On the benefits of working on a team:
For me, the thing that’s really helped is being on a team, especially if you’re young and when you have a family. When I have been on maternity leave, there’s people who are able to cover and it’s not an unfamiliar person to the clients. They know the name, because they see it on their monthly statements, and we’ve always presented it that there might be one person who you primarily talk to, but there’s always a team that’s behind them and there’s that support. When you’re on vacation, you can be a little bit more on vacation, because you know there’s other people who will be able to take calls. It’s not so much of a just a one-person set up.
Sacha Millstone, Senior Vice President, Investments, Millstone Evans Group, Raymond James
On how having a female mentor helped shape her career:
It just so happened that I was getting recruited by a very small firm in Washington, D.C., which is Ferris Baker Watts. But the cool thing was that I was being recruited for a position in the office of a woman named Gail Winslow, and Gail had been in the business for 30 years. She had started in 1954, really a pioneer, and I jumped at that opportunity. She knew so much about the business. She knew a lot about every aspect of it, from marketing to the investment side to being able to navigate through as a woman in the business. It was just very motivating, and I felt great to be on a team and really supported.
On serving as a mentor to other female professionals:
I am really good at that. That’s just a very important thing. It’s in every aspect of my life, not just in our business. It’s been very important to me to support women who are running for elected office, to support women through nonprofit endeavors, education, microlending, things like that. It’s been very important to me to mentor people in our business, and I’m on the Women’s Advisory Council at Raymond James, and I have a mentee in our training program right now. I really try to encourage young women to think about this business.
On the advantage women have in the wealth management industry:
This business is a great business because you can build your own practice, you can build your own business. You don’t have to worry that much about firm politics. You can have the success you want depending on how smart you work and how hard you work. I think the advantages to women are that they have pretty much unlimited earnings potential, and that’s a huge advantage. They can rise as high as they want as long as they’re wiling to make that happen. There are not very many of us. That’s a tragedy. But for those of us who are in the business, it’s an advantage. I think a lot of people do want to work with women.
Dorie Rosenband, CEO, &Wealth Partners
On how she got her start in the industry:
I am actually the third generation in my family of financial advisor professionals, so this is the business that I grew up with in my family. And when I was 22 years old, I decided that it was time to get very serious about my career. I researched all around the industry, and ultimately decided that the best training platform that was available was through Smith Barney’s financial consultant training program. I was the youngest woman ever hired into that program at that time when I was 23. I started in Chicago and continued to work there for nine years at Smith Barney in Chicago, and then I moved with Smith Barney to New York City, where I stayed for three more years. Throughout that time I built this comprehensive planning business, where because of the confines of a brokerage firm I did a lot of investment management work, but always looked holistically at clients and really wanted to service them in a more complete way.
On how she started her own firm:
I became an RIA in 2009 and set up my own business, and have really specialized my business since then. Now that I can look back three years later, I have to say it was a very successful transition. I took a lot of time to think through and plan all of the moving parts from the entrepreneurial standpoint of becoming a business owner, and then the CFP perspective of setting up a planning practice and then setting up an investment advisory business. I really took time and care to think through every single piece. I just really wanted to make sure I was being thoughtful and making sure that clients would have a good experience and that they would feel the difference in my satisfaction, in being in a different set up and a different environment and being able to serve them in a more comprehensive way.