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Symposium Spotlight: Q&A with Sherri Trombley at Schwab Advisor Services and Jalina Kerr at Schwab Advisor Services

Prior to our 2024 Symposium, we had the opportunity to sit down with Sherri Trombley, the Director of Advisor Services Business Consulting and Education at Schwab Advisor Services, and Jalina Kerr, the Head of Advisor Experience at Schwab Advisor Services. Sherri and Jalina conducted a keynote presentation on the state of the wealth management profession, discussing their career journeys, the opportunities that exist in our industry, and what students and professionals need to know about working in financial planning.

Check out their keynote presentation by watching here.


What characteristics or traits do you commonly see among successful professionals in financial planning?

Sherri: The beauty of this industry is that, often, the most valuable asset of any person is life experience. The benefit of embracing different perspectives is that it allows you to see new opportunities and find creative solutions. You’ve got to have passion. Whether it’s helping a young family buy a new home, tax preparation or planning for retirement, helping clients with charitable endeavors, college planning, or something else, this is a profession that is influencing a big, very important part of people’s lives.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about financial planning?

Sherri: Many believe that a career in financial services only entails selling insurance or investments. For financial planning specifically, there is a lack of awareness. We know we have an opportunity, and we have a deep commitment to seeding the next generation of talent. Our main objective is to advocate on behalf of the RIA industry, educate current and future talent prospects on the opportunity, and create pathways to the industry. This means exposing students from the high school and college level to wealth management, promoting it as a career across demographic lines, and cultivating an inclusive culture that attracts diverse candidates and drives satisfaction and retention.


What are the major opportunities you see for young professionals entering the wealth management industry?

Jalina: The opportunity is there. Research estimates show that there are $54 trillion dollars in investable assets held by individuals in the United States. And there are upwards of $34 trillion in assets people need help managing. There are also more than seven million Americans aged 45 to 60, many of whom will need financial advice in the next 10-15 years as they approach retirement. There is immense opportunity at hand. So, if this industry needs one thing, it is a fresh talent to usher in this next generation of investors. Students and young professionals entering the workforce are the future of the wealth management industry. They have grown up during a time of unprecedented change and advances in technology. They have experienced economic recession and a global pandemic that has transformed how people work and live. They have a very different set of priorities and expectations that differ notably from other generations. They view the world differently. And that means investors have changed, too. Assets will come from different populations, and the next generation of advisors will need to be prepared to serve the unique needs of those people. We need talent to reflect the world around us. We want the benefit of different perspectives to see new opportunities and find creative solutions.

Watch Sherri and Jalina’s keynote presentation from the 2024 Symposium here or read the recap blog here

Plus, check out Jesse Hurst’s Q&A!

Sherri Trombley is a Director of Business Consulting & Education for Schwab Advisor Services. She oversees the strategic direction for advocacy of the RIA industry with colleges and universities nationwide. Sherri manages Schwab’s University Grant and RIA Talent Advantage Student Scholarship Programs – building partnerships with universities to cultivate the next generation of talent. Under her leadership, the University Grant Program has given over $21M in grants to universities and institutions, with the Scholarship program receiving the industry award for Outstanding Achievement in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Sherri also serves as a business liaison for the Schwab SIE University Partnership Program, representing Schwab Advisor Services.


Since joining Schwab in 1999, Sherri has held leadership roles in service, advisor transitions, and program management. She has built relationships with universities and institutions nationwide and is passionate about building partnerships with organizations while advocating for the tremendous opportunities in the RIA industry for the next generation. Sherri also provides additional time as a thought partner to several colleges/universities and other 501©3 organizations.



Jalina Kerr is the Managing Director of Client Experience for Schwab Advisor Services. Kerr’s team shapes the constantly evolving client experience with progressive technical and human resources designed to support the custody needs of a diverse advisor base.

Kerr began her career at Schwab in 1994 on the Advisor Services trading desk. During her tenure at Schwab, Kerr has held roles in client service delivery, operations, and advisors in transition, strategy, and technology.

In 2016, AZ Business Magazine recognized Kerr as one of Arizona’s Most Influential Women. Kerr also serves on the Board of the Arizona Women’s Leadership Forum.

Kerr holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, and her Series 7, 9, 10, 24, and 63 registrations.