WSR Names Susan Theder Woman CXO of the Year

FMG Suite’s Chief Marketing & Experience Officer on Dedicating Management Resources to Deliver an Exceptional Client Experience

Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

In recent years many C-suites have onboarded chief experience officers (CXOs) as firms recognize the value of harmonizing multiple functions to go beyond simple surveys and drive a unique and essential client experience that not only elevates a company’s brand and revenues but truly distinguishes it among peers and competitors.

Did your client think the onboarding process was painless? Does the client like your branding? Does your advertising tell clients you understand them? These questions – and many more – define client experience and could subtly, in unheard thoughts and conversations, build or raze your reputation. 

Susan Theder, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer, FMG Suite

Long one of the most widely respected marketing and brand strategy leaders in wealth management, having served as CMO of both Advisor Group and Cetera, WSR honors Susan Theder as Woman CXO of the Year, part of the WSR Pathfinder Awards. 

Theder joined FMG Suite in the fall of last year to wear both the CMO and CXO hats of the marketing technology solutions provider that holds 23% of the market share in its space.

We aim to please.

Previously recognized as Chief Marketing Officer of the Year by and one of the 20 Women to Watch by InvestmentNews, Theder serves as an independent director on the Boards of both Smarsh and ComplySci

We sat down with Theder to learn more about the role of CXOs in wealth management as well as her advice for female students considering a career in client experience.

WSR: You serve as both CMO and CXO at FMG Suite. The chief experience officer role is a relative newcomer to the C-suite. Tell us about the work and importance of CXOs to the wealth management industry.

Theder: When we discuss user experience, we often think of how our customers will interact with our product, typically in terms of design and interface. These elements are vital but are only one part of the CXO role. 

Excellent client experience is a driving force of business success.

At its core, a CXO’s responsibilities include all assets that influence the emotional experience of using a product – branding, accessibility, copy, etc. – all play a role in evoking a particular feeling for our users. These elements are essential in any industry but are often used in wealth management to offset customer pain points and create feelings of trust, growth and reliability.

WSR: Tell us about the trends you see for advisor and client experience in wealth management. What will the typical wealth management CXO role look like in the future?

Theder: Many client-advisor relationships have quickly moved digital in recent years and will continue to do so as wealth begins to transfer generations. Digital demand has created a greater need for sophisticated marketing and communications which, in most cases, are automated. 

However, automation lacks personalization, and one of the key selling points for clients is knowing that your advisor understands your unique situation and goals. I believe the CXO role will play an even larger role in bridging the gap between personalization and scalability.

Personalization gives us the ability to take appropriate actions.

WSR: What advice would you give to a female student considering aiming her career at becoming a CXO in wealth management?

Theder: I think getting as much exposure as possible to the customer is the best possible background. I believe CXOs are more effective if they know the customer inside and out. Whatever industry you pursue, meet with customers regularly. Be curious about their needs and pain points. 

Understand how they want to be served and strive to deliver the unexpected as that is what ultimately wins loyalty and strong brand perception. I think marketing is a good start for a career in CX as to be successful you also need to be able to segment populations and cater your message and offers to their unique needs. 

Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

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