Symposium Panel Recap: Hidden Figures: Little-known but Awesome Career Tracks in Wealth Management



At our recent Symposium, we assembled a distinguished panel of experts from various corners of the wealth management profession. While they may not fit the conventional image of financial advisors, their insights offer valuable perspectives on alternative pathways into the industry. Delve into the recap of our enlightening discussion to discover how you can carve your niche in wealth management beyond the traditional roles. For those seeking a deeper dive, the full session is available for viewing here.

Before we share key takeaways from the session, meet the moderator and panelists:


Did you know there are over 6.5 million individuals employed in the wealth management industry? While many might assume that the majority are financial advisors and planners, there are a plethora of career paths within financial services that don’t necessitate being a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).

Kate Healy, boasting over 35 years of experience in financial services and currently serving as the CEO of Advocate IQ, brings extensive industry expertise to the table. Her focus on supporting wealth management firms and advisors with strategic planning, particularly concerning next-generation talent and understanding future clients, underscores the industry’s diverse opportunities beyond direct financial advising. Throughout her career, Healy has encountered various roles within the financial services sector, showcasing its versatility.

Sam Calhoun, Associate Vice President of Internal Sales and Service at Nationwide Financial, oversees a team dedicated to providing comprehensive sales and service support. Having spent nearly 22 years at Nationwide, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role. Sam’s current responsibilities include providing sales and service support to financial professionals, and highlighting the critical behind-the-scenes operations that underpin wealth management services.

Abbie Sheridan, CEO and Founder of Greenrose Communications has carved a niche in the wealth management sector through her boutique PR consultancy. She emphasizes the significant role of media relations and communication strategies in the financial world, primarily focusing on promoting financial advisors, asset managers, custodians, and fintech companies, thereby elucidating the dynamic between wealth management and public relations.

Journey to the Present Role

Abbie’s transition into financial services public relations followed years of experience in various industries such as entertainment, healthcare, real estate, and finance. Recognizing her desire to specialize, she seized an opportunity to focus on PR for the financial services industry, a decision she hasn’t regretted after a decade in the field. Abbie acknowledges the initial challenges of familiarizing herself with industry jargon but finds fulfillment in working with remarkable clients dedicated to helping others.

“I had to do a lot of research and understand what all these terms meant in the beginning. It was overwhelming at first, but the reason I stayed is because my clients are amazing, and everybody in this industry and profession is focused on helping people,” says Abbie. 

Sam’s career trajectory diverged from computer programming after realizing it wasn’t his ideal path. His internship experience at Nationwide Financial led him to transition into a support role, gradually moving through different areas such as customer services, underwriting, and, ultimately, leadership in a financial services contact center. Sam finds purpose in assisting individuals with financial planning, emphasizing the significance of aiding others in securing their futures.

“It found me, and I found it. I really started to enjoy financial services and the ability to help people save for retirement and really protect what matters most,” says Sam. 

Kate’s journey mirrors the diverse opportunities within financial services. Starting in accounting at an insurance company, she transitioned to roles as a financial analyst and sales activity reporter before moving into marketing. Kate’s career evolution highlights the flexibility of the industry, where she eventually found her passion in supporting financial advisors across brokerage, custodial, and insurance sectors, ultimately leading marketing efforts for two decades.

“I always say the degree you get does not need to be where you end up,” says Kate. 

Kate’s experience underscores the sentiment that one’s initial degree need not dictate their career trajectory, emphasizing the importance of passion and adaptability.

Advice for Navigating A Career in Financial Services

All three panelists share valuable advice regarding starting a career in financial services and navigating its diverse roles. Abbie highlights the importance of being organized, adept at multitasking, and deadline-driven, especially for roles like PR, where communication and networking are vital. 

“In PR, I describe myself as a connector,” says Abbie. She loves communicating with people and connecting people within her network. 

Sam shares that possessing analytical skills and a thirst for continuous learning is crucial due to the ever-evolving nature of the financial sector. Being naturally curious, interested in people, and skilled at building relationships are also emphasized as essential traits. 

Kate emphasizes that continuous learning is extremely important, stating, “It’s important to become a student of our profession; it changes so much, making it a dynamic profession.” 

Furthermore, the speakers stress the significance of project management, follow-through, and strategic career planning for long-term success. They recommend utilizing platforms like LinkedIn for networking, staying connected with industry associations, attending conferences, and engaging with professionals across various roles within financial services. Overall, the advice highlights the diverse skill set and proactive approach needed to thrive in the dynamic landscape of the financial service industry.

Illuminating Career Paths

These insights from Sam, Kate, and Abbie illuminate the diverse landscape of wealth management careers, urging current and future professionals to explore opportunities beyond traditional advisory roles. Their shared experiences underscore the depth of the industry, emphasizing the critical roles of sales, service, PR, and strategic consulting in advancing wealth management.

To watch the full session, click here, and check out this InsuranceNewsNet that includes highlights from the panel.