WSR Pathfinder Awards – Top Women Industry Leaders Of 2024

WSR Celebrates Women’s History Month By Naming Top Industry Leaders

Today we announce our second set of winners in the WSR Pathfinder Awards series for the year – the Top Women Industry Leaders of 2024 – in honor of Women’s History Month. This group of winners follows February’s Top Black Industry Leaders of 2024. Now in its third year, the Pathfinder Awards recognize excellence in executives from underrepresented background and communities.

In addition, the awards provide a focal point for the industry to discuss DEI issues and more. To catalyze these conversations, we provide certain winners with a platform to address the industry, which we have done in concurrently published interviews.

Pathfinder winners are selected based on their ability to serve as role models, their influence and reputation within the industry, their accomplishments and track record, as well as their dedication to the industry. Our team went to great efforts to narrow the list from the many outstanding and successful women in wealth management.

The winners below are in alphabetical order.

CFO Of The Year:
Nancy Andrefsky, Founding Partner And CFO, Stratos Wealth Partners

Nancy Andrefsky, Founding Partner & CFO, Stratos Wealth Partners
Nancy Andrefsky, Founding Partner & CFO, Stratos Wealth Partners

Nancy Andrefsky joined Stratos Wealth Partners in 2008 as one of its Founding Partners and has held the Chief Financial Officer role ever since. She is part of the firm’s executive committee, and leads its financial management, human resources and marketing departments.

Andrefsky has engineered deals for Stratos that include full buyouts and minority stakes in firms ranging from smaller affiliated firms to multi-billion-dollar international wealth managers. Her development of a simplified onramp for investment established several Stratos-affiliated practices that serve as hubs for the firm’s M&A activity. She also secured a significant credit facility to drive M&A growth and oversaw the implementation of GAAP reporting for Stratos.

Her career began as an independent auditor with Ernst & Young, where her clients included Fortune 100 companies. Her next role was as a controller for Bell Atlantic Corp.’s (now Verizon) non-regulated subsidiaries.

Kylee Beach, General Counsel, Orion Advisor Solutions
Kylee Beach, General Counsel, Orion Advisor Solutions

Kylee Beach joined Orion Advisor Solutions in 2011. As General Counsel, she oversees legal matters across all Orion entities including contracts, intellectual property and corporate matters. She also supervises the risk and compliance teams and serves as the Chair of the Executive Risk Committee.

She has held various roles at Orion, including Chief Compliance Officer of CLS Investments. Before joining Orion, she was a private practice attorney at the Scudder Law Firm representing issuers before the SEC on matters including public stock offerings, registration of investment advisers and ongoing reporting obligations.

Beach graduated with high distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law, after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University, with the highest distinction.

President Of The Year:
Michele Coletti, President, Trust & Custody Support Solutions, AmericanTCS

Michele Coletti, President, Trust & Custody Support Solutions, AmericanTCS
Michele Coletti, President, Trust & Custody Support Solutions, AmericanTCS

Michele Coletti joined AmericanTCS in 2008. She has over 25 years of experience in the retirement plan industry in roles encompassing the recordkeeping, compliance, and trading of qualified and non-qualified plans. Coletti spearheads new solutions for the firm’s open architecture platform providing custody and clearing support to intermediary partners and outside dealers. She manages the trust administration, trade operations, reconciliation, unitization, cashiering and tax reporting teams.

She also has oversight of the fund services and home office services teams responsible for the negotiation of mutual fund selling and servicing agreements, fee and commission invoicing and collection, dealer compensation solutions and fund compliance. The trust product management teams report to her, aligning system development with operational needs and strategic initiatives.

Previously, Coletti spent 13 years with SunGard managing key vendor relationships and initiatives. She is a member of the Investment Company Institute’s Bank, Trust and Recordkeeping Advisory Committee (BTRAC).

Social Investments Executive Of The Year:
Lisette Cooper, Vice Chair, Fiduciary Trust International

Lisette Cooper, Vice Chair, Fiduciary Trust International
Lisette Cooper, Vice Chair, Fiduciary Trust International

As the Vice Chair of Fiduciary Trust International, Lisette Cooper oversees the firm’s sustainable investing practice and investment risk strategy. She arrived at Fiduciary Trust in 2020, as she sold the firm she founded in 1993, Athena Capital, to Fiduciary Trust. While CEO of Athena Capital, she developed the firm into a leader in impact investing.

Cooper is a member of Fiduciary Trust’s Board of Directors. She founded the DEI Council at Fiduciary Trust’s parent company, Franklin Templeton, and advises Franklin Templeton on climate strategy. Through much of her career, she has been teaching clients how to vote their proxies in accordance with their values.

To support gender DEI efforts, Cooper and her team brought together women academics, investors and wealth managers in a series of events that led to founding a chapter of the Women’s Inclusion Project. She has served as an expert in residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab and serves on the boards of various organizations that promote education, the environment and social justice.

She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University.

CMO Of The Year:
Marissa Fox-Foley, CMO, Choreo

Marissa Fox-Foley, CMO, Choreo
Marissa Fox-Foley, CMO, Choreo

Marissa Fox-Foley is an award-winning marketing executive with over 20 years of experience. At Choreo, she develops and executes integrated growth marketing strategies that encompass traditional and digital communication channels, as well as supports M&A strategy and training. Fox-Foley previously served as Head of Corporate and Brand Marketing at Cetera Financial Group and Executive Vice President of Marketing at LPL Financial.

She helped launch Choreo from a division of the CPA firm RSM US LLP to a national stand-alone brand that now operates out of dozens of locations nationwide. In the two years since Choreo debuted, she has launched Canvas, a multichannel digital marketing and communications platform to streamline business development activities, and helped build out an employee resource group dedicated to advancing career opportunities for women.

Fox-Foley developed and executed marketing and communications strategies to integrate advisors from four acquisitions that attracted more than $11 billion in recruited assets to Choreo – Enso Wealth Management, Cherry Bekaert Wealth Management, GreerWalker Wealth and the wealth management division of BDO. She also led the marketing strategy for the Choreo Partner Alliance with affiliated CPA firms.

CEO Of The Year:
Kim Crawford Goodman, CEO, Smarsh

Kim Crawford Goodman, CEO, Smarsh
Kim Crawford Goodman, CEO, Smarsh

Kim Crawford Goodman came to Smarsh as CEO in 2022 with over 25 years of experience in payments, financial services, hospitality and technology. During her tenure at Smarsh, the company announced C-suite appointments including Mike Cagle as Chief Financial Officer and Vinay Mehta as Chief Technology Officer, as well as enhancements to its Professional Archive dashboards and its Enterprise Conduct AI-powered communications surveillance solution.

She previously held C-Suite positions at Dell, American Express, WorldPay and Fiserv. She drove growth and innovations as CEO of WorldPay, and as president of three divisions while at Fiserv. Goodman’s career began as a consultant for Bain & Co., where she specialized in telecommunications and technology.

Goodman was the 2023 WSR Pathfinder Awards Black CEO of the Year. She is a recurring member of Black Enterprise magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Corporate America list; was part of US Black Engineer magazine’s 100 Most Important Blacks in Technology list in 2006 and was named to Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Black Executives in America in 2002. In 2019, she was named among the Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology by the Financial Technology Report.

Public Interest Executive Of The Year:
Katie Hammer, VP Of Development And Communications, Foundation For Financial Planning

Katie Hammer, VP of Development and Communications, Foundation for Financial Planning
Katie Hammer, VP of Development and Communications, Foundation for Financial Planning

With almost eight years at the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP), Katie Hammer develops strategies to engage financial service professionals and firms with FFP’s mission to expand pro bono financial guidance for people in need, including underserved women, military veterans, families facing cancer and low-income workers.

Prior to FFP, she served as Senior Director of Mission Advancement at America’s Promise Alliance, creating fundraising and awareness campaigns to improve opportunities for American youth. Before that, she held corporate relations roles at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Blum-Kovler Foundation.

Hammer was instrumental in FFP’s Pro Bono for Cancer Campaign, which raised over $1 million. The program has delivered one-on-one financial planning and support to over 2,200 families. She also serves on the board of Fugees Family, which advances educational justice for refugee youth.

Wealthtech Executive Of The Year:
Meghan Holmes, COO, Advyzon Investment Management

Meghan Holmes, COO, Advyzon Investment Management
Meghan Holmes, COO, Advyzon Investment Management

Arriving at Advyzon Investment Management two years ago, Meghan Holmes serves as COO of the TAMP, which is part of wealthtech firm Advyzon. In the past year, she has led AIM to add multiple asset managers and strategists to its platform, including Fidelity Investments, Alpha Vee Solutions, KKM Financial and Zacks Investment Management.

In addition, AIM has launched two partnerships under her leadership. In its partnership with Nebo Wealth, AIM provides turnkey services to deliver personalized portfolios. In a partnership with tru Independence, AIM and Advyzon provide support for the truView platform, which provides business insights, client information, portfolio management, risk metrics, planning and investment management.

Prior to AIM, Holmes spent 14 years at Charles Schwab, working in service, transition, sales and relationship management in the RIA custody space. She also mentors young women professionals at Advyzon and in the financial services industry.

COO Of The Year:
Shruti Joshi, President And COO, Facet Wealth

Shruti Joshi, President & COO, Facet Wealth
Shruti Joshi, President & COO, Facet Wealth

Shruti Joshi was an early investor at Facet Wealth, where she served on the Advisory Board from 2017 to 2021. She became COO in 2021 and added the role of President in 2023. She also co-founded community-based content curation service Compell’d in 2018 and served as its CEO until 2021.

Throughout her career, Joshi has invested in multiple businesses and advised on client acquisition and retention strategies and client experience development. Before joining Facet, Joshi was an equity partner at Altman Vilandrie & Company, now Altman Solon, where she built and operated the firm’s Marketing ROI Practice, and an executive at Verizon.

As an immigrant who lived in multiple countries by age 14, she found a sense of belonging in the tech world. Through Facet, she aims to improve clients’ lives and well-being through democratizing financial planning.

Investment Platform Executive Of The Year:
Beata Kirr, Chief Impact Officer, The Copia Group

Beata Kirr, Chief Impact Officer, The Copia Group
Beata Kirr, Chief Impact Officer, The Copia Group

An immigrant from the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, Beata Kirr is a member of the five-person founding team of The Copia Group, a social impact private alternatives firm. As Chief Impact Officer, she is responsible for delivering an impact investing platform and establishing the firm as a thought leader in impact-focused private markets and investments. Under her leadership, The Copia Group emphasizes providing capital to gender and ethnically diverse business owners. She also serves on the firm’s investment committee.

Prior to The Copia Group, she held various roles at Bernstein Private Wealth Management over 16 years, rising to Co-Head of Investment & Wealth Strategies, where she led a $100 billion investment platform with 25,000 clients and 250 advisors, and led the firm’s responsible investing portfolio.

Kirr launched and previously operated the Women & Wealth Institute, including the “Women & Wealth” podcast, and volunteers for many nonprofits, including the National Charity League and the Investment Committee for the Poetry Foundation.

Consultancy Executive Of The Year:
Laura Korbel, President, F2 Strategy

Joining F2 Strategy in 2023, Laura Korbel is responsible for the firm’s day-to-day business, growth strategy and implementation, and client outcomes. As an advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, she fosters a firm culture of career growth and empowerment, authenticity and well-being. Under her leadership, the firm recently acquired SKY Marketing Consultants.

Korbel has over 20 years of industry experience. Before arriving at F2 Strategy, she held various roles at Rightpoint, including SVP: Executive Head of Operations and Project Management Office, where she focused on delivery across client portfolios and operational efficiencies to accelerate growth.

Prior to Rightpoint, she served as a Managing Principal at Capco, an engagement director at Isobar U.S., and held roles at Manifest Digital, Rovi Corporation (now Tivo), Liquidus Marketing, Arc Worldwide, Tribal DBB and Kitchens.com.

Outside of the office, she enjoys cooking, reading and being out on Lake Michigan.

Financial Advisor Of The Year:
Sue English Mazzetti, Partner, Quorum Private Wealth

Sue English Mazzetti, Partner, Quorum Private Wealth
Sue English Mazzetti, Partner, Quorum Private Wealth

Prior to co-founding Quorum Private Wealth, which is affiliated with Sanctuary Wealth, Sue English Mazzetti had accumulated nearly a decade of wealth management experience as an advisor at Merrill Lynch and before that over a decade of public accounting experience with Ernst & Young. She serves individuals, their families and their businesses, and has a passion for working with women clients.

Quorum manages over $1 billion in client assets and has a 12-member team, the majority of whom are women. It launched in 2021 with a San Francisco Bay Area office and went bicoastal with a New York metro area office in 2022. Quorum was named Partner Firm of the Year at Sanctuary Wealth’s OASIS 2023 annual national conference.

Mazzetti is the 2024 President of the Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSF). The organization promotes the development, career progress and leadership of women in the Bay Area. In November, she won the Sanctuary Cares Award for her volunteer work with FWSF.

Finance Executive Of The Year:
Liz Nesvold, Chair, Emigrant Partners And Vice Chair, Emigrant Bank

Liz Nesvold, Vice Chair of Emigrant Bank and Chair, Emigrant Partners
Liz Nesvold, Vice Chair of Emigrant Bank and Chair, Emigrant Partners

Liz Nesvold has worked in the wealth management industry for more than 30 years as an advisor, investment banker and executive. She also has been an advocate and mentor for women in financial services. Her experience includes mergers and acquisitions, capital planning and fundraising, succession and liquidity planning, strategic advisory, compensation structuring, financial and business analysis, and organic growth consulting.

She started her career providing advisory services to RIAs in 1991 at Berkshire Capital, where she co-founded the investment banking industry’s first-ever specialist M&A practice serving wealth management firms. In 2007, Nesvold launched Silver Lane, a boutique investment bank that was an active M&A advisor to the wealth and asset management industry. She and her partners sold Silver Lane to a Fortune 500 company in 2019.

Nesvold joined Emigrant Bank in February 2024. She works closely with all units of the bank that are engaged in, or provide solutions to, the firm’s wealth management business, including Emigrant Partners (EP), New York Private Trust, Sarasota Private Trust and Cleveland Private Trust, as well as the company’s business divisions that serve the high net worth and ultra-high net worth markets, including Personal Risk Management Solutions and Summitas.

CIO Of The Year:
Marta Norton, Chief Investment Officer For The Americas, Morningstar Wealth

Marta Norton, Chief Investment Officer for the Americas, Morningstar Wealth
Marta Norton, Chief Investment Officer for the Americas, Morningstar Wealth

Marta Norton began at Morningstar in 2005 and has held various roles, including Chief Investment Officer for the Americas at Morningstar Wealth since 2020, where she is responsible for $246 billion in assets under management and advisement. She is a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC, where she shares market insights.

She writes the monthly “From the Desk of the CIO” commentary to educate and guide investors, providing market perspectives and thought leadership to the investment industry. Norton began at Morningstar as a mutual fund analyst, then held roles in portfolio management. Prior to Morningstar, she was a research analyst at LEGC and an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Norton is a Certified Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago. She earned an economics degree from Wheaton College.

Communications & Marketing Agency Executive Of The Year:
Katherine Paulson, Partner And Head Of Digital Marketing Strategies, Haven Tower Group & Managing Partner, Haven Mark Partners

Katherine Paulson, Partner and Head of Digital Marketing Strategies, Haven Tower Group & Managing Partner, Haven Mark Partners
Katherine Paulson, Partner and Head of Digital Marketing Strategies, Haven Tower Group & Managing Partner, Haven Mark Partners

Katherine Paulson is the Managing Partner of Haven Mark Partners, the brand strategy and digital marketing platform of Haven Tower Group, a leading strategic communications agency for the wealth management industry, where she serves as Partner and Head of Digital Marketing Strategies.

Paulson brings over 20 years of wealth and asset management experience to this role. She has extensive experience in developing and executing strategic marketing programs for independent financial services enterprises, including wealth management enterprises, independent financial advisor firms, insurance platforms, asset managers as well as third-party wholesale and distribution businesses.

For over a decade, she was Assistant Vice President, Director of Marketing for MetLife’s U.S. retail annuities division. She was also Director, Head of Marketing at Altegris, an asset management firm focused on alternative investments.

As head of Haven Tower’s Haven Mark Partners platform, Paulson delivers a wide spectrum of outsourced CMO solutions, spearheading and managing brand and marketing strategies for clients for both brand elevation and lead gen purposes, under ongoing agency and project-only relationship structures.

Financial Planner Of The Year:
Barbara A. Pietrangelo, Financial Planner, Prudential Advisors

Barbara A. Pietrangelo, Financial Planner, Prudential Advisors
Barbara A. Pietrangelo, Financial Planner, Prudential Advisors

Barbara A. Pietrangelo began her three-decade career in 1992 at the Prudential Insurance Company of America. She became a Financial Planner in 2000 and earned the 2013 Prudential Award of Merit. At Prudential Advisors, Pietrangelo provides clients with services encompassing retirement planning, education planning, estate planning, risk management, insurance needs and investment planning. She is based in Ada, Michigan.

Her professional credentials include the CFP, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, CLTC and RFC designations. Her professional organization memberships include the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA), as well as the Million Dollar Round Table trade association. Pietrangelo also is the Chair of Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Americans about the significance of insurance.

She has been nominated for “Top Women Owned Businesses” in the Grand Rapids Business Journal and was recognized by LifeHealthPro as one of the “20 Women in Insurance You Need to Know.” Pietrangelo has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal and Smart Money.

Anne Rhodes, Chief Legal Officer, Wealth.com
Anne Rhodes, Chief Legal Officer, Wealth.com

For the past two and a half years Anne Rhodes has led the legal department at Wealth.com, a provider of a digital-first estate planning platform, shaping the company’s legal risk management and commercial strategies. She previously practiced for 10 years as an attorney specializing in taxation, trusts and estates at Perkins Coie, McDermott Will & Emory and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

As an attorney, Rhodes has provided legal advice for financial advisors and their clients on succession strategies, pre-liquidity event planning, tax planning and wealth transfer. She has advised on the creation and administration of trusts and tax-exempt organizations, charitable giving, asset protection, pre-immigration planning and special assets such as closely held businesses.

Prior to her legal career, Rhodes taught math at the Peddie School and served as an Admissions Officer at Georgetown University. She earned an undergraduate degree in history from Yale University and a law degree from Columbia Law School. She volunteers as an interviewer for applicants to Yale’s undergraduate program.

Strategy Executive Of The Year:
Dimple Shah, EVP, Head Of Corporate Strategy, Osaic

Dimple Shah, EVP, Head of Corporate Strategy, Osaic
Dimple Shah, EVP, Head of Corporate Strategy, Osaic

Dimple Shah has more than 20 years of experience in developing corporate and business strategies for Fortune 500 companies. She joined Osaic’s predecessor firm, Advisor Group, in 2022 and reports to President and CEO Jamie Price. Shah focuses on growth initiatives and serves on Osaic’s Executive Committee.

Her expertise includes corporate strategy, strategic planning, strategic pricing, operations and product management, financial modeling and structuring, joint venture partnerships and people development across financial services, technology and real estate private equity.

Since Shah joined Osaic, the firm experienced a 240% gain in recruited assets in 3Q 2023 versus the same period in 2022, and in December 2023 Osaic acquired Lincoln Wealth, which consisted of approximately 1,450 advisors and oversees approximately $108 billion in assets as of June 30.

Previously, Shah served as Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Strategy at LPL. Her team oversaw the development of LPL’s Independent Advisor Institute.

WealthManagement.com named Shah one of The Ten to Watch in 2019, while in her role at LPL. Earlier in her career, Shah held strategy leadership roles at Oliver Wyman/Marsh & McLennan Companies, Hewlett Packard and PayPal/eBay.

Advisor Development Executive Of The Year:
Nicola (Niki) Sutton, VP Of Advisor Engagement, Beacon Capital Management

Nicola (Niki) Sutton, VP of Advisor Engagement, Beacon Capital Management
Nicola (Niki) Sutton, VP of Advisor Engagement, Beacon Capital Management

Nicola (Niki) Sutton has served Beacon Capital Management for two years as VP of Advisor Engagement, responsible for driving growth by developing innovative ways to engage advisors. In this role, she launched the annual Elite Advisor Education Conference, developed practice management resources and partnered with broker-dealers to support their advisors with workshops and retreats.

Sutton regularly delivers presentations and workshops at advisor events covering topics such as operational efficiency, process development, client experience, business strategy and planning, marketing and technology optimization. Prior to Beacon, Sutton worked as a business consultant to advisors at AssetMark.

When she entered the financial services industry, she was surprised that so few women attended industry events, so made it her mission to foster a positive environment for women advisors and support staff. She launched a women’s group at Beacon and, at past employers, she created a women advisor group and formed study groups for NextGen female advisors.

Outside of the office, Sutton spends time with her two children and grandchild, is a fan of the Liverpool FC soccer team and enjoys music.

Banking Executive Of The Year:
Chenoa Taitt, Head Of Marketing, Stephens

Chenoa Taitt, Head Of Marketing, Stephens
Chenoa Taitt, Head Of Marketing, Stephens

Chenoa Taitt has overseen marketing and communications at Stephens since 2015. The family-owned business of independent privately held financial services firms provides wealth management, capital management, institutional equities and research, fixed income sales and trading, public finance, investment banking, insurance and private capital services. Stephens has been in operation for over 90 years, has more than 1,300 employees and offices in 27 locations across the U.S. and Europe.

In recent years, Stephens has grown its brand ambassador sponsorships with PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR Champions golfing stars; launched the annual Jackson T. Stephens Cup for collegiate players, which airs nationally on the Golf Channel; and became the exclusive investment banking sponsor of Williams Racing, a Formula 1 team.

In addition, Taitt led the development of the firm’s INVESTED initiative for advancing the success of women in the workplace, its award-winning This is Capitalism multimedia campaign dedicated to American business and entrepreneurship, and the firm’s augmented digital marketing initiatives and social media presence.

She has more than 25 years of financial communications experience. Prior to joining Stephens, Taitt served as a public relations and investor relations executive at Rooney & Associates, LHA and MikeWorldWide (MWW Group).

Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at editor@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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