Symposium Spotlight: Q&A with Kate Healy, the CEO & Founder of AdvoKate IQ LLC
In a recent sit-down, we discussed the little-known career tracks in wealth management with Kate Healy, the CEO & Founder of AdvoKate IQ LLC, who is the moderator of this year’s panel discussion on Hidden Figures: Little Known but Awesome Career Tracks in Wealth Management.
Save the date for this year’s Symposium, set to take place on Thursday, February 8. Immerse yourself in an engaging experience accessible both virtually and in person at The University of Akron’s Student Union Ballroom. Virtual attendees can tune in from noon to 3:30 pm ET, while in-person proceedings begin at 11:30 am ET. Whether you opt for the virtual option or choose to be physically present, anticipate a vibrant celebration highlighting diverse talents and promising opportunities in the dynamic field of wealth management. Ensure your attendance by registering now – it won’t cost you a thing!
How did you get into the wealth management industry? What first attracted you to the space, and why have you stayed?
I’m often asked how I got into this industry. From a very early age, I loved money. I was fascinated by how it could be used as a tool to invest: in the stock market, in real estate, and in yourself by financing your education. The different ways people reacted to money intrigued me. In college, I studied Economics, Finance and Accounting – because behavioral finance was still a newish theory, there weren’t many opportunities to study it. Entry level, I worked in corporate accounting and finance functions, and gradually got closer to working with advisors. I was inspired by how they helped families through financial planning and the impact of financial decisions. I knew I needed to find a way to be part of that. I eventually trained and licensed as a financial advisor. While being a financial planner turned out not to be the best fit for me, at that point in my life, I still wanted to be part of wealth management however I could. I stay because this is one of the most dynamic careers I have ever seen. While we don’t save lives the way doctors do, we can save futures. And every day is a learning opportunity.
What impact do you hope organizations like Diversitas will have on the wealth management industry in the coming years?
While I think wealth management is one of the best careers to have, not everyone has exposure to what a career in wealth management can look like. Professors can supply insights, and internships help provide first-hand experiences. Diversitas provides viewpoints from all parts of the wealth management and financial services industry. Organizations and events like Diversitas provide the ability to hear firsthand:
- about all the different jobs and careers that exist in wealth management and financial services,
- what the similarities and differences are between business models and types of firms, what services each firm type provides, what products they offer, and who their target market is.
- what it’s like to work for firms of all sizes: small, mid-size or larger firms
Diversitas also provides opportunities for you to network within your own school program and hear from, and be introduced to, people from all parts of wealth management.
What are some of the “hidden” or “little-known” career tracks in wealth management, and why have they been under wraps for so long?
In our industry, we have historically done a bad job of talking about all the ways you can be a part of wealth management. You may have heard of roles like financial advisor, financial planner, or stock trader. These are great careers. However, the business of wealth management is just like any other business in that it has so many aspects to career opportunities. Where you begin can be a stepping stone to various fulfilling roles. Some examples of career tracks:
- Client-facing functions can encompass roles from client service associates to financial advisors. In some firms, these roles work together in teams.
- Marketing roles can work in-house or be part of an outside agency or firm, and help firms build their brand, acquire clients, create, and deliver client events to help grow the firm.
- Business Development builds a pipeline of prospects for firms, working with marketing and firm leadership to help financial advisors grow their business
- Investment Committees and Trading teams develop the investment strategies firms use to trade client assets effectively.
- Compliance teams ensure the firm is aligned with industry and government regulations and ensure proper training and licensing of associates.
- Human Resources recruits and hires associates for the firm, as well as ensuring that associate compensation and benefits are attractive. Retention and development of talent can play a large part of this role in larger firms that understand that talent is a firm’s most valuable resource.
- Technology is the backbone of ensuring financial advice is done well. Fintech – financial technology – is a huge part of financial services. Fintech develops and maintains technology that aids with client preferences and connects to industry trading systems, banks, custodians, and other financial institutions to ensure prompt and secure transactions. Technology teams create positive client experiences by developing systems and apps that are easy to use.
What should the people who work in these “hidden” fields do to attract more talent to our industry?
For people who are not financial advisors, it’s just as important to talk about your role and what you do. Studies have shown that people making college degrees and career choices may have a lack of confidence to join careers that are perceived to be sales. Creating awareness about the different career paths within wealth management that may not involve sales is the best way for us to ensure we are attracting more than our share of talent to this career.
Claim your free spot at the upcoming Symposium today and learn more about the financial planning industry from the perspective of Sophia Buffalini, a Financial Planning and Financial Management Student at the University of Akron, by reading her Q&A.
Kate Healy is a financial services industry executive and NextGen advocate, purposefully building brands. She is CEO and Founder of AdvoKate IQ, LLC, a consultancy firm designed to help wealth management create growth strategies to take advantage of demographic changes affecting workforce and client acquisition.
Healy is widely recognized as a leading advocate for the next generation of financial planners, for women advisors, and for the financial planning profession. Wealthmanagement.com named her to the 2018 “Ten to Watch” list. In 2016, Investment Advisor magazine named Healy as one of the industry’s 25 most influential people. Healy was named to InvestmentNews’ inaugural “Women to Watch” in 2015. Additionally, she was TD Ameritrade’s 2014 Impact Award winner for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusiveness.
She is past board chair of the Foundation for Financial Planning and clerk of the Invest in Others board. Kate supported the CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) Council, the Center for Financial Planning’s Advisory Council, and the Center’s Diversity Advisory Board. She was formerly managing director for TD Ameritrade Institutional, leading marketing and Generation Next.
Healy is a frequent contributor to industry publications and podcasts, including Barron’s: The Way Forward, WealthManagement.com, and InvestmentNews, and is a repeat speaker at industry events including FPA, NAPFA, InvestmentNews, FA Magazine, and TD Ameritrade’s LINC national conference. Healy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rutgers College.