For some advisors, it was a matter of solving an immediate need in a way that benefited the industry. Sheryl Rowling just wanted a simpler, less expensive rebalancing tool than what was on the market; Richard Brown couldn't figure out how to find talented college grads for entry-level advisor roles.

For other winners of Financial Planning's 2013 Influencer Awards, the spotlight came alongside individual success - and the more their own renown grew, the more they found themselves poised to share their strategies throughout the industry.

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