The 50 Top Women in Wealth for 2011

The spectrum of expertise exhibited by this year’s honorees shows that women can be successful in every sphere of wealth management.

Who are the most influential, powerful and inspiring women in and around wealth management? For the third year in a row, AdvisorOne presents for your consideration a list of 50 such women drawn from academia, government, money management, companies that partner with advisors and wealth managers themselves. (See the Top Women in Wealth home page for additional reporting.)

We believe the 50 Top Women in Wealth lead by example. They lead with courage. They lead despite being forced to make sometimes painful choices between their careers and their families in a different way, with differing expectations, than most men have had to face.

They lead men, to be sure, but we also submit that their leadership is of special interest and inspiration to other women who already are forging, or contemplating beginning, their own careers in a financial services world that remains dominated by men.

They are exemplars of the success women can have in wealth management, but the fact that we feel it important to recognize these successful people as women is a sign that much remains to change before wealth management and our society is truly gender-blind.

The Top 50 are real-life examples of women who have succeeded in a man’s world, but most will tell you that they didn’t do it alone. They had mentors and guides, many of them men. Many also feel a responsibility to get the word out that wealth management in all its manifestations is a great career choice, one in which some of the unique strengths of women can be exercised to great effect.

Some of the women are making repeat appearances on the 2011 list, such as Mary Schapiro of the SEC and Sallie Krawcheck of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Regulators like Phyllis Borzi of the Department of Labor and Elizabeth Warren of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have grown in influence on the national stage over the past year.

However, we also made sure to include women who are not household names on the scale of the

aforementioned honorees, but whom we think are thought leaders in specific areas--such as the academics Olivia Mitchell and Tamar Frankel.

We evinced a fondness, moreover, for those women who have succeeded in delivering true wealth management with an entrepreneurial bent to individual clients.

An advisory board of noted industry leaders chose the 50 Top Women in Wealth after an extensive months-long process, making their final choices based on the Top 50 Women’s accomplishments, thought leadership and inspiration as role models (see separate article on the process of choosing the 50 Top Women and the members of the advisory board who made the final choices).

The exceptional leaders on this list are responsible for managing and directing hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth, for educating and guiding wealth managers and their clients—both individuals and institutions—and regulating the markets and market participants.

We would argue that the accomplishments of these women put the lie to the outdated notion that women can’t succeed in all levels of wealth management and in every business model, including the wirehouse and broker-dealer world, banks, asset management firms and the RIA world.

These 50 women are accomplished entrepreneurs, thought leaders, money managers, personal wealth managers of all kinds and partners to those wealth managers. Their accomplishments transcend their gender, while their gender helps inform their personal values to their clients and customers.

The 50 Top Women will be profiled throughout the month of July on AdvisorOne.com--see here the list of extended profiles--and in the August issues of Investment Advisorand Researchmagazines. Throughout the month, we will be sharing the results of the annual women in wealth survey as well.

See the full list of honorees here.

For an explanation of the process and a list of the industry luminaries who made the final decisions, please click here.

Click here for the list of the 2010 honorees.

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