The ongoing problem of recruiting and retaining good people -- along with a heavy volume of mergers and acquisitions and the deployment of technology as an integral part of a firm's culture -- will be among the marquee issues to impact the profession in 2006, according to members of the Advisory Board, a group of high-profile consultants and practitioners.

"Development of your people will be the No. 1 hot button issue of 2006," opined Advisory Board member and industry consultant Jay Nisberg president of Ridgefield, Conn.-based Nisberg & Associates. "There is a compensation and recruiting battle for good people. Sometimes you have to allow for new opportunities."

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