As wealth industry recruitment deals stay high, the true winners will emerge by one key indicator: how financial advisors vote with their feet.

That was one point our panel of eight recruiters could agree on when On Wall Street held its annual Recruiters Roundtable a few weeks ago. But, as always, there was also a lively debate. Where should an advisor transition to best position their business for retirement and/or a sale? What do the new independent players like HighTower offer advisors that other firms cannot? And are large firms such as Ameriprise, Raymond James and Wells Fargo that embrace advisors in all practice channels at an advantage?

"It's a seller's market. The advisor is in the driver's seat," when it comes to what model they choose, says recruiter Mindy Diamond, president and CEO of Diamond Consultants.

One topic that came up in the roundtable discussion and is the subject of our Careers column this issue is sure to stay with us in the months ahead: What will pending new regulatory rules on broker compensation disclosure mean for financial advisors? Carri Degenhardt-Burke offers her take in "Jump While the Jumping is Good."

For our cover story feature this month, I visited with two former UBS executives — Robert Holderith and Marten Hoekstra — who are working to turn traditional emerging markets investing on its head by developing new products with increased access to consumer sectors and other areas. For more on their firm, Emerging Global Advisors.

The world stage is also changing when it comes to investing with real estate investment trusts, which are enjoying their resurgence, Elizabeth Wine writes in "REITs Grab the Spotlight." And Milton Ezrati recaps what to expect from China, since its feared hard landing looks more like a softer fall.

Now that we've ducked the fiscal cliff, new tax concerns still loom. George K. Yin, professor of law and taxation at the University of Virginia and former chief of staff of Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation, talks with Associate Editor Mason Braswell on how tax talks may shape up this year. Braswell also investigates how regional firms are looking to forge stronger ties to clients that will keep them in the loop when they sell their businesses in "Creating a Closer Connection."

This year is shaping up to have an aggressive agenda. We hope this issue helps you shape your strategy.