Welcome to Bank Investment Consultant's annual listing of The 50 Bank advisors.

SLIDESHOW: The Top 50 Bank Advisors

We continue to take steps to improve our ranking. Last year, we expanded our analysis. Instead of basing the list on just one variable as we had in previous years, we used five variables and combined them into a weighted average. This year, we added a sixth, but more important, we also changed the way we weighted them. We gave more credence this time to the year-over-year changes in assets under management and production than we did before.

First, a little background. The six variables we used were: (1) 2012 assets under management; (2) trailing-12 month production; (3) percentage change in AUM from the previous year; (4) percentage change in T-12 production; (5) amount of fee business; and (6) the ratio of production-per-AUM. (Note: Due to deadline restrictions, we defined 2012 AUM as the amount on Aug. 31, 2012. For 2012 production, we used the 12-month period from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012.)

We assigned scores, 1 through 11, to each nominated advisor in each of the six categories. This served two purposes. First, it gave us a valid way to compare different variables, such as percentages and dollar amounts. It also served to cap the categories at the top score's range. That is, the advisor with the highest production on our list would have scored an 11 in that category, the highest possible mark. But that would not necessarily sway the entire list, because other advisors would also be in that highest bracket. Moreover, production was only one variable of six considered in the final tally.

So, why do all that instead of using just one variable, say AUM? Simple. We wanted this to be a well-rounded analysis, not merely a simple consideration of size. And to that end, we feel we succeeded. The advisors listed here are not just one-trick ponies. They are similar to a triathlete who excels in swimming, biking and running, not just a gold medalist in one and a duffer in the other two.

We feel being a renaissance advisor is an important consideration, but we know there will be those who disagree. So, as we did last year, we'll kick things off with a few criticisms that we expect to hear and we'll give you our responses.

First, this method is subjective in the formulas and the weightings that are used.

Agreed, it is. But we used standard measures (assets, production, fee business and so on). Plus, we capped their contributions to the overall scores. Generally, we feel this is a well-rounded analysis.

Another possible objection: An advisor could have $1 billion in AUM and still be marginalized on this list.

Here, we would disagree. Those categories where size counts (AUM and production) are indeed used in our final analysis. But we also account for the increases from last year. And yes, we gave those increases more weight this year than we did in the past. In that sense, we are measuring how strong you were as a business owner: how well did you grow your business in the past 12 months?

Criticism three: If you're only taking into account the past 12 months, what about the advisors who have been serving clients for 20 years?

To some extent we'd agree. Since we are looking at the past 12 months for some variables, it may have a "what have you done for me lately" feel. But to a large degree, that's business, and especially your business. (In an interview, a prospective employer is going to ask about your numbers last year, not 10 years ago.)

Finally, this list does not take into account the full value of an advisor.

True, it does not. The full value of an advisor starts with the quality of your client relationships. This list is purely numbers-driven and does not capture those aspects of your job. But the statistics also count, and this is our annual calculation of the top advisors in the channel.

Enjoy the ranking and the bios.

 

1. Robert Reich

Robert Reich, financial advisor at Wells Fargo in McLean, Va., has just 60 clients. But that number is perfect, he says, to run a productive and dedicated practice that seeks to deliver in three main areas: maintaining clients' present lifestyles in the future, preserving their net worth and assuring their legacy.

"All our clients are self-made — they have earned their wealth, so the primary role that we fulfill for them is to maintain, preserve and transition the wealth that they have created," Reich says.

And the key to that, he says, is to steer clear from risk no matter what form it takes.

"When these people created their wealth, they took some risks along the way, and that paid off," Reich says. "But now, they want to focus on the future and that means taking risk out of the equation."

By risk, Reich doesn't only mean capital market risk. There are many other risks that can come to bear on a client's wealth both in the present and in the future, and this can have disastrous effects on their holdings.

Taxes on their current income, for example, or the transfer of their estate to their heirs and the corresponding tax rules that are associated with that definitely pose certain risks if they're not understood properly.

Many of Reich's clients also worry about the cost of long-term health care and how it will affect their lifestyles in the future, and they have concerns about whether or not they got the best rates for the multiple properties they may own.

Managing all these potential risks requires more than just formulating a solid financial plan for a client: It requires a top-notch team of professionals, each one an expert in his or her domain, capable of offering clients the best in every aspect of their financial planning. Each member of Reich's team is a specialist in a particular subject area, he says, knowledgeable and experienced in every field from planning to philanthropy.

And because he views financial planning holistically, Reich believes it's equally important for himself and members of his team to meet and keep in close contact with the "other" parties involved in his clients' financial future, notably their tax attorneys and CPAs.

"Once you've stated that your goal is to maintain and preserve a client's net worth, you have to bring all their other advisors into play as well, coordinate with them and work with them, in order to do a really good job for the client," he says. "This is a critical part of what we do."

But the most important task that Reich and his teammates have is convincing their clients to focus only on the big picture and not worry about immediate and near-term disturbances as they occur.

It's human nature, of course, to be distracted by the headlines, but "we really work to get our clients to understand that getting fixated on how their performance compares to an index on a quarterly basis is just not meaningful," Reich says. "We get them to understand that watching CNBC is not going to be meaningful to them at all, that what we're focused on is three, five, 10 or 20 years in the future, so where the Dow is on any given day should be of very little consequence to them."

Reich cannot emphasize enough how much clients need to understand this very important element of his approach.

"As much as clients may interview us, we also interview them to make sure they understand how we manage money, what our goals and objectives are," he says. "We want to be totally transparent and up front with potential clients and make sure they are compatible with us."

The detailed plan Reich draws up for each of his clients forecasts a 70% to 90% chance for an individual client to achieve his or her long-term goals and objectives.

And this, he says, is the best way to keep to the task at hand-to tune out the headlines and keep an eye on a client's main objectives. The plan includes a "risk budget" that accounts for a certain percentage of loss and which sets a boundary around the amount of risk Reich and his team will expose the client to. And it is subject to regular and thorough revisions.

Most of Reich's clients are located in the Washington, D.C. area. As it were, many are lawyers, entrepreneurs and C-suite level executives who have referred their peers and colleagues to Reich. Together, they make up a tight-knit community that's easier to serve and connect with-both from his perspective and from the perspective of his clients- and that works together in many different ways.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: McLean, Va.
TPM: N/A
2012 Production: $2 million
2011 Production: $1.7 million
2012 AUM: $315 million
2011 AUM: $235 million
Fee business: 90%
Product mix: Mutual funds/ETFs 80%, alternatives 10%, managed futures, private equity 10%


2. Peter Knittle

Peter Knittle attributes his success as this year's No. 2 advisor to good old-fashioned customer service. "I want to be the advisor that is just as engaged in the first meeting when assets are coming over as I am in the 20th meeting when we are just reviewing their performance," he says.

Indeed, the personal attention he showers on customers — large and small — has helped him reel in more of their business, often from large investment firms. Just last month he persuaded a customer who originally came in for advice on a $40,000 certificate of deposit to move over his entire portfolio to the bank within a three-month period of time. The customer was not only happy with the initial investment choice but was impressed that Knittle remembered his name and talked to him on the three separate occasions that he visited the branch. "This went a long way with him since he had always felt that he was just a small fish in a big pond with the other advisor. As cliched as it is, I took the time to seek him out when he came into the branch and say hello. It was as simple as that," he says.

Knittle has also focused this year on gaining more advisory business, which he says benefits him and the bank as well as his clients. He started the shift two years ago but it wasn't until this year that his efforts to build the advisory business have taken off. Year-to-date, Knittle has added 41 new advisory clients to his book of business.

The biggest secret to his success, however, is good relationships with branch staff. "As with many bank investment programs, we are somewhat reliant on the branch traffic and branch referrals. The platform at the bank branch is the first contact for most members before they see me. That is why communication with them is vital," he says. He sends out weekly emails recognizing those who have referred business and the sales that resulted from them. He also sends them updates on economic conditions and what to look out for when speaking with their customers. "The most successful advisors understand how to communicate with branch staff and give them the motivation and coaching it takes for them to succeed," Knittle says.

Bank: ESL Federal Credit Union
Location: Rochester, N.Y.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 Production: $1.6 million
2011 Production: $1.1 million
2012 AUM: $131 million
2011 AUM: $83 million
Fee business: 20%
Product mix: Mutual funds 55%, Variable annuities 19%, Fixed annuities 12%


3. Randall Krenzin

Randy Krenzin may work in high tech's living room, but when it comes to his clients, he believes nothing is more important than being face to face. Based in San Jose, Calif., the senior financial consultant with Wells Fargo devotes much of his time to listening to investors — and not just what they say out loud, but what he can infer as well. And that connection isn't one Krenzin feels is best handled through digital bits and bytes.

"I really take a deep dive into the client's situation, but I can only get a real feeling by looking them in the eye and sitting across the table," he says. "They didn't come for me to cite statistics and numbers. They want me to help guide them through hurdles."

Krenzin's personal touch has led him well, to a practice with more than $366 million in assets under management. It's a long way from his early days with Dean Witter Reynolds when he had a phone, a computer and a mission to build his business. Today, while some referrals do come through the bank channel, about 90% come "organically from clients," he says.

Their trust likely stems from his willingness to push beyond the scope of his responsibilities, such as bringing in outside experts in matters that can affect their legacies. This year, Krenzin asked estate attorneys to review clients' holdings and wealth plans in light of upcoming changes to estate tax law. He notes that several acted on the advice by making decisions such as gifting more from their estate now to charities and family. "Clients appreciate having these processes and tools explained," he says. "It's over and above my immediate job, but I am trying to look out for the whole family."

To Krenzin, that's accomplished by being front and center with clients, ensuring they know he's engaged and ready to devote his attention to their concerns. "Most of us in this business talk too much," he says. "But I try to listen, not just hear but really listen. And I think you learn a lot about someone by doing that."

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: San Jose, Calif.
TPM: N/A
2011 production: $2 million
2010 production: $1.5 million
2011 AUM: $366 million
2010 AUM: $232 million
Fee-based business: 70%
Product mix: Advisory products 60%, Fixed income 30%, Insurance 10%


4. Michael Grimes

Mike Grimes, a financial advisor at SunTrust in Lady Lakes, Fla., believes that the personal connection between advisor and client is paramount. And it's particularly important with respect to his client base, most of whom are already retired.

Grimes, a financial advisor since 1986, keeps in constant contact with his clients (because of their demographic, many are not comfortable with computers and electronic communication). He believes in phone calls and face-to-face interaction, with the goal of cultivating and fostering the kind of trust that's important for all clients but particularly so for retirees.

He also makes an effort whenever possible to get to know his clients' attorneys, their accountants and, of course, their family members. "They like to have the face-to-face interaction," he says. "I also believe it's important for a planner to have a relationship with a client's attorney and accountant, and the more you know about their family, the better."

In formulating a plan for a client's immediate and future goals, Grimes spends a lot of time determining their risk tolerance. More important, he ensures a constant revision of the plan he puts together, because without that, even the best-laid plan can go awry.

But revising a plan on a regular basis doesn't just mean making sure clients don't outlive their money. For Grimes, it also entails ensuring that everything else that supports their lifestyle and their legacies are in place at all times.

"Do clients have their estate planning documents in place, for instance? This might have nothing to do with investing but can result in a real tragedy if not addressed," Grimes says.

Bank: SunTrust
Location: Lady Lake, Fla.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.2 million
2011 production: $1 million
2012 AUM: $80 million
2011 AUM: $60 million
Fee business: 50%
Product mix: Managed accounts 50%, annuities & insurance 25%, Fixed income 5%


5. Patrick Varney

The top reason for patrick Varney's "phenomenal year" as an advisor is no other than his employer, the Bank of Colorado. When the bank believes in and supports the bank program, it makes his job that much easier, he says.

Over the years, Varney has cultivated extremely good relationships with the president of the two bank branches he covers. "Each of our branch presidents are extremely well respected individuals within our community. They have helped introduce me to a wide network of their client base," Varney says.

Community involvement also contributed to his success. He is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and participates in all the community events the bank sponsors at local high schools and other organizations. In addition, he and his wife and children have lived in the town in which one of the branches is located for 13 years, giving them great visibility in the community.

Providing excellent customer service also played a big role in making 2012 an extremely good year for Varney. Varney employs an open-door policy with customers that come to the bank. "My clients know they can stop in anytime without an appointment to chat or visit about items," says Varney. He meets with his 250 clients for semiannual reviews and makes sure that he reaches out to customers 60 times annually.

In addition to semi-annual in-person meetings, he sends customers a written quarterly newsletter, emails them a weekly newsletter, and sends them birthday cards and even wedding anniversary cards, if appropriate. "We believe in those personal touches," Varney says.

Varney sees customer service as critical because it's the one thing he and his assistant can control. He noted that they can't control things like market volatility or the happenings in Washington and Europe, but with customer service, they have "total control."

Bank: Bank of Colorado
Location: Greeley, Colo.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $1.3 million
2011 production: $827,000
2012 AUM: $169.7 million
2011 AUM: $100.5 million
Fee business: 44%
Product mix: Mutual funds 42%, Annuities 21%, Fixed income 15%


6. Yvonne Silguero

A native of the Rio Grande Valley, Yvonne Silguero takes pride in serving Hispanic families and small business owners who make up Lone Star's target niche. She says that a "money in motion" initiative helps spot opportunities for clients with maturing CDs and large deposits.

Bank: Lone Star National Bank
Location: McAllen, Texas
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $1 million
2011 production: $777,000
2012 AUM: $100 million
2011 AUM: $78 million
Fee-based business: 0%
Product mix: REITs 58%, variable annuities 29%, fixed annuity 5%


7. Joel Worsfold

Joel Worsfold cites clear communication and the wide array of resources available from Wells Fargo as keys to his success. He says it's key to listen carefully to understand clients' feelings about risk, then use sophisticated planning and analysis tools to identify potential strategies.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Clive, Iowa
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $2.2 million
2011 production: $2.0 million
2012 AUM: $211.7 million
2011 AUM: $174.7 million
Fee-based business: 95%
Product mix: Managed accounts 82%, annuities 14%, mutual funds & ETFs 3%


8. Craven Green

Regardless of size, Craven Green calls each client once a quarter. He creates monthly spreadsheets for each of them that show the annualized rate of return from the start of the relationship. He seeks low-risk buys that have bested peers for 20 years, and doesn't sell until they underperform.

Bank: Extraco Bank
Location: Waco, Texas
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $807,000
2011 production: $677,000
2012 AUM: $74.3 million
2011 AUM: $61.2 million
Fee-based business: 97%
Product mix: Equities 55%, mutual funds 28%, REITs/tangibles/LPs 9%


9. Wayne Rogers

Wayne Rogers ensures that his clients have objectivesbased investment plans. He and his team take a full balances heet approach to investment, lending and banking, helping clients with real estate, personal business and oil & gas assets. With such success, they've raised minimums to $1million in assets.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Midland, Texas
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.1 million
2011 production: $700,000
2012 AUM: $165 million
2011 AUM: $120 million
Fee-based business: 65%
Product mix: Fee-based accounts, mutual funds, insurance


10. Steve Kennedy

Steve Kennedy says he went through Dean Witter's training program 27 years ago where he embraced the notion that clients should be talking to their "money manager."That has led him, in turn, to embrace discretionary investment management with his largest clients

Bank: TowneBank
Location: Suffolk, Va.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $1.6 million
2011 production: $1.3 million
2012 AUM: $159.7 million
2011 AUM: $142.2 million
Fee-based business: 49%
Product mix: Equities 24%, mutual funds 22%, fixed income 19%


11. James Hare

James Hare manages a small number of clients, but they have assets of more than$1 million, on average. Many are health care executives with equity in their companies. So he tells them up front that their biggest returns will come from their businesses, not from the stock market.

Bank: Pinnacle Bank
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $726,000
2011 production: $534,000
2012 AUM: $97.3 million
2011 AUM: $57.7 million
Fee-based business: 98%
Product mix: Equities 54%, fixed income 33%, cash & cash alternatives 9%


12. Todd Dathe

Todd Dathe focuses on a limited number of clients. Each one gets a comprehensive written plan and meets with Dathe three times a year. He shares the plan with other pros in the client's life and is open to their feedback, creating stronger relationships for all.

Bank: First Bank & Trust
Location: Sioux Falls, S.D.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $499,000
2011 production: $358,000
2012 AUM: $53.1 million
2011 AUM: $37.5 million
Fee-based business: 47%
Product mix: Equities 49%, annuities 24%, mutual funds 15%


13. Devon Nolan

Devon Nolan employs an open-door policy for both clients and staff to discuss financial planning. His primary focus is his relationship with clients and their families. He uses a wide range of products and resources to help construct client portfolios.

Bank: ESL Federal Credit Union
Location: Rochester, N.Y.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $867,000
2011 production: $693,000
2012 AUM: $86 million
2011 AUM: $60 million
Fee-based business: 0%
Product mix: Fixed annuities 49%, mutual funds 37%, variable annuities 14%


14. Paul Stetter Jr.

Paul Stetter's investment consulting process includes four steps: determining financial objectives, developing a plan, implementing it and tracking performance. He aims to help clients protect their investments from taxes and inflation, and help them achieve their short- and long-term goals.

Bank: Fulton Bank
Location: Lancaster, Pa.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $1.1 million
2011 production: $915,000
2012 AUM: $132.3 million
2011 AUM: $109.8 million
Fee-based business: 54%
Product mix: Annuities 52%, mutual funds 27%, equities 14%


15. Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott's clients receive, on average, 12 to 15 contacts per year, including semiannual or quarterly reviews, quarterly newsletters and market volatility analyses emails and calls. He also helps branch staffers meet their goal of 13 referrals a year.

Bank: Citadel Federal Credit Union
Location: Exton, Pa.
TPM: Cuso Financial Services
2012 production: $1.8 million
2011 production: $1.3 million
2012 AUM: $117.1 million
2011 AUM: $103.6 million
Fee-based business: 41%
Product mix: Annuities 51%, fee-based accounts 41%, mutual funds 4%


16. Paul Hoghaug

After 24 years in the industry, Paul Hoghaug says that today's market is the most volatile he's ever seen. And to help clients navigate it, he ensures they are fully informed. He filters out the noise and the media and tries to set reasonable expectations on returns.

Bank: Anchor Bank
Location: West St. Paul, Minn.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $1.2 million
2011 production: $821,000
2012 AUM: $135.6 million
2011 AUM: $110 million
Fee-based business: 22%
Product mix: Alternatives 37%, fee-based 22%, variable annuities 15%


17. Paul Duchyns

Paul Duchyns has developed key contacts and referral sources with centers of influence in his area. Community involvement has been key to his success. His client relationships go beyond the initial transaction, and often includes other family members.

Bank: ESL Federal Credit Union
Location: Brockport, N.Y.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $818,000
2011 production: $558,000
2012 AUM: $60 million
2011 AUM: $47 million
Fee-based business: 0%
Product mix: Fixed annuities 44%, variable annuities 43%, mutual funds 12%


18. William Oliver

William Oliver's team tries to understand what each client wants to achieve. Then they construct a customized plan to help clients understand exactly where they stand in relation to those goals, he says.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $4.3 million
2011 production: $3.8 million
2012 AUM: $774.4 million
2011 AUM: $607.5 million
Fee-based business: 76%
Product mix: Managed accounts 75%, variable annuities 15%, mutual funds 10%


19. Charles Wilmoth

Charles Wilmoth coordinates with other specialists at Wells Fargo to implement a full balance sheet approach for HNW clients. Plans are tailored for a client's goals, liquidity needs, tax circumstances and risk tolerance. New clients are added through referrals.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $791,000
2011 production: $537,000
2012 AUM: $148 million
2011 AUM: $116.6 million
Fee-based business: 91%
Product mix: Fee-based accounts 91%, insurance 4%, mutual funds 3%


20. Charles Kassatly

Charles Kassatly focuses on middle-income and affluent consumers as well as commercial and not-for-profit markets. After tenures at two national banks, he says he appreciates the relationships that customers have with regional banks.

Bank: New York Community Bank
Location: Bellmore, N.Y.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $584,000
2011 production: $303,000
2012 AUM: $58 million
2011 AUM: $30 million
Fee-based business: 10%
Product mix: Mutual funds 49%, variable annuities 41%, fixed annuities 7%


21. Ina Felder

Ina Felder says that relationships are key, starting with branch staff. Felder educates them through one-on-one training and group meetings on what to look for in a prospect. And when clients call, Felder returns the calls within the hour.

Bank: AmTrust Bank
Location: Delray Beach, Fla.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $659,000
2011 production: $418,000
2012 AUM: $58 million
2011 AUM: $37 million
Fee-based business: 4%
Product mix: Fixed annuities 69%, variable annuities 31%


22. Robert Mosera

Robert Mosera begins by asking clients where they want to be in 5, 10 or 15 years. He discusses the future in terms of estate, financial and investment planning. From there, he works backward to craft a plan aimed at meeting 75% to 90% of their ideal and acceptable goals.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Paramus, N.J.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $970,000
2011 production: $848,000
2012 AUM: $125 million
2011 AUM: $93.6 million
Fee-based business: 82%
Product mix: Managed accounts 75%, fixed income 15%, annuities 10%


23. Greg Seamster

Rather than starting a new client with a product or solution right away, Greg Seamster starts by discussing their financial needs. Then they craft a plan around those needs. He also talks to his bank partners every day about new prospects.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Research Triangle Park, N.C.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.2 million
2011 production: $1 million
2012 AUM: $183 million
2011 AUM: $155 million
Fee-based business: 85%
Product mix: Managed accounts 50%, UITs 35%, variable annuities 15%


24. Darin McCandless

Darin McCandless' grandfather taught him to deal with a customer as he would a friend. That helps him differentiate himself today because advisors have the same products, so customers choose someone they can trust and who understands them.

Bank: AmTrust Bank
Location: Hollywood, Fla.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $421,000
2011 production: $205,000
2012 AUM: $41 million
2011 AUM: $21 million
Fee-based business: 6%
Product mix: Mutual funds 38%, variable annuities 26%, fixed annuities 19%


25. Raymond Hayes

Raymond Hayes says his clients are most interested in asset protection, along with dependable growing income streams from high-quality companies. He cites the broad array of services from Wells Fargo as an advantage he can provide clients.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: New York, N.Y.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.5 million
2011 production: $900,000
2012 AUM: $250 million
2011 AUM: $200 million
Fee-based business: 5%
Product mix: Equities 50%, fixed income 35%, mutual funds 15%


26. Jason Mayer

Jason Mayer's team uses other professionals within Wells Fargo to offer services such as banking and debt management to their individual, family and business clients. Being part of a large bank also presents his team with opportunities with their own professional development.

Bank: Wells Fargo

Location: Charlotte, N.C.

TPM: N/A

2012 production: $1.5 million

2011 production: $1.2 million

2012 AUM: $180 million

2011 AUM: $160 million

Fee-based business: 50%

Product mix: Advisory 70%, annuities 20%, structured products 10%


27. John Zannakis

In his 15 years of investment experience, John Zannakis has become devoted to the twin goals of growing and preserving capital. He offers customized products for his high-end clients. He constructs plans and stays in touch to monitor progress.

Bank: Fulton Bank
Location: Lancaster, Pa.
TPM: Raymond James

2012 production: $671,000
2011 production: $568,000
2012 AUM: $71.3 million
2011 AUM: $53.6 million
Fee-based business: 19%
Product mix: Annuities 29%, mutual funds 23%, fixed income 19%


28. Russell Cesari

Viewing each client relationship as a lifetime partnership, Russell Cesari offers "life planning" to his clients, many of whom are U.S. government retirees and near-retirees who served in the intelligence community. Those existing clients are the source of most of his referrals, which he views as a stamp of approval.

Bank: Northwest Financial
Location: Herndon, Va.
TPM: LP Services
2012 production: $2.9 million
2011 production: $2.6 million
2012 AUM: $357 million
2011 AUM: $310 million
Fee-based business: 84%
Product mix: Insurance 4%, variable annuity 4%


29. Michael Blackham

Michael Blackham prides himself on setting appropriate expectations despite headwinds. His success is largely due to his ability to delineate between what a client needs and what he or she desires. He focuses first on the needs, with a long-term goal of also providing for the desires.

Bank: Mountain American Credit Union
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $960,000
2011 production: $850,000
2012 AUM: $85 million
2011 AUM: $65 million
Fee-based business: 35%
Product mix: Annuities 25%, mutual funds 20%


30. Joffre Salazar

Joffre Salazar learned very early that the best way to help his clients is to understand their dreams. He primarily works in the Ironbound section of Newark, N.J., where his language skills (he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese) is a definite asset.

Bank: New York Community Bank
Location: Newark, N.J.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $624,000
2011 production: $335,000
2012 AUM: $30 million
2011 AUM: $16 million
Fee-based business: 1%
Product mix: Fixed annuities 95%, variable annuities 4%, mutual funds 1%


31. Greg Malin

Greg Malin has grown his business by pursuing every distribution channel available in the bank. He has integrated his practice with the bank's business and commercial lines as well as with wealth management to offer every possible investment opportunity to his clients.

Bank: Fulton Bank
Location: Lancaster, Pa.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $1.1 million
2011 production: $972,000
2012 AUM: $119.2 million
2011 AUM: $103.7 million
Fee-based business: 62%
Product mix: Mutual funds 59%, annuity 27%, equity 6%


32. Jonathan Berstein

Jonathan Berstein believes the most important part of investing is risk management. His team uses hedging and other techniques to mitigate risks. Clients have their own custom allocations with specific items such as dividend stocks, fixed income, ETFs, options and other non-correlating investments.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Boca Raton, Fla.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.2 million
2011 production: $1.1 million
2012 AUM: $223.7 million
2011 AUM: $176.3 million
Fee-based business: 87%
Product mix: Equities 50%, ETFs 35%, fixed income 15%


33. Sasha Azarmi

Sasha Azarmi uses Envision, a Wells Fargo wealth management tool, to help clients with retirement planning. It considers more than 1,000 financial scenarios-such as long-term care, trust needs and education needs-then factors in the current and future goals needed for a client to reach financial independence.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1 million
2011 production: $875,000
2012 AUM: $153 million
2011 AUM: $120 million
Fee-based business: 35%
Product mix: Advisory, Fixed income, mutual funds


34. Thomas Dietrich

Thomas Dietrich uses a holistic approach to help clients develop investment and insurance plans that address their personal and financial goals. He first assesses a client's financial situation, then determines appropriate risk, formulates an investment plan and reviews periodically.

Bank: SunTrust
Location: Gulf Breeze, Fla.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $764,000
2011 production: $289,000
2012 AUM: $111 million
2011 AUM: $80 million
Fee-based business: 35%
Product mix: Managed money 40%, Variable annuities 30%, fixed income 10%


35. Paul Haines

Paul Haines learned lessons as a missionary that he uses in his practice, such as being honest with his clients. He presents information and educates clients and lets them choose the best plan. Conversion and selling financial products shouldn't be forced, he says.

Bank: Fidelity Bank
Location: Cary, N.C.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $611,000
2011 production: $464,000
2012 AUM: $72 million
2011 AUM: $47 million
Fee-based business: 21%
Product mix: Fixed income 41%, annuities 26%, mutual funds 13%


36. Jeff Nuttall

Most of Jeff Nuttall's clients are small business owners or executives who are retiring, or who have recently had a major "liquidity event." His team maintains less than 75 client relationships, and most new clients come from partners or existing clients, which, he says, shows the strength of his current relationships.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Denver, Colo.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.9 million
2011 production: $1.6 million
2012 AUM: $400 million
2011 AUM: $350 million
Fee-based business: 85%
Product mix: Mutual funds, stocks, bonds


37. Garrett Stringer

Garrett Stringer enjoys maintaining his current relationships more than constantly seeking new ones, so he spends a large portion of each day talking with clients to ensure he is meeting their goals. What's more, most of his new clients come from referrals, he says.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.3 million
2011 production: $1.1 million
2012 AUM: $180 million
2011 AUM: $154 million
Fee-based business: 88%
Product mix: Mutual funds 60%, separate accounts 35%, variable annuities 5%


38. Francis O'Neil III

Similar to other Wells Fargo advisors, Francis O'Neill lll extols the virtues of Envision, a comprehensive, in-house planning tool. He says it enables him to provide comprehensive financial service, thereby helping clients realize their wealth planning goals and grow their wealth.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Missouri City, Texas
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.2 million
2011 production: $875,000
2012 AUM: $175 million
2011 AUM: $150 million
Fee-based business: 40%
Product mix: Managed equities 55%, fixed income 30%, alternatives 15%


39. James Caldwell

James Caldwell finds inspiration from college football coach Woody Hayes, who said "you are either getting better or getting worse, but never staying the same." Caldwell says he never wants to be in a rut where he's just going through the motions.

Bank: AmTrust Bank
Location: Deerfield Beach, Fla.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $559,000
2011 production: $264,000
2012 AUM: $66 million
2011 AUM: $32 million
Fee-based business: 9%
Product mix: Fixed annuities 45%, mutual funds 33%, variable annuities 20%


40. Philip Krupps

Located in a community of just 1,900 people, Philip Krupps' practice rests squarely on the relationships that he shares with his entire community. His approach ties into the agricultural economy that sustains the area and rests on his business-on- a-handshake mind-set.

Bank: Brown County State Bank
Location: Mount Sterling, Ill.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $674,000
2011 production: $289,000
2012 AUM: $38.4 million
2011 AUM: $31.6 million
Fee-based business: 5%
Product mix: Annuities 37%, unit investment trusts 31%, fixed income 9%


41. Jason Holt

Jason Holt says the process he puts in place is key to keeping him on track and following through on the important tasks. He works hard to market himself. And he often finds himself reading research reports to stay on top of industry trends to better serve his clients.

Bank: F&M Bank
Location: Kannapolis, N.C.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $982,000
2011 production: $869,000
2012 AUM: $101.3 million
2011 AUM: $81.2 million
Fee-based business: 20%
Product mix: Fixed income 33%, variable annuities 25%, fee-based 20%


42. Jeffrey Alger

Jeffrey Alger says that every client is different and only by using an extensive discovery process can he uncover their needs, goals and objectives. Then, he says, he sets about to solve their particular needs with the right products and services.

Bank: SunTrust
Location: Brentwood, Tenn.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1.4 million
2011 production: $1.0 million
2012 AUM: $250 million
2011 AUM: $210 million
Fee-based business: 10%
Product mix: Annuities 37%, Mutual funds 14%, Equities 11%


43. James Christy

After a first career in the "shadow of the U.S. Capitol," James Christy has carved out a new niche as an advisor serving mostly U.S. government retirees and near-retirees. His government experience helps him anticipate how issues like tax laws and the debt limit might impact bond markets.

Bank: Northwest Financial
Location: Herndon, Va.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $1.4 million
2011 production: $1.2 million
2012 AUM: $168 million
2011 AUM: $149 million
Fee-based business: 81%
Product mix: Fee-based 81%, Mutual Funds 15%, Variable annuities 2%


44. Brian Carey

Brian Carey has pursued continuing education throughout his 19-year career as an advisor. He manages assets for individuals, trusts, retirement plans, and businesses. He says his process includes taking inventory of a client's total assets, assisting in wealth preservation and coordinating the implementation of the plan.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Santa Clara, Calif.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $1 million
2011 production: $870,000
2012 AUM: $171 million
2011 AUM: $140 million
Fee-based business: 80%
Product mix: Fee-based products 80%, fixed income 10%, UITs 10%


45. Laura Sodano

Laura Sodano has been in the same branch for 32 years, beginning as a teller and working her way up to advisor by 1995. She is fluent in Italian, which she says is helpful in her neighborhood in Queens, NY. She often works with multiple generations of families due to older clients referring the younger generations.

Bank: New York Community Bank
Location: Queens, N.Y.
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $902,000
2011 production: $744,000
2012 AUM: $109 million
2011 AUM: $90 million
Fee-based business: 4%
Product mix: Variable annuities 61%, fixed annuities 36%, mutual funds 2%


46. Greg Stahl

Greg Stahl views his role as being the personal chief financial officer to his clients. He's able to use the tools and resources of SunTrust to serve existing clients and attract new prospects. He also says he works closely with bank partners as well as centers of influence in the community to attract new clients.

Bank: SunTrust
Location: Tampa, Fla.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $568,000
2011 production: $480,000
2012 AUM: $54.6 million
2011 AUM: $46.9 million
Fee-based business: 55%
Product mix: Fee-based 55%, variable annuities 27%, mutual funds 7%


47. Marc Weiss

Marc Weiss says that he has limited the number of clients he works with in order to allow for the time needed to offer quality service. He designs customized solutions to help his family clients achieve their goals. And by limiting the number of households, he can be selective, which he says will hopefully make him attractive to high-net-worth clients.

Bank: Wells Fargo
Location: Norfolk, Va.
TPM: N/A
2012 production: $830,000
2011 production: $690,000
2012 AUM: $120 million
2011 AUM: $102 million
Fee-based business: 75%
Product mix: Managed money 75%, UITs 10%, fixed income 5%


48. Wayne Martin

Wayne Martin focuses on setting reasonable expectations. And he realizes that the future will have a greater impact on a portfolio than the past. With that measured approach, he tries to remove emotion from the investment process by using forward-looking assumptions, resulting in better decision-making.

Bank: Ameris Bank
Location: St. Simons Island, Ga.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $505,000
2011 production: $435,000
2012 AUM: $63.1 million
2011 AUM: $47.1 million
Fee-based business: 34%
Product mix: Equities 27%, Annuities 25%, Fixed income 19%


49. Jennifer Danko

Jennifer Danko started as a part-time teller in 1995 and worked her way up to advisor in five years. Last year, she increased AUM and production by 23%. But she says her biggest strengths are her interpersonal skills and strong customer services, illustrated by the fact that her branch partners clamor for more of her time.

Bank: Ohio Savings Bank
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
TPM: LPL Financial
2012 production: $549,000
2011 production: $445,000
2012 AUM: $62.0 million
2011 AUM: $50.2 million
Fee-based business: 11%
Product mix: Fixed annuities 37%, Variable annuities 33%, Mutual funds 23%


50. Gavin Burns

Over the last nine years, Gavin Burns has cultivated strong relationships with his bank counterparts in Bremer Bank's Twin Cities market. He makes sure that each banker understands his process and how he works with his clients so that they are comfortable referring their clients to him.

Bank: Bremer Bank
Location: St. Paul, Minn.
TPM: Raymond James
2012 production: $605,000
2011 production: $468,000
2012 AUM: $87.8 million
2011 AUM: $66.1 million
Fee-based business: 17%
Product mix: Annuities 33%, Mutual funds 32%, Fixed income 17%


Honorable Mentions

51. Raymond Mark, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union
52. Chad Polin, First Niagara
53. Patricia Wojtonek-Gioitta, Ohio Savings Bank
54. Christopher Sivley, Wells Fargo
55. Kenneth Schmidle, Ohio Savings Bank
56. Donald Marano, Fulton Bank
57. Charles Wilson, Columbia State Bank
58. John Nelson, Wells Fargo
59. Lance Armstrong, First Hope Bank
60. John Harvie, Wells Fargo