Continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month, WSR recognizes another group of leaders in wealth management – women who helm their firms – as the next in the series of our invitation-only WSR Pathfinder Awards, which recognizes the combination of wealth management industry success and diversity.
There’s no pressure like the stress of responsibility for an entire organization – whether CEO, president or other top executive. Leading a successful wealth management enterprise means ultimate responsibility for every client, partner and employee, accountability to regulators and shareholders, and much more.
There’s also no reward like leadership, with a sense of satisfaction that a job well done means clients served with quality products and services while employees can pay rent, tuition and mortgages.
Women Are Increasingly Filling Senior Leadership Roles
While progress with gender diversity continues to be a work in progress, women are increasingly filling top executive roles across the wealth management industry, encouraging generations of future leaders by their inspiring and successful careers.
As with previous WSR Pathfinder Awards, we reviewed a wide range of top executives against a robust set of criteria, including their impact on wealth management, charitable activities, years in leadership and recognition within the industry.
Though our industry needs to see more women in leadership, we celebrate the progress we have made by honoring these three remarkable top executives today, in no particular order and all equally recognized. Please join us in congratulating them.
With over 20 years of industry experience, Natalie Wolfsen took the reins at AssetMark a year ago, after previously serving AssetMark as Chief Solutions Officer and, prior to that, as Chief Commercialization Officer in a total of eight years in the C-suite of the technology-based TAMP and practice management solutions provider with over $93 billion in assets that provides solutions to over 8,600 advisors.
Under Wolfsen’s leadership, AssetMark exemplifies technology enabling the growth of a wealth management services provider.
In addition to leading AssetMark, Wolfsen serves on the Board of Directors for the Certified Financial Planners Board.
With over 25 years of experience in the financial industry and over six years at the helm of RIA RFG Advisory, Shannon Spotswood leads RFG with a strategic vision of nationwide growth and a focus on M&A, advisor recruitment, marketing and business development.
Under her leadership, RFG Advisory was named among the Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors consecutively in 2021 and 2022, a Finalist for InvestmentNews’ 2021 Innovation Awards and WealthManagement.com’s Non-Custodial RIA Support Platform in 2020 and 2021 and received numerous other awards and recognition.
Spotswood discovered a passion for the financial world on her 14th birthday when she received a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, and followed it through a career in investment banking and hedge fund management before arriving at RFG.
Outside the office, Spotswood co-founded a successful children’s clothing brand, Busy Bees, and serves as Chairman of the Birmingham Education Foundation, which strives to increase students’ success in Birmingham City Schools.
How many CEOs do you know with a Ph.D.? Dr. Sindhu Joseph not only holds a Ph.D. but also six patents in artificial intelligence. As Co-Founder and CEO of venture capital-backed CogniCor, she puts these skills to use every day.
With eight years of experience leading CogniCor first in Barcelona, then in the San Francisco Bay area, Joseph grew CogniCor out of her Ph.D. thesis, serving financial advisors with a digital assistant based on machine learning that leverages sets of knowledge called “graphs” rather than the typical design of placing an algorithm atop a mass of data.
Joseph’s solutions aim to leverage artificial intelligence to solve time and resource constraints to scale middle and back-office operations.
Joseph has received numerous awards including the Diversity in Tech 2020 Entrepreneur award from the Dublin Tech Summit, in association with Microsoft for Startups, and one of the Five Female Founders Trailblazing in Fintech in 2020 from Masschallenge Fintech, Boston.
Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at email@example.com