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12 People You Need to Know in 2013: Nadia Cavner

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Nadia Cavner is, inarguably, at the top of her field. The executive vice president and financial consultant for the Nadia Cavner Group at BancorpSouth Investment Services has consistently been ranked among the nation’s finest by a variety of groups and organizations.

Most recently, she discovered, for the 11th year in a row, Franklin Templeton Investments ranked her No. 1 in the banking division worldwide.

She has ranked as one of the Top Investment Advisors in America by both Barron’s Magazine and researcher R.J. Shook.

Cavner manages assets totaling $490 million for about 1,100 households. According to Barron’s 2012 Top Advisor Rankings, which positions Cavner at No. 11 in Missouri and as the state’s top female adviser, her client’s typical net worth is $2 million. But it’s not the accolades, the numbers or the recognition that drives her, Cavner says.

“I honestly just keep my head down and work hard and count my blessings and try not to get too hung up on the national recognition,” she says. “I remain very humble for all of that and simply grateful for the acknowledgement.”

What does drive her to remain at the top of her field is her clients. “I honestly and truly have always believed what we do makes such a tremendous difference to our clients, whether to get them retired early, reach that goal of having their kids graduate with no debt from college or whatever, and I’ve done this long enough now – this January will be 22 years – I’ve seen a lot of those being achieved,” Cavner says. “What motivates me to stay there is the satisfaction you get from helping and making a difference in people’s lives.”

While Cavner conceded her career has its share of stressors, she believes it’s worth it. Knowing the value of a balanced life helps, she says.

She attributes much of her success to her team and her husband, Howard, the advocate for Missouri State University students at United Ministries in Higher Education, “My team is just beyond excellent. Most of them have been with me a good part of my career,” Cavner says.

But in the end, it’s not her career that she finds most rewarding, Cavner says. Her greatest pride is in her daughter Maral, who is a senior at Emory University.

“I can honestly say it’s great to have all this great recognition where I am in my career, but a hug from Maral when I see her, that means more than anything else in my life,” she says.

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