Financial Planning Professor Named To Magazine's Ten to Watch in 2017 List

John Gilliam started the Best Interest Initiative after the Department of Labor approved a rule requiring financial advisers to act in their clients’ best interests.

John Gilliam

John Gilliam

A Texas Tech University professor has been named to WealthManagement’s Ten To Watch in 2017, which identifies people expected to be innovators and influences in the financial advice industry.

John Gilliam, an associate professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, started the Best Interest Initiative in 2016 after the Department of Labor’s approval of the fiduciary rule requiring financial advisers who make recommendations to employer-sponsored plan participants and owners of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to act in their clients’ best interests.

Gilliam, who has been a financial adviser for 37 years, collaborated with other financial services professionals to create the Best Interest Initiative. He has since brought on a board of directors representing multiple disciplines in the financial services industry.

“I am very honored to be chosen by Wealth Management magazine as one of its Ten to Watch in 2017,” Gilliam said. “This is due to our research focusing on the consumer’s attitudes and beliefs. Our college is committed to improving the human condition, and we feel strongly our research contributes to this goal.”

David Armstrong, editor-in-chief of, said the magazine staff included Gilliam on the list because of his research into best interest.

“The research John is doing fills a huge need in the financial services industry and one that, until now, has not really been addressed,” Armstrong said. “His work should go a long way to creating objective and conflict-free standards around the best options for investors when it comes to their money given their individual circumstances.

Read the story in Wealth Management. For more information on the research, go to

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Department of Personal Financial Planning

Division of Personal Financial Planning

The Department of Personal Financial Planning in the College of Human Sciences educates students on the need to focus financial knowledge on families and the achievement of their goals.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in personal financial planning are registered by the CFP Board. Students graduating from a CFP Board-Registered Program are eligible to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.

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