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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

At the Pinnacle

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While various studies performed throughout the years have shown that a large portion of the female population is the breadwinner in their families, that women are generally the bill payers, and that women’s investing savvy gets better by the day, those studies have also borne out the fact that women still earn less than men when performing comparable jobs, and that women are still having a hard time breaking the glass ceiling in many professions.

The fifty women who’ve been chosen as standouts in’s second annual Top 50 Women in Wealth Management know all too well the triumphs women have achieved–and the travails they’ve endured–while climbing the corporate and advisory practice ladders. is part of the Advisor Media Group at Summit Business Media, as is Investment Advisor. As a member of the advisory board whose mission was to select the 50 top women from a pretty extensive list of candidates, I was able to see first hand the tremendous achievements that women have made in the investment advisory/wealth management professions. In selecting the 50 top women in wealth management, the advisory board’s mandate was to choose a diverse mix of women from across the financial services spectrum–women from the RIA, broker/dealer, family office, private banking, regulatory, and legal worlds–who are leaders and forward thinkers.

One of those women is Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In an interview with Investment Advisor in early April, Schapiro said that “women are absolutely populating the financial services industry much more extensively today than they used to–not at the highest levels [or] at the numbers I think they should be, and will hopefully ultimately get to, but I think there are definitely more and more opportunities.” Schapiro says that she sees an increasing opportunity for women in financial services firms because “diversity is going to be very important strategy for [these firms] in the future.” At the SEC, for instance, she points to the fact that three out of the five commissioners are women, and that women hold senior positions throughout the agency.

Diahann Lassus, co-founder and president of the fee-only New Jersey and Florida advisory firm Lassus Wherley, and past chair of NAPFA (from 2008-2009), another member of the top 50 list, believes that women have really “made the most progress” in the broader financial planning profession as opposed to the investment advisory space. “There are many reasons for that,” she says. “I think the investment world, Wall Street, is still a difficult area for women to get into,” because the high percentage of men who populate the profession generally stick to hiring men. “We all tend to hire people like ourselves,” she says. Lassus has noticed women tend to have “more success in smaller firms that are focused on financial planning and wealth management” and “we’re seeing more and more women starting their own firms.”

But Lassus says she’d like to see more women securing Wall Street jobs, and cites an article she read that argued the financial meltdown wouldn’t have been so severe if “more women were making the decisions.” Men and women “do see the world differently and we tend to deal with investments differently and with clients differently.” There’s a definite need for more balance on Wall Street, she says, “and I think women can help bring balance to the equation.”

Catherine Ayers-Rigsby: Managing Director, CFA

Ceros Financial Services, Inc. o Rockville, MD

Jessica M. Bibliowicz: Chairman, President, and CEO

National Financial Partners Corp. o New York, NY

Phyllis C. Borzi: Assistant Secretary of Labor

Employee Benefits Security Administration o Washington, DC

Patricia C. Brennan: President

Key Financial o West Chester, PA

Patricia C. Bresser: manager Director, Senior Wealth Advisor

U.S. Trust, Bank of America o Chicago, IL

Mary Erdoes: CEO, Asset Management

JPMorgan o New York, NY

Carrie Coghill-Kuntz: President

D. B. Root & Company o Pittsburgh, PA

Gail Cohen: Vice Chairman and General Trust Counsel; Director

Fiduciary Trust Company International o New York, NY

Denise Voigt Crawford: Securities Commissioner

Texas State Securities Board o Austin, TX

Marilyn B. Capelli Dimitroff: President

Capelli Financial Services, Inc. o Bloomfield Hills, MI

Sheila Dorman: Senior VP, Chief Operating Officer

Northern Trust Securities, Inc. o Chicago, IL

Coventry Edwards-Pitt: Managing Director, Sr. Client Advisor

Ballentine Finn o Waltham MA, Wolfeboro, NH

Linda J. Fitz: Principal, Co-Founder

Aspiriant o San Francisco, CA

Tamar Frankel: Professor of Law

Boston University School of Law o Boston, MA

Sara Hamilton: Founder and CEO

FOX Family Office Exchange o Chicago, IL

Carla Harris: Managing Director

Morgan Stanley Investment Management o New York, NY

Mellody Hobson: President

Ariel Investment Management o Chicago, IL

Paula H. Hogan: Founder, Financial Advisor

Hogan Financial Management o Milwaukee,WI

Kim Ip: Chief Operating Officer

Luminous Capital o Menlo Park, CA

Elizabeth Jetton: Partner

RTD Financial Advisors, Inc. o Atlanta, GA

Sallie Krawcheck: President, Global Wealth and Investment Management

Bank of America o New York, NY

Barbara Krumsiek: President and CEO

Calvert Group, Ltd. o Bethesda, MD

Kristi Kuechler: President

Institute for Private Investors o San Francisco, CA

Maria Elena Lagomasino: CEO

GenSpring Family Offices o Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Diahann Lassus: Co-founder, President

Lassus Wherley & Associates o New Providence, NJ

Dianne F. Lob: Chairman, Private Client Investment Policy Group; Head; Wealth Management Group

AllianceBernstein o New York, NY

Deborah D. McWhinney: President, Personal Banking and Wealth Management Citi o New York, NY

Doris Meister: President, New York-Tri-State Region

BNY Mellon o New York,NY

Olivia S. Mitchell: Department Chair and Professor, Dept. of Insurance and Risk Management

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania o Philadelphia, PA

Kyra Morris: Founder

Morris Financial Concepts o Mt. Pleasant SC

Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani: Chief Investment Officer, Private Wealth Mgmt. Group Goldman Sachs o New York, NY

Susan Mucciarone: Executive VP; Senior Managing Director

Wells Fargo Family Wealth o Philadelphia, PA

Kathleen A. Murphy: President, Personal Investing

Fidelity Investments o Boston, MA

Nancy Pelosi: U.S. Representative; Speaker of the House

U.S. House of Representatives o Washington, DC

Rebecca Pomering: CEO

Moss Adams Wealth Advisors o Seattle, WA

Carmen M. Reinhart: Professor of Economics; Director of the Center for International Economics

University of Maryland o College Park, MD

Rosanne Rog?: Managing Director, Client Services

R. W. Rog? & Co., Inc. o Bohemia, NY

Mary Schapiro: Chairman

Securities and Exchange Commission o Washington, DC

Suzanne F. Shank: President, CEO, and Partner

Siebert, Brandford, Shank o New York, NY

Eileen Sharkey: President

Sharkey, Howes & Javer, Inc., o Denver, CO

Muriel Siebert: CEO

Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. o New York, NY

Cathy Simmons: Director, Client Services; Chief Compliance Officer

Legacy Wealth Management o Memphis, TN

Michelle Smith: Co-founder; Managing Director

Alexandra and James Co., LLC o New York, NY

Liz Ann Sonders: Senior VP; Chief Investment Strategist

Charles Schwab o San Francisco, CA

Margaret Starner: Senior VP, Financial Planning

Raymond James & Associate o Coral Gables, FL

Elizabeth Warren: Chair, Congressional Oversight Panel, TARP ; Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law

Harvard Law School o Cambridge, MA

Amy Webber: President & CEO

Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. o Fairfield, IA

Debra Wetherby: Principal, Asset Manager, and CEO

Wetherby Asset Management o San Francisco, CA

Jane Williams: CEO

Sand Hill Global Advisors o Palo Alto, CA

Mary Zimmer: Head, Primary Advisor Services

RBC Wealth Management o Minneapolis, MN


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