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Shaping Legacies: For Clients and Ourselves

Today, women across the financial services industry are immersed in the issues of legacy. Enabling clients to build and preserve wealth in order to bestow a meaningful gift to the next generation is one of financial advisors' most important responsibilities – particularly as the Baby Boomer generation proceeds into retirement in record numbers.

Yet, as financial advisory continues to evolve, with demand for female advisors at an all-time high, women in the business are also endeavoring to create a professional legacy, both personally and collectively. They are reflecting on the values, principles and guidance they wish to impart to the next generation of female financial professionals. Women in advisory also are taking steps to realize these aspirations through their approaches to mentorship, professional development, and succession planning.

In this year's Lessons Learned, leading female financial advisors and other accomplished executives share their valuable perspectives, experiences and insights on shaping legacy for their clients as well as themselves – bringing fresh sincerity and depth to the multifaceted legacy conversation, and helping pave the way for a new generation of advisors.

A Quick Look at Some "Lessons Learned":
Anastasia Amoroso
"My view of my legacy as an individual is very much intertwined with my role as a financial services professional. My hope is to help empower others to go after what they want and work hard to get there."

-- Anastasia Amoroso, VP, Global Market Strategist, J.P. Morgan Funds

Barbara Best
"Retirement planning demands an ability to think holistically and consider broad personal goals and needs - all of which are particular competencies of women."

-- Barbara Best, Principal, Capital Strategies Investment Group, LLC

Barbara Delaney
"In this age of rapid change for the retirement planning industry, I hope our firm is known for doing everything we can in order to get - and keep - participants on track."

-- Barbara Delaney, Principal, StoneStreet Equity

Carole Ford
"Gaining a healthy financial competence and a sense of decision-making power is an incredibly valuable tool for women in both the short and long term - and it endows them with real strength and confidence as well."

-- Carole Ford, President, Chief Executive Officer, Ford Financial Gorup

Carrie Coghill
"In our industry there is now a far more robust appreciation for diversity, particularly gender diversity, within advisory teams."

-- Carrie Coghill, President, Chief Executive Officer, Coghill Investment Strategies, LLC

"I owe it to my clients to ensure that the income they have earned and saved is preserved to achieve their goals both while they are here, and after they are gone."

-- Jessica Jones, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

Julia Bates
"I am convinced that it will be difficult to remedy the scarcity of female business leaders in financial services without more sponsorship from senior leaders who are willing to put people in paradigm-bending roles."

-- Julia Bates, Managing Director, Head of Individual and Business Retirement, J.P. Morgan

Kathleen Kelly
"I see a need for a greater emphasis on taking control of those everyday financial and lifestyle decisions that either build a path - or a roadblock - to a comfortable retirement."

-- Kathleen Kelly, Managing Partner, Compass Financial Partners, LLC

Lee Spelman
"Finance and investing are a great fit for women because they play to their strengths. I'd like to see more women asserting these skills as individual investors and as financial services professionals."

--Lee Spelman, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Equity Client Portfolio Managers, J.P. Morgan

Melissa Harrison
"I hope that our advisors are known for modeling the same kind of care for financial stewardship that we seek to engender in clients."

--Melissa Harrison, Managing Director, Private Wealth Advisor, Corrado-Harrison and Associates, Merrill Lynch

Missy Spickler
"An essential component of our advice for clients on legacy matters is our relationship with their families - both older and younger generations. We have to be part of what I call 'the whole legacy.'"

--Melissa Spickler, Managing Director, Wealth Management Advisor, The Spickler Group, Merrill Lynch

Clare Hart
"It's our tendency to continually strive for upward career movement, but stepping sideways to explore a new trajectory rather than pushing forward in known territory is sometimes the most important kind of move one can make."

--Clare Hart, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, U.S. Equity Group, J.P. Morgan

Kim Sharan
"For financial advisors with Boomer-generation clients, the advisory landscape has become considerably more complex."

--Kim Sharan, President, Financial Planning and Wealth Strategies, Chief Marketing Officer, Financial Services, Inc.

Kimberlee Orth
"As part of my team's expanding roles as our clients' 'life coaches,' we facilitate family meetings for clients to share their specific vision for their wealth with their children. It's a delicate conversation, but an important one."

--Kimberlee Orth, Private Wealth Advisor, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Marja Norris
"Research has shown that that approximately 70% of female investors prefer to work with a female advisor - a fact that our industry needs to respect by including women on advisory teams."

--Marja Norris, Senior Vice President, Retirement Plan Consultant, Wealth Advisor, Norris Wealth Management Group, UBS

MaryAnn Bunting
"I've had so much happen in my own life - it's the best thing I have going for me with clients. I can bring my learned wisdom to the planning conversation."

--Mary-Ann Bunting, Private Wealth Advisor, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.