These 10 innovative planners are FP's Rising Stars for 2023

Financial Planning is proud to announce our 2023 class of Rising Stars. The annual award celebrates young professionals and career changers who are advancing the profession through their accomplishments and contributions to the community of advisors and clients across the country.

This year saw the largest pool of nominations in the history of the award, with nearly 150 financial professionals nominated. Out of that, we narrowed it down to just 10 Rising Stars.

From young RIA founders to career switchers, this year's list of Rising Stars is pushing the industry forward and, as one of our Rising Stars put it, offering a "beacon of possibility" for the future of financial planning.

Here is the list of Financial Planning's 2023 Rising Stars:

Samuel Deane

Samuel Deane.jpg
Samuel Deane is the founder of Atlanta-based Deane Wealth Management. Deane, a first-generation college graduate from an immigrant family, said that his mother's "entrepreneurial mindset" encouraged him to create his own business. After obtaining his MBA, Deane was inspired to found his own RIA as a way to "marry my two interests of business ownership and investing," he said. 

Deane founded his firm in 2018, focusing on serving a niche clientele of tech founders and employees. Over the last five years, Deane has not only independently scaled his firm to $10M in AUM, but has contributed to multiple industry publications and events, including CNBC, Forbes, Morningstar and Financial Planning's INVEST conference. "There aren't many people that look like me in this industry, so I've taken on the responsibility to be a leader," Deane said. "If 20 years from now I can look back and know that I've opened the door for more Black people to enter this profession, I would be extremely proud of that contribution."

Gideon Drucker

Gideon Drucker.jpg
Gideon Drucker is the president of Drucker Wealth in New York City. Drucker joined his family's independent firm in 2017 and established the firm's Wealth Builder Division — an initiative that targets HENRY clients (high earners, not rich yet) — offering flat-fee plans that democratize financial advice. Drucker has been directing the Wealth Builder Division since its launch in 2018. In that span, the division has brought on hundreds of new clients and created additional advisor jobs at the firm.

"I realize that growing up as the son of a top financial advisor and learning the business from the ground up is an opportunity that 99.9% of other advisors aren't fortunate to have," Drucker said. "I am committed to making this head start count." Drucker has helped cultivate a diverse team — 67% of the firm's executives are women and 27% are women of color. A staunch advocate for financial education, Drucker also shares insights through webinars, newsletters and a popular book, "How to Avoid HENRY Syndrome," proceeds from which go to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that helps educate the children of fallen or disabled service members and first responders.

Andre Jean-Pierre

Andre Jean-Pierre.jpg
Andre Jean-Pierre is the founder of Aces Advisors, an RIA in New York City. And perhaps just as importantly, he's @Andre_ on X (formerly Twitter), where he has 13,000 followers. There he's been sounding the alarm on "finfluencers" — online finance gurus whose tips often turn out to be scams — and urging millennial and Gen Z investors to seek out professional advice.

A Brooklyn native, Jean-Pierre studied clinical psychology and economics at Stony Brook University, and he says both of those subjects have come in handy as he's advised his clients. During a stint at Morgan Stanley, he quickly learned that investing is about "habits and behaviors as much as it is about resources and projections."

Jean-Pierre, who is Black, says he started Aces "to combat the lack of access to high-level wealth advisors in Black and brown communities." Both at his practice and on social media, Jean-Pierre is fighting the good fight for financial literacy.

Kristian Mtetwa

Kristian Mtetwa.jpg
Kristian Mtetwa is an associate vice president at Austin-based 49 Financial. Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee as a Zimbabwean immigrant, Mtetwa said that "financial planning presented an opportunity to learn and utilize what wasn't broadly taught in schools or among my social network." Over the last seven years, Mtetwa has progressed from a financial planning intern at Transamerica to being the first Black vice president in 49 Financial's history, leading the expansion of the firm's largest metropolitan branch in Los Angeles, where Mtetwa currently lives.

"I've succeeded as a minority in a challenging, ultra-competitive industry known for its friction with religious, ethnic and gender minorities," Mtetwa said. "It's not lost on me that my success presents a beacon of possibility for those that intend to step into or don't even know that this career path exists." Mtetwa's success has led to multiple speaking engagements in the industry. Recently, he was a guest panelist for the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management and a keynote speaker at Tax Strategy Accelerator Live.

Sloane Ortel

Sloane Ortel.jpg
Sloane Ortel is the founder of Invest Vegan based in Provo, Utah. With a background in creating educational content for investment professionals at the CFA Institute, Ortel was inspired by her friends to launch her inclusive, ethically driven RIA. "I looked around a room full of my queer and trans friends and realized I was the only person that owned any stocks at all," Ortel said. "After asking around, I came to the conclusion that this wasn't just because we were all poor artistic types. My friends just generally didn't trust the ethics that underlie the stock market, and so they generally chose not to participate. I realized that if there was anyone capable of earning their trust, it was me. So I got to work."

At Invest Vegan, Ortel has pioneered new methods of ethical investment analysis, moving beyond simple ESG funds to offer clients investments with "intersectional alignment" across a range of ethical criteria. As a part of Ortel's ethics-driven model, Invest Vegan has no minimum investments. "We are really proud to take deposits as small as $1," she said. Since Ortel founded the firm in 2021, Invest Vegan has taken on 40 households and manages $1M in AUM. With Ashby Monk, the executive director of the Stanford Research Initiative on Long-Term Investing, Ortel has also produced over 50 episodes of the Free Money podcast since its launch in 2019.

Arvette M. Reid

Arvette Reid.jpg
Arvette M. Reid is the client services director at Los Angeles-based Signature Estate & Investment Advisors. With a diverse background in engineering, sales and senior housing marketing, Reid eventually made the move to financial advising in 2017, where she capitalized on her senior health care background to build SEIA's Lifecare Affordability Plan — a "health care-driven" financial planning process for senior clients that balances health care recommendations with a client's financial circumstances.

"Her dedication to bridging the gap between healthcare and finances has transformed the way families navigate these challenges," said Thomas West, a senior partner at SEIA. "With her expertise, families can make informed decisions and find peace of mind knowing that their loved ones' health care needs are met while remaining financially secure." Along with advising younger planners and offering insights to publications including GoBankingRates, HerMoney, AARP and InvestmentNews, Reid also serves as the board chair for the Insight Memory Care Center — a nonprofit health and resource center for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other memory impairments — near her home in Burke, Virginia.

Eric Rodriguez

Eric Rodriguez.jpg
Eric Rodriguez is the founder of San Diego-based WealthBuilders, a progressive RIA aimed at helping entrepreneurs and early to mid-career professionals. After years as a sales executive at American Express and LearnVest, Rodriguez took the leap and started his own firm in order to "change my family tree," he said. "Growing up, money was always a negative topic. My parents always fought about money. The same goes for my aunts, uncles, cousins," Rodriguez said. "Financial literacy was nonexistent, and this caused a lot of pain. I wanted to change that for myself and my family, so I enrolled in CFP school and became a financial expert." Since its founding in 2018, WealthBuilders has amassed $30M in AUM.

Read more: Why Eric Rodriguez, an FP Rising Star, wants to change the conversation around money

In addition to his advisory work, Rodriguez said he's on a "mission" to address the racial wealth gap in the U.S. — donating a percentage of his firm's gross revenue to organizations that promote wealth equality and the well-being of Black and brown communities, mentoring aspiring Black and Latinx financial advisors through the CFP Board mentoring program, and offering pro bono services through speaking appearances and workshops at organizations promoting financial literacy and planning. Rodriguez also sits on the board of Hella Social Impact, a racial justice consulting company with an aim to dismantle systems of oppression within businesses.

Zach Teutsch

Zach Teutsch.jpg
Zach Teutsch is the founder of Washington, D.C.-based Values Added Financial. After pioneering a financial education program for the American labor movement and gaining experience in the public sector at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Teutsch founded Values Added Financial to "help progressives build financial lives they feel good about." 

Teutsch co-coordinates an informal local advisors group, contributes to industry organizations like XYPN and ACP and has contributed to publications including The New York Times, Vox, The Washington Post, GQ and Forbes. Founded in 2017, Values Added Financial now manages $150 million. While building his firm's AUM, Teutsch worked to create a diverse staff. "Our team of six advisors is 50% women, a third LGBTQ+ and a third people of color," he said. "And everyone has a first career in the common good (public service, etc.)."

Ana Trujillo Limón

Ana Trujillo Limón.jpg
Ana Trujillo Limón is the director of coaching and advisor content at Carson Group in Omaha, Nebraska. After nearly a decade of working as a local journalist across Florida, New Mexico and Colorado, Trujillo Limón entered the world of financial advising through an associate editor position with the Financial Planning Association. During her seven years at FPA, Trujillo Limón founded FPA Latino, a resource and support group for Latino FPA members.

In her role at Carson Group, Trujillo Limón produces a wide range of advisor-oriented educational content, including the weekly Framework podcast, which dives into topics around practice management, marketing and business development, new legislation and executive leadership. Since starting at Carson Group in 2021, Trujillo Limón co-founded Mini Money Runners, a youth run club and financial literacy program. Building on her creation of the FPA Latino group, Trujillo Limón is currently co-organizing the SER Latin@ Advisor Summit, a first-of-its-kind conference for Latino and Hispanic professionals in wealth management, with the inaugural conference set for Sept. 26 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jay Zigmont

Jay Zigmont.jpg
When Jay Zigmont was studying to become a CFP, he noticed a glaring hole in the coursework: None of it explained how to advise clients with no children.

"Most financial planning advice assumes people will have kids," Zigmont said. "I never once saw a mention of being child-free. As I dove in further, I found that many systems, processes and software have a built-in bias that assumes kids, and may be providing inappropriate advice to this population."

To fill in this gap, in 2021 Zigmont founded Childfree Wealth in Water Valley, Mississippi. The firm specializes in two types of clients: child-free, meaning without children by choice, and childless, meaning not by choice. Taken together, this is a significant demographic: 23% of nonparents aged 18 to 49 say it's "not at all likely" that they'll ever have kids, according to the Pew Research Center. Zigmont thinks it's time for wealth management to start serving these clients.

"My goal is to both serve and represent child-free people in the financial world," Zigmont said. "It is essential that financial planners know how to work with them and their particular challenges."