Word began getting around in recent weeks to the finalists in On Wall Street's latest Top 40 Under 40 that they had made the cut out of all the nominees in the annual ranking.

More than 500 nominations were entered in the latest Top 40 Under 40 ranking, to debut this week, says Ralph R. Ortega, Editor-in-Chief of On Wall Street.

On Wall Street's editors were making the calls and asked the advisers and their firms to keep the notifications confidential until the rankings are unveiled later this week. All agreed, although for some it was difficult to contain their excitement over being included in an elite group of young advisers, ranked by their trailing 12-month production.

Industry observers say the ranking points to the most-sought after young talent.

"These are the people to look out for, to pay attention to," says Michael King, a New York-based recruiter. "They're up-and-coming and they've done a good job. That gives a lot of people confidence in them. It's very good for the business."

Submissions were entered for more than 500 advisers, which was more than double from the previous ranking. The total amount of client assets represented by the current nominees was an eye-popping $114 billion.

Fourteen firms were represented by the nominees. Four were wirehouses, seven regional broker-dealers and three boutique wealth management firms.

The raw data behind the rankings was vetted by the marketing and compliance departments of the nominees to ensure accuracy in the reporting.

One adviser making his debut on the ranking said he was "incredibly humbled. I'm incredibly pleased."

Another was anxious to start telling his family.

"It's definitely something to tell my mom about. I'm definitely proud," the adviser told me in a telephone interview.

A 34-year-old planner appearing of a second time in the ranking hoped he could return every year until he reached 40.

"That's the goal," he said. "And the other is to be No. 1."

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