Accomplishment(s): The greatest accomplishment over the
past year has been to launch to our advisors a fully integrated
digital solution that delivers value to their clients and increases advisor efficiency.
The vision was to partner with industry leading Wealth Tech
firm’s and then build a fully integrated solution that syncs data
for the advisor and client regardless of where they enter the
information. This initiative was meant to solve the industry
issue of several disjointed but desired Wealth Tech offerings.
As a financial solutions firm, our responsibility is to create a better experience for our advisors and their clients. Our
solution, CLIC Advisor and CLIC Client, will provide a digital
solution that is designed to evolve as the WealthTech landscape continues to change.
We have built the infrastructure that will support existing
and new technology solutions such as financial planning, CRM
solutions, trading, marketing and document storage. The possibility of how it will continue to evolve will keep me and the
team motivated to continue to deliver enhancements.
This initiative took a great amount of collaboration amongst
several firms working towards a common goal. In launching
a solution of this size and scope, I have learned to respect the
various strengths of people and partners, overcome obstacles
and stay focused on advisor needs. Ultimately, we were able to
deliver a value to advisors so that they can focus on what they
do best, which is to help their clients meet their financial goals.
How to get more women into Wealth Tech: First, we need to recognize that there are women that are a part of the Wealth Tech
innovation in financial services. Women will participate when
they know there is a safe and innovative environment that values their expertise. I truly believe we have hit a tipping point in
the industry, and we will continue to see the number of women
in our industry rise in the future.
Second, every woman and man in our industry can invite
more diversity into our organization by proactively engaging
with women who could have an impact in financial services.
There are many women in other professions who are not
aware of the benefits of a career in financial services.
I was driven to join our industry after college because I
knew I could help others save for their retirement and protect
their financial assets. Today, I find a sense of joy that we are
able to help clients save for their children’s education, retire
when they desire and through innovative technology visualize
all of their financial goals.
I believe other women will feel the same so we need to
continue to create awareness and again, extend the invitation
to make a difference through financial services. Cambridge’s
leadership team, including assistant vice presidents and
above, reflects over half as female (56% of AVPs are women,
50% of VPs are women), so it is possible to accomplish with
the right environment.
Advice for those starting out: I started in financial services
focused on compliance and regulations the year I graduated
from college with absolutely no experience in our industry.
My degree was actually in management information systems,
which only became relevant in my career when I started working on our technology initiatives many years later.
One piece of advice I provide to our interns every year is
that your degree provides a basis for how you learn and apply
your knowledge, but will not necessarily shape your entire
career. I suggest that others be open to careers that are not at
all related to their degrees because they will be able to provide
a unique perspective in their chosen field.
The other advice I would give my younger self and others starting in their career is to get comfortable working in
the unknown. I always wanted to be completely confident
that I could take on a new job or initiative before I actually
applied but I have realized over time that my greatest growth
has come from opportunities that challenged my confidence.
Going into the unknown made me try to solve for as many of
the unknowns as possible and that has made me a better leader
and deliver better results.
Sources of insights and inspiration: My inspiration comes from
many sources both within financial services and other professions. I love to learn from others and proactively seek business
insight from authors such as Simon Sinek and so many TED
Talk speakers. However, I also find it extremely useful to look
outside of financial services to other professionals such as
medicine, transportation and politics.
I use my everyday experiences at the doctor’s with my children to shape how our advisors could deliver digital advice to
their clients. After my daughter was experiencing an earache
in the middle of the night, I tried the virtual doctor offered
by our family practice clinic and realized that advice could be
provided digitally via Face Time rather than missing work and
school the next day. This was one inspiration to focus on digitally enabling our advisors to provide advice to their clients
and let the clients enter their information, saving both parties
time and effort.
I also find quite a bit of comparative insight in the transportation industry; if we can deliver technology that will literally
drive me to work in the future, we certainly can deliver technology that will notify clients that their financial decisions will
be taking them off course to meet their goals. We do need to
engage not only technology but also more behavioral science to
shape the future of financial services.
Finally, I look to the success of women in politics in the 2018
Executive Vice President & CFO,
Cambridge Investment Research