realize that weaving the two together to stay on track and succeed will become much easier.
Once you’ve defined your “all,” don’t worry about being perfect or “right” all the time. Speak up without the fear of being
wrong. Many times in business there isn’t a single answer or
right way to do things.
Be willing to take risks and push ahead even without all the
information. It’s important to know that you’re not going to
please everyone; nor should you aspire to. As long as you’re
true to yourself, you can feel confident in the choices you make
along the way.
Sources of insights and inspiration: There are so many that it
is hard to choose! I love Twitter and LinkedIn as social media
platforms for keeping up-to-date on industry news and trends.
But when I’m looking for advice and inspiration, it’s the
people around me that have the most impact. My husband,
three kids, sister and friends all help me to put things into
perspective, take a deep breath and figure out a way forward.
Sometimes, just spending time with family and friends is the
food for your soul that you need to keep going!
Chief Information Officer,
Commonwealth Financial Network
Accomplishment(s): Assisting Commonwealth Financial
Network with successfully launching its Fintech spinout,
Advisor360°, while maintaining and building out a thriving
Technology department within the RIA-B/D.
While Advisor360° is focused on a fully unified suite of tools
that helps financial advisors serve their clients and grow their
books of business, the Commonwealth Technology team is
focused on indispensable service to our advisors and delivering intuitive and integrated back-office tools.
This dedication is why we are ranked #1 in overall satisfaction among independent advisors by J.D. Power for the sixth
straight time. I credit this success to defining a clear IT vision,
strategy, and roadmap, as well as to empowering a great team
of technology leaders.
How to get more women into Wealth Tech: Women today are
earning more and exerting greater financial influence as clients,
and research has revealed that diverse leadership strengthens
organizations. There has never been a better time for women
to be part of Wealth Tech and innovation in financial services.
I would encourage more women to apply regardless of
whether they have the “perfect” background. Some may
believe that to work in Wealth Tech, one must possess a strong
technical and financial background. While these skills are in
high demand, someone who can think critically and who pos-
sesses strong problem-solving and leadership skills is just as
strong a candidate.
In addition, organizations can invite more women into
their workforce by being intentional with job postings. We
can encourage more women to apply by expressing interest in
candidates excited about the opportunity and willing to learn,
even if they may not be the perfect fit on paper.
Advice for those starting out: Build relationships and collaborate early on in your career. While networking can feel
uncomfortable and time consuming, it offers a wealth of
opportunities, as well as the chance for growth. Bring along a
friend or colleague to make it less daunting.
Given the rapid pace of change in technology, it’s important
to view the technology learning curve as perpetual and to lead
with the mindset of a lifelong learner. You will continually add
value to your organization this way.
Life is short, and we spend a lot of time in the workplace, so
treat everyone with respect, bring your sense of humor to work
with you, and try to be cognizant of your legacy and the lasting
impression you will have on other people.
One aspect of Commonwealth that I’ve found to be truly
inspiring is the emphasis the company places on treating
everyone with respect.
Take the time to travel and work abroad, particularly early
in your career when you have fewer personal commitments.
This forces you to step outside your comfort zone and helps
broaden your perspective.
Originally from Ireland, I have been fortunate to have
had the opportunity to work in Ireland, England, Germany,
Australia, and the U.S., which exposed me to different working styles and ways of doing business. It gave me the chance to
develop cross-cultural communication skills.
Take risks, particularly early in your career when you have
time to recover. Should you fail, it provides a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow. Just remember not to dwell on it or
repeat your mistakes.
Sources of insights and inspiration: There is a wealth of material, conferences, and podcasts available today to help others
gain valuable industry knowledge, with topics ranging from
what’s trending in the advisory and advisory technology spaces all the way to leadership and security intelligence.
From a security perspective, the Financial Services
Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) is a valuable source for real-time global financial industry cyber and
physical threat intelligence. For overall business and leadership content, I like the “Harvard Business Review” podcast. I
turn to experts such as Michael Kitces and “The Wall Street
Journal” for specific industry and Fin Tech related information around the advisory business, and I tune into TED Talks
frequently for inspiration.