made our list with less than $50 million in assets. How? It goes back to our methodology of using multiple variables. If an advisor has a relatively low AUM, but large percentage increases in AUM or production over last year and a high level of fee business, he or she could still be in the running.

The six categories are: (1) assets under management; (2) trailing-12 month production; (3) percentage increase in AUM from the previous year; (4) percentage increase in T-12 production; (5) amount of fee business; and (6) the ratio of production-per-AUM. (Note: Due to deadline restrictions, we defined 2014 AUM as the amount an advisor had as of Aug. 31, 2014. For T-12 production, we used the 12-month period ending Aug. 31, 2014. Also, for the banks that do not use an outside broker-dealer, we listed the TPM as “none.”)

We ranked the nominees by each of the six categories and then calculated six different scores for each advisor based on where they ranked. Those six scores were used to compile the final list. This served two purposes. First, it gave us a valid way to compare variables of different metrics, such as percentages and dollar amounts. It also served to cap a category’s contribution to the final scores. That is, the advisor with the highest production on our list would have scored a 10 in that category, the highest possible mark. But that would not necessarily sway the entire list, because others were also in that highest bracket.

Why do all that, instead of ranking this on AUM? We wanted this to be a well-rounded analysis, not merely a simple consideration of size. To that end, we feel we succeeded. The advisors listed here aren’t just home run hitters. They’re cast in the mold of the more elusive “five-tool” baseball players who excel in all aspects of the game.

Our top advisor this year? Russ Cesari from Northwest Federal Credit Union outside Washington, D.C. Despite working for 17 years as an advisor, he’s not a lifer, having spent some 30 years at IBM first. Read about why he decided to make a change after all that time, as well as the secrets of his success (Spoiler alert: he says it’s all about  asking the right questions.)

The final scores were close. In some cases—with just a bit of serendipity—the ranking may have been different, which is why we included a second list called the “Next 50.” It shows who ranked 51 through 100 in our final analysis (page 29.) You can see all 100 in a slideshow at bankinvestmentconsultant.com. And soon, we’ll show them re-ranked by various criteria. For now, enjoy the Top 50.

1.
Russell Cesari
Bank:  Northwest Federal Credit Union
Location: Herndon, Va.
TPM: LPL Financial
2014 production: $4.8 million
2013 production: $3.4 million
2014 AUM: $508.9 million
2013 AUM: $403.6 million
Fee business: 90%
Total years as advisor: 17
Years in current job: 14

Russell Cesari, Bank Investment Consultant’s top-ranked advisor this year, took an unusual career path on his way to the financial advising profession.

After working for 30 years at IBM, eventually as a manager for Latin American operations, while still at the relatively tender age of 50, Cesari says he had an epiphany.

“I was flying all night and working all day, and one day I just got tired of it. I came home and told my wife, ‘If I have to write one more regional report, I swear I’m leaving!’ When his wife laughed and asked what he wanted to do instead, he decided he wanted to help people. Then and there he decided to become a financial advisor, starting out at the bottom.

He began by selling insurance for a couple of years while he earned his licenses, and then in 2001, he started working at Northwest Federal Credit Union in Herndon, Va. (LPL is the TPM for Northwest Federal.)

After several years spent building his practice, mostly through referrals from the credit union, he started discovering that he was getting all the business he could handle through client referrals.

“My practice tends to be sort of a family thing,” he says. “My clients refer associates, friends and family members. If I have a niche, it’s working with federal government workers, current and retired, and they refer other people who work for the government.”

Most of his clients, he says, are either approaching retirement, or already there, so he has developed a special expertise in dealing with their issues: retirement planning, estate planning, legacy planning and senior health care. “I also get involved in a lot of real estate issues,” he says. “People in that age bracket are moving, or are downsizing their homes. Often, since they live in the D.C. metropolitan area, their houses have a lot of value and if they move somewhere like North Carolina and buy a home there, they end up with a lot of equity from the sale that needs to be invested.”

Cesari says his business is 90% fee-based, so he can be “fully on the side of my clients.” And his approach is very hands-on. “I have people call me when they want to buy a car,” he says. “You’d be surprised,” he adds, “at today’s low interest rates buying a car can be a good opportunity to leverage your assets.”

Cesari says that the advisory business has changed a lot since he got into it. “Back when I started in the late 1990s, people were more concerned with returns and with beating the S&P,” he says.

“That’s still important to people of course, but now it’s more about understanding the client and what they’re trying to accomplish—and that can include their charity-giving goals.”

He says, “The conversation with clients has gone from them asking, ‘What funds do you use?’ to ‘Are you going to be my partner in this journey?’ When we have our annual reviews these days, we’ll spend literally five minutes on the portfolio, and the rest of the time is spent talking about the clients and their families.”

Cesari has some words of advice for young people entering this business—advice he says he gave his own son, when he brought him into the business about four years ago.

He says, “First of all, get educated about this business. Then learn how to listen and ask questions. You really need to fully understand how the client feels about things, including money.”

He explains, “In my experience, generally with young people those listening skills are not employed — and that includes listening to what clients are saying and what they are not saying. But if you do listen, and ask the important questions of clients, your business will grow.”

More important, he says, is for advisors to develop genuine relationships with their clients. “For example, you need to be there when there is an illness or a death in a family,” he says, adding that this can be especially important around holidays or birthdays.

“Just yesterday,” he recounts, “I called a client whose husband had died last June to invite her to join our family for Thanksgiving.” She was touched, but said that her brother was coming to her home.”

Cesari says mentors can be important for young advisors, but he says in his own case, “I’m glad I didn’t have a mentor. It was actually an advantage for me. I had already had a career at IBM, and I knew what I wanted, so I built my business my way, with nobody telling me how to do it.”

Setting up at a relatively small institution like Northwest FCU, he says, helped a lot because of a sense of familiarity and an existing level of trust. “It’s small enough that everyone knows each other,” he explains, which helped with referrals early on because members tend to trust the credit union.   —Dave Lindorff

 

 

2.
Joel Worsfold
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Clive, Iowa
TPM: none
2014 production: $3.2 million
2013 production: $2.5 million
2014 AUM: $312.3 million
2013 AUM: $253 million
Fee business: 99%
Total years as advisor: 27
Years in current job: 20

With 27 years in the financial advisory business under his belt, Joel Worsfold, senior financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, could serve a lot more clients than he does. But he purposely keeps his roster to a minimum so he can maintain the standard of service that he feels is his hallmark and that allows him to constantly offer his clients “a Ritz Carlton feel with Fed Ex efficiency.”

“Those advisors who aren’t fee-based are always trying to get the next account and they build up books they just can’t manage,” he says. He also notes that with all the tools available today, almost anyone could put together their own asset allocation model and manage it themselves. But as an advisor “who charges a slightly higher fee and has a manageable client list, there’s so much more I can bring to the table,” he says.

Meticulous and very organized, Worsfold has “a system for everything” and also makes it his point to know everything about his clients.

“Our team wants to find out who you are, what you have, where you want to go, what you want to accomplish,” he says. “From the second you touch my parking lot until you leave me, I want to know everything about you.”

As such, communication is tops on Worsfold’s list, not just with the clients with whom he’s in constant touch on the phone and via email (he even flies to where they’re based), but also among all the members on his team, all of whom strive to glean details that will help them enhance their relationships with clients.

A smaller client book also allows for more focused financial planning and the kind of tactical asset allocation that yields better results. Worsfold has never looked to beat standard indexes, but instead scours the investment universe for “the best ideas” — unique funds and a variety of asset classes that provide the kinds of returns needed to match his clients’ goals.

Then, he makes it a point to constantly monitor those allocations. “I also let my clients know that I track everything I own every single day. I control how many investments we have,  so you won’t be able to call me and say ‘do you know what happened in that fund,’ because I already will know,” Worsfold says.         —Savita Iyer

 

3.
Emile Abinader
Bank: Citibank
Location: Granada Hills, Calif.
TPM: none
2014 production: $3.4 million
2013 production: $2.6 million
2014 AUM: $371.9 million
2013 AUM: $313.3 million
Fee business: 92%
Total years as advisor: 14
Years in current job: 14

Emile Abinader’s overarching goal as a financial advisor is to understand what motivates his clients. As director of wealth management and senior financial advisor at Citi Personal Wealth Management in Granada Hills, Calif., he focuses on getting to know his clients “beyond their money” and providing comprehensive planning and constructing portfolios based on the clients’ stated objectives and risk tolerance.

Within that framework, Abinader constantly strives to get a sense of what’s important to his clients and what they want to accomplish with their money.

“My aim is to cultivate and build lifetime partnerships that go well beyond managing my clients’ financial portfolios,” Abinader says. “Before I make any investment recommendations for a client, we have frank discussions about what they consider important in their lives and where their passions lie.”

Abinader says he gets most of his clients through word-of-mouth referrals from existing clients. He believes that his goal of understanding his clients in a holistic manner as opposed to simply sizing them up by their assets is the key factor that has helped him forge strong relationships.  In the long run, that has helped him build a successful business. He’s also a firm believer in “not talking over peoples’ heads” and bombarding them with verbiage they may not understand or products they do not need. Financial advisors who want to succeed in the business should never let clients perceive them as salesmen and it’s important, he says, for advisors to keep things simple and make clients feel comfortable about asking questions. Most importantly, though, Abinader believes that advisors must assess potential clients from the outset to determine whether it’s possible to have a long-lasting relationship with them. 

“Over the past 15 years, I have learned to be more selective about who I bring on as a client,” he says. “I don’t take on new clients if I feel we’re not a good match or if their financial objectives are unrealistic.”       —Savita Iyer

 

4.
Garrett Stringer
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
TPM: none
2014 production: $2.1 million
2013 production: $1.7 million
2014 AUM: $281.1 million
2013 AUM: $237.6 million
Fee business: 95%
Total years as advisor: 14
Years in current job: 14

When Garrett Stringer first launched his career, his father gave him what he considered simple, but valuable, advice: Treat every client as you would a member of your family, and you’ll be fortunate no matter what you do.

“I’ve always appreciated that because if you view this job as a sales job you’ll never be successful,” says Stringer. “If your goal is to do what’s right for them, you’ll maintain them for life.”

Stringer has applied this mantra across his 14-year career as a financial advisor in Raleigh, N.C., starting with First Union in 2000, and eventually landing with Wells Fargo as a managing director through various firm mergers. Every client gets a call quarterly—and every question is answered that day. (On average he gets five in-bound calls a day.) Managing 250 households, Stringer finds proactively contacting clients, and making sure he does his due diligence when first meeting them, helps build relationships that are meaningful to them—and to him.

Transactional clients are not his bread and butter. Instead, the 39-year-old looks for investors hungry for someone to help them with long-term goals. They may not do everything Stringer suggests—but when something pivotal occurs in their life, the loss of a job or an inheritance, he wants to be one of the first calls they make.

Stringer’s career path started early, in college, as he watched friends spend money in ways that “didn’t make a lot of sense to me,” he says. Having worked various jobs since he was 11-years-old, and supplementing his parent’s financial support during college, Stringer acquired an instinct for saving his money—rather than impulsively spending. He believed he could help others learn that lesson as well—and impact their future goals.             —Lauren Barack

 

5.
Patrick Varney
Bank: Bank of Colorado
Location: Windsor, Colo.
TPM: Raymond James
2014 Production: $2 million
2013 Production: $1.3 million
2014 AUM: $230 million
2013 AUM: $183 million
Fee business: 66%
Total years as advisor: 14
Years in current job: 14

Patrick Varney believes the most common mistake young advisors make is not reaching out to more experienced reps and asking for advice. He remembers a big producer inviting him to lunch one day soon after he started about 14 years ago after graduating from college. Varney was invited to spend the day and even meet with the staff.

“People are willing to share,” says the Windsor, Colo.-based financial advisor and investment management consultant with Bank of Colorado. “I think sometimes people can be intimidated about asking other people about their strategies, but I’m not. You just have to ask.”

Of course Varney also has one of the best mentors an advisor can have—his own father, Matthew Varney, 68, who oversees the eight financial advisors at the Bank of Colorado, including Varney himself. The relationship can make for some work-intensive family gatherings, but Varney wouldn’t have it any other way. His father, the branch manager for the bank’s investment program, started the group in the early 2000s, and dinner table conversations growing up often centered around investments. Varney himself bought his first two stocks—Pepsi and Con Agra—when he was just 10 years old with money he saved from mowing lawns.

Now he helps his own clients reach for their financial goals, as he encourages them to stay focused on their objectives rather than react to twists and turns in the market. And he’s helped plenty stay centered through the downturns of the past decade or so.

“I call it GPS,” he says. “You use GPS when you’re hiking, or on the road or heading to a destination.”

Varney’s also mentoring a junior advisor he brought aboard in June, transitioning about $6 million in assets under management to the younger rep’s book. That move has allowed Varney to free up more of his own time and focus additional attention on current clients. Every Tuesday morning, Varney sits down with his junior counterpart, ready to pass the torch to the next generation of advisors with advice of his own. 
—Lauren Barack

 

6.
Michael Grimes
Bank: SunTrust
Location: The Villages, Fla.
TPM: none
2014 production: $1.7 million
2013 production: $1 million
2014 AUM: $184 million
2013 AUM: $152 million
Fee-based business: 40%
Total years as advisor: 18
Years in current job: 12

At an initial meeting with a prospect, Michael Grimes and his team spend most of their time getting to know them and deciding if they want to pursue a relationship. After the initial meeting, time is spent developing and implementing planning strategies to help clients meet immediate and long-term goals. Regular portfolio reviews with clients are crucial and allow him to deliver the service he strives to maintain.

 

7.
Robert Reich
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: McLean, Va.
TPM: none
2014 production: $3.2 million
2013 production: $2.7 million
2014 AUM: $496 million
2013 AUM: $392 million
Fee-based business: 92%
Total years as advisor: 22
Years in current job: 6

Risk management and risk avoidance are the cornerstones of Rob Reich’s approach. His focus is not to beat an index but to help clients preserve their wealth so that they can continue to live the lives they’ve grown accustomed to once they reach their retirement years. Reich makes sure that each member of the team can identify risks ranging from liabilities to insurance situations to taxes.

 

8.
William Oliver
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
TPM: none
2014 production: $5.9 million
2013 production: $5.6 million
2014 AUM: $1 billion
2013 AUM: $893 million
Fee-based business: 87%
Total years as advisor: 17
Years in current job: 8

William Oliver aims to understand what clients want to achieve and from there constructs plans that allow them to understand where they are in relation to their goals. He presents investment recommendations targeted specifically to client goals and then monitors the progress to ensure that they are still on track.

 

9.
Rodney Horelka
Bank: Prosperity Bank
Location: Victoria, Texas
TPM: Cetera
2014 production: $1.6 million
2013 production: $1.2 million
2014 AUM: $165.7 million
2013 AUM: $138.3 million
Fee-based business: 45%
Total years as advisor: 19
Years in current job: 15

Rodney Horelka strives to provide clients with the SWAN experience (sleep well at night) by helping envision their goals and then mapping out the means to achieve the financial side of those goals. One hallmark of his approach is the ability to provide resources for various scenarios through a network of other professionals. He says the team that surrounds him can assist his clients with a variety of needs.

 

10.
James Christy
Bank: Northwest Federal Credit Union
Location: Herndon, Va.
TPM: LPL Financial
2014 production: $2.1 million
2013 production: $1.7 million
2014 AUM: $240.5 million
2013 AUM: $199.8 million
Fee-based business: 82%
Total years as advisor: 11
Years in current job: 11

Jim Christy holds a law degree and began his career inside the Washington Beltway. Now, 11 years after leaving the public policy world, he has carved out a successful niche serving primarily U.S. government retirees and consultants. Jim utilizes his combination of government and legal experience to address the full range of clients’ financial needs, aspirations, and concerns.

 

11.
Steven Kennedy
Bank: TowneBank
Location: Newport News, Va.
TPM: Raymond James
2014 production: $1.9 million
2013 production: $1.6 million
2014 AUM: $212.5 million
2013 AUM: $167.8 million
Fee-based business: 60%
Total years as advisor: 29
Years in current job: 9

Roughly 60% of Steven Kennedy’s business is in discretionary fee-based accounts. He mostly uses advanced technical analysis and tactical allocation with these top clients. However, he’s also comfortable with commission-based accounts and trading stocks and bonds. While the stock market has been helpful in recent years, his local centers of influence were the main factor behind his record production this year.

 

12.
Justin Mace
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Corte Madera, Calif.
TPM: none
2014 production: $1.1 million
2013 production: $850,000
2014 AUM: $150 million
2013 AUM: $90 million
Fee-based business: 89%
Total years as advisor: 19
Years in current job: 6

Justin Mace is a Wells Fargo advisor with nearly two decades of experience in the financial-services industry. This million-dollar producer generates the majority of his production from fee-based business and has a special business focus on high client retention.

 

13.
Daniel Tyler Abbott
Bank: FirstBank
Location: Dayton, Tenn.
TPM: Invest Financial
2014 production: $1.1 million
2013 production: $698,000
2014 AUM: $77.2 million
2013 AUM: $66.1 million
Fee-based business: 5%
Total years as advisor: 7
Years in current job: 7

Daniel Tyler Abbott focuses more on his client relationships than on transactions. His office operates in small towns where he must become more than just an investment picker. His clients depend on him to remember the total picture of their financial situation, including income planning, risk profiling and estate transfers.

 

14.
James Hare
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
TPM: Raymond James
2014 production: $1.1 million
2013 production: $910,000
2014 AUM: $138.3 million
2013 AUM: $105.8 million
Fee-based business: 97%
Total years as advisor: 16
Years in current job: 7

With a book of business that is almost entirely fee-based, James Hare manages a select group of clients. He provides discretionary portfolio management based on clients’ needs and expectations. He prefers to buy individual stocks and bonds versus mutual funds, thereby making the portfolios more tax-efficient.

 

15.
Debra Alberto
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Clive, Iowa
TPM: none
2014 production: $1.5 million
2013 production: $1.3 million
2014 AUM: $211.6 million
2013 AUM: $177.2 million
Fee-based business: 96%
Total years as advisor: 25
Years in current job: 23

Debra Alberto takes a planning-first approach to every client engagement. Through a diligent planning process, she helps clients create customized investment strategies while managing risk as a top priority. Her low attrition rate with clients is a testament to their loyalty.

 

16.
Raymond Beloin
Bank: Webster Bank
Location: Bristol, Conn.
TPM: LPL Financial
2014 production: $2.1 million
2013 production: $1.6 million
2014 AUM: $177.1 million
2013 AUM: $166.7 million
Fee-based business: 60%
Total years as advisor: 20
Years in current job: 18

Raymond Beloin has about $180 million under management and is on pace to produce more than $2.5 million in revenue this year, which represents two consecutive years with a revenue growth rate of more than 30%.  He and his team have a disciplined segmentation process related to his book of clients as well as to branch and partner referrals.

 

17.
Peter Shieh
Bank: Citibank
Location: Rowland Heights, Calif.
TPM: none
2014 production: $1.6 million
2013 production: $1.3 million
2014 AUM: $231.6 million
2013 AUM: $168.3 million
Fee-based business: 80%
Total years as advisor: 12
Years in current job: 8

Peter Shieh has more than 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. He provides comprehensive financial guidance through all stages of clients’ financial lives, from accumulation and distribution to inter-generational wealth transfers. He assists clients both in strategic asset allocations as well as tactical adjustments.

 

18.
Andrew Vahab
Bank: Citibank
Location: New York
TPM: none
2014 production: $3.1 million
2013 production: $2.6 million
2014 AUM: $452.5 million
2013 AUM: $375.9 million
Fee-based business: 65%
Total years as advisor: 13
Years in current job: 10

Andrew Vahab strives to be a “financial quarterback” for clients. He understands that everything begins and ends with service. In the next decade, he believes that there will be a robust movement toward bringing the institutional investment strategies once only offered to endowments and pensions to the retail client.

 

19.
William Eastburn
Bank: Langley Federal Credit Union
Location: Yorktown, Va.
TPM: Cetera
2014 production: $1.5 million
2013 production: $765,000
2014 AUM: $136.2 million
2013 AUM: $111.7 million
Fee-based business: 14%
Total years as advisor: 21
Years in current job: 20

William Eastburn provides holistic wealth management to clients. He aims to preserve and protect their assets, while targeting growth in accordance with their time horizons and risk tolerances. He works with many clients but focuses on serving the needs of engineers and scientists at the local NASA research center.

 

20.
W. Russell Dyer
Bank: SunTrust Bank
Location: Winter Haven, Fla.
TPM: none
2014 production: $895,000
2013 production: $566,000
2014 AUM: $126 million
2013 AUM: $95 million
Fee-based business: 45%
Total years as advisor: 13
Years in current job: 7

W. Russell Dyer’s approach to investing depends on such factors as the time until assets are needed, the risk tolerance of the client, economic conditions, and estate and tax planning implications. He believes in educating clients about risk and helping them realize that risk can’t be completely removed, but rather reduced and managed.

 

21.
Michael Abrams
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
TPM: none
2014 production: $3.6 million
2013 production: $3.1 million
2014 AUM: $1 billion
2013 AUM: $807 million
Fee-based business: 84%
Total years as advisor: 25
Years in current job: 23

Michael Abrams works as part of a team helping ultra-high-net-worth families and foundations develop and implement comprehensive wealth strategies. His focus is a client-oriented, needs-driven, multi-generational approach to managing and preserving wealth. He addresses each client’s needs individually and creates customized investment plans.

 

22.
Ward Welles
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Denver, Colo.
TPM: none
2014 production: $1 million
2013 production: $800,000
2014 AUM: $120 million
2013 AUM: $80 million
Fee-based business: 89%
Total years as advisor: 20
Years in current job: 6

Ward Welles has two decades of experience in the financial-services industry. This Wells Fargo advisor generated $1 million in production for the 12 months ending in August, mostly from fee-based business. He has a focus on high client retention.

 

23.
Kevin Dunnigan
Bank: Home State Bank
Location: Loveland, Colo.
TPM: Investment Centers of America
2014 production: $2.6 million
2013 production: $2.1 million
2014 AUM: $229.9 million
2013 AUM: $184.7 million
Fee-based business: 1%
Total years as advisor: 30
Years in current job: 28

Kevin Dunnigan’s ICA office has been recognized as the No. 1 office of 250 nationwide, and he’s been named the No. 1 producer for 23 years. He has been in the investment and insurance business for nearly 30 years and has helped countless clients with their investments. He believes in treating clients as if they were friends or family members.

 

24.
John Kane
Bank: Citadel Federal Credit Union
Location: West Chester, Pa.
TPM: CUSO Financial Services
2014 production: $913,000
2013 production: $708,000
2014 AUM: $122.2 million
2013 AUM: $96.9 million
Fee-based business: 54%
Total years as advisor: 14
Years in current job: 14

John Kane’s approach is to build a rapport with clients. New clients receive in-person meetings three times before initiating any paperwork. After the initial meetings, Kane establishes a review timeline that is comfortable for clients and provides regular communication through quarterly newsletters, email updates, and semi-annual client events.

 

25.
Cynthia Giovacchino
Bank: Webster Bank
Location: Ansonia, Conn.
TPM: LPL Financial
2014 production: $2.2 million
2013 production: $919,000
2014 AUM: $109 million
2013 AUM: $93.6 million
Fee-based business: 25%
Total years as advisor: 15
Years in current job: 15

Cynthia Giovacchino started at Webster Bank in 1986 as a teller and steadily climbed the ranks to branch manager, then LBE, then full-time advisor. Now a senior financial consultant, she oversees $118 million in assets under management.  She had her best year in 2013, breaking a bank record with $2.1 million in revenue.

 

26.
Frederick Greene
Bank: Woodforest National Bank
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
TPM: Raymond James
2014 production: $2.3 million
2013 production: $1.7 million
2014 AUM: $375.8 million
2013 AUM: $273 million
Fee-based business: 41%
Total years as advisor: 31
Years in current job: 11

Fred Greene is committed to providing exceptional client service. His business is built on the basics, with individual stocks, bonds and mutual funds forming the core of his practice. He manages both fee-based and commission-based accounts, all based on the client’s individual needs and account objectives.

 

27.
Michelle Ashworth
Bank: Corning Credit Union
Location: Corning, N.Y.
TPM: Raymond James
2014 production: $804,000
2013 production: $311,000
2014 AUM: $115.5 million
2013 AUM: $41 million
Fee-based business: 52%
Total years as advisor: 8
Years in current job: 7

One of Michelle Ashworth’s initiatives has been to convert the firm’s wealth strategies team from Excel-based meeting notes and templates to a customer relationship management system. Touchpoints with clients have increased, notes have become more detailed and streamlined, and efficiencies have been gained in front- and back-office functions.

 

28.
Jason Mayer
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
TPM: none
2014 production: $2.0 million
2013 production: $1.7 million
2014 AUM: $233 million
2013 AUM: $200 million
Fee-based business: 76%
Total years as advisor: 15
Years in current job: 9

Jason Mayer strongly believes in having a process for all aspect of his practice, whether it’s onboarding a new client, managing a client’s current wealth plan, or servicing a relationship. Articulating that process to clients helps build loyalty and trust. He also notes he’s able to leverage other Wells Fargo professionals in areas like trust and fiduciary, debt management, insurance, estate planning.

 

29.
James Bish
Bank: First Niagara Bank
Location: Butler, Pa.
TPM: LPL Financial
2014 production: $994,000
2013 production: $324,000
2014 AUM: $58 million
2013 AUM: $46 million
Fee-based business: 13%
Total years as advisor: 9
Years in current job: 2

James Bish focuses on clients’ overall investment objectives, including time horizons and risk tolerance. That enables him to make recommendations that give clients confidence that their goals and objectives are attainable.

 

30.
Daniel Cibula
Bank: Johnson Bank
Location: Racine, Wis.
TPM: Invest Financial
2014 production: $652,000
2013 production: $386,000
2014 AUM: $75 million
2013 AUM: $57 million
Fee-based business: 29%
Total years as advisor: 18
Years in current job: 8

Daniel Cibula approaches his job with the idea that every individual has unique needs and goals, which can only be determined through in-depth conversations and analysis.  Based on this foundation, he builds clients’ portfolios to meet their specific short- and long-term goals while making sure they are confident and well-informed on their evolving financial status. He also has the latitude to adjust clients’ goals as necessary, based on life events.

 

31.
Gregory Malin
Bank: Fulton Financial
Location: Camp Hill, Pa.
TPM: Raymond James
2014 production: $1.5 million
2013 production: $1.2 million
2014 AUM: $142.6 million
2013 AUM: $120.3 million
Fee-based business: 73%
Total years as advisor: 15|
Years in current job: 10

Gregory Malin has built his business by pursuing every distribution channel available in the bank, integrating his practice with the bank’s business and commercial lines as well as with wealth management.

 

32.
Matthew Griffin
Bank: Family Trust Federal Credit Union
Location: Rock Hill, S.C.
TPM: LPL Financial
2014 production: $580,000
2013 production: $403,000
2014 AUM: $59 million
2013 AUM: $47 million
Fee-based business: 90%
Total years as advisor: 10
Years in current job: 5

Matthew Griffin prides himself on “being a good steward” of other people’s money, which is the pillar of his value proposition. He also prides himself on not giving the typical elevator speech to prospective clients. Rather than talking over clients’ heads, he uses analogies and relates them to clients’ needs. He also finds time to discuss real-life topics with clients, such as the costs of home repairs and car purchases.

 

33.
Angela Ostendarp
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
TPM: none
2014 production: $2.8 million
2013 production: $2.3 million
2014 AUM: $394.5 million
2013 AUM: $335.3 million
Fee-based business: 79%
Total years as advisor: 20
Years in current job: 20

Angela Ostendarp helps simplify the complexity of financial decisions for clients by analyzing each important aspect of their financial life. She then formulates a strategy that is aligned with clients’ goals and tolerance for risk and presents recommendations to them clearly and concisely.

 

34.
Jeff Goble
Bank: Citibank
Location: Huntington Beach, Calif.
TPM: none
2014 production: $1 million
2013 production: $804,000
2014 AUM: $127 million
2013 AUM: $105 million
Fee-based business: 97%
Total years as advisor: 20
Years in current job: 13

Jeff Goble’s approach to financial planning is based on three principles: Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions right from the start; give clients the customer experience they always expect but never receive: and help clients with both accumulating wealth and improving their lives once they’ve accumulated it.

 

35.
Adam Nieto
Bank: Fremont Bank
Location: Freemont, Calif.
TPM: Sorrento Pacific Financial
2014 production: $2.7 million
2013 production: $2.6 million
2014 AUM: $279.3 million
2013 AUM: $206.6 million
Fee-based business: 1%
Total years as advisor: 25
Years in current job: 10

Adam Nieto specializes in risk management. Before he makes any move with clients’ money, he completes an in-depth needs assessment to make sure he understands where that money fits within the specific plan, which isn’t always in investments. Most of his business is from referrals from existing clients.

 

36.
William Murphy
Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
TPM: none
2014 production: $1.8 million
2013 production: $1.6 million
2014 AUM: $300 million
2013 AUM: $198 million
Fee-based business: 75%
Total years as advisor: 10
Years in current job: 6

William Murphy works with wealthy families to help them build, manage, preserve and transfer wealth. He takes a full balance sheet approach using the resources and capabilities of his firm. By taking a deep dive into client goals, objectives, fears and dreams, he helps clients succeed financially.

 

37.
Joseph Barreca
Bank: Iberia Bank
Location: New Orleans, La.
TPM: Essex National Securities
2014 production: $2.1 million
2013 production: $1.8 million
2014 AUM: $300 million
2013 AUM: $225 million
Fee-based business: 25%
Total years as advisor: 15
Years in current job: 11

Joseph Barreca focuses on attention to detail, good listening skills and empathy for clients. He is supported by a team that helps him build long-term relationships with clients and provides excellent customer service. He is passionate about making sure that he implements a holistic approach to managing clients’ assets.

 

38.
Brian Allsop
Bank: Bank of Canton
Location: Canton, Mass.
TPM: Infinex Financial
2014 production: $1.1 million
2013 production: $1 million
2014 AUM: $183.5 million
2013 AUM: $160 million
Fee-based business: 66%
Total years as advisor: 15
Years in current job: 15

Brian Allsop focuses on providing retired clients with an inflation-adjusted income stream. In his experience, an important reason many people don’t enjoy retirement to the fullest is that they don’t have a strategy for how long their money will last. He enjoys helping these clients gain peace of mind.

 

39.
Paul Stetter Jr.
Bank: Fulton Financial
Location: Ephrata, Pa.
TPM: Raymond James
2014 production: $1.6 million
2013 production: $1.2 million
2014 AUM: $183 million
2013 AUM: $152 million
Fee-based business: 64%
Total years as advisor: 22
Years in current job: 8

Paul Stetter’s expertise lies in selecting investments that match each client’s specific goals and objectives. His process includes four steps: determining financial objectives, developing a plan, implementation and tracking performance. He considers it his mission to help his clients find successful solutions for major lifestyle issues including education, retirement, estate planning and portfolio planning.

 

40.
Louis Papa
Bank: Penn Liberty Bank
Location: Wayne, Pa.
TPM: SII Investments
2014 production: $1.2 million
2013 production: $1.1 million
2014 AUM: $127.7 million
2013 AUM: $117 million
Fee-based business: 90%
Total years as advisor: 18
Years in current job: 4

Louis Papa uses asset allocation, efficient markets theory, modern portfolio theory and third-party asset managers to remove emotion from the equation for clients. He invests his own money with the same third-party asset managers, believing that if it is good enough for clients, it is good enough for him.

 

41.
Jude McDonough
Bank: Community Bank, N.A.
Location: Scranton, Pa.
TPM: Invest Financial
2014 production: $361,000
2013 production: $233,000
2014 AUM: $36 million
2013 AUM: $27 million
Fee-based business: 30%
Total years as advisor: 6
Years in current job: 4

Jude McDonough makes the most of his affiliation with the bank for both new business opportunities and for additional products and services that can help clients. His role as a bank financial consultant presents a unique opportunity to be clients’ first point of contact for everything in their financial lives.

 

42.
Gihan Fernando
Bank: Bank of Texas
Location: Bellaire, Texas
TPM: BOSC Inc.
2014 production: $1.9 million
2013 production: $675,000
2014 AUM: $77 million
2013 AUM: $46 million
Fee-based business: 10%
Total years as advisor: 15
Years in current job: 12

Gihan Fernando has transformed his practice this year to spend more of his time on financial planning. The result has been an increase in the quantity and quality of the referrals he has received from his bank partners.  He also looks outward for new business, however, and is very active in the Asian community, which helps him obtain referrals outside of his bank network.

 

43.
Barry Kemp
Bank: Fifth-Third Bank
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
TPM: none
2014 production: $1.4 million
2013 production: $1.2 million
2014 AUM: $172 million
2013 AUM: $156 million
Fee-based business: 15%
Total years as advisor: 18
Years in current job: 8

Barry Kemp puts his clients’ needs and concerns at the forefront of every meeting and decision. He has built a strong business over the past eight years. He is always open to new ideas and ways he can improve his approach in the industry.

 

44.
Cory Libis
Bank: American National Bank
Location: Omaha, Neb.
TPM: Securities America
2014 production: $903,000
2013 production: $819,000
2014 AUM: $114.2 million
2013 AUM: $94 million
Fee-based business: 55%
Total years as advisor: 13
Years in current job: 12

Cory Libis is committed to ethical behavior when providing financial planning. For more than a decade, he has provided solutions to financially established individuals and business owners. His comprehensive approach includes retirement and income planning, asset allocation, tax strategies, qualified plan reviews, insurance coverage, and estate planning.

 

45.
Ronald Baliton
Bank: Seacoast National Bank
Location: Stuart, Fla.
TPM: Invest Financial
2014 production: $722,000
2013 production: $512,000
2014 AUM: $54.5 million
2013 AUM: $44.3 million
Fee-based business: 1%
Total years as advisor: 19
Years in current job: 12

Whether it is a first meeting or a portfolio review, Ronald Baliton believes that it is important to keep discussions with clients simple. He tries to listen not only to clients’ investment goals but what they want out of life and how their investments can make that a reality.

 

46.
Audra Lubawski
Bank: FirstBank
Location: Southern Pines, N.C.
TPM: Infinex Financial
2014 production: $574,000
2013 production: $520,000
2014 AUM: $72.8 million
2013 AUM: $57.2 million
Fee-based business: 30%
Total years as advisor: 9
Years in current job: 9

Audra Lubawski has built her practice around serving and catering to the specific needs and investment strategies of retirees. She regularly schedules well-attended education seminars geared to this demographic group. She has a holistic approach to managing assets and looking at legacy planning.

 

47.
Kevin McDermott
Bank: Citadel Credit Union
Location: West Chester, Pa.
TPM: CUSO Financial
2014 production: $1.6 million
2013 production: $1.6 million
2014 AUM: $165 million
2013 AUM: $143 million
Fee-based business: 50%
Total years as advisor: 27
Years in current job: 24

Kevin McDermott concentrates on building deeper, more consultative relationships. Clients receive an average of 10 to 12 contacts per year, including semi-annual or quarterly reviews, quarterly newsletters, market analysis emails and calls. He attracts new clients through referrals from his existing clients alone.

 

48.
Randy Quale
Bank: First International Bank
Location: Watford City, N.D.
TPM: Investment Centers of America
2014 production: $1.2 million
2013 production: $813,000
2014 AUM: $117 million
2013 AUM: $88 million
Fee-based business: 2%
Total years as advisor: 27
Years in current job: 27

Randy Quale began his practice in 1987, opening an office inside First International Bank and Trust. He is a member of the ICA Advisory Council and was Representative of the Year at the ICA National Conference this year, recognizing his success as an experienced advisor providing comprehensive financial planning.

 

49.
Doug Leonzi
Bank: National Penn Bank
Location: Allentown, Pa.
TPM: Cetera
2014 production: $1.4 million
2013 production: $1.2 million
2014 AUM: $234 million
2013 AUM: $182 million
Fee-based business: 65%
Total years as advisor: 14
Years in current job: 11

Doug Leonzi believes in a client-centric approach and prides himself on being able to customize services. From the first meeting to years down the road, he tries to keep clients at the forefront of the investment strategy, ensuring that goals and objectives are not only met but exceeded.

 

50. Carolyn DuQuen-Higgins
Bank: Apple Bank for Savings
Location: Smithtown, N.Y.
TPM: Essex National Securities
2014 production: $604,000
2013 production: $421,000
2014 AUM: $65.6 million
2013 AUM: $55.8 million
Fee-based business: 0%
Total years as advisor: 14
Years in current job: 7

Carolyn DuQuen-Higgins has built relationships with customers, including branch staff, who tend to become repeat investors who also refer their friends and family. She focuses on her branches and clients, enhancing her ability to analyze their needs and provide solutions along with an understanding of the products and services.

 

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