Doreen Griffith, Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Securities America

Accomplishment(s): This last year, we focused on developing a modernized digital platform for our advisors to increase efficiency and productivity within their offices.

We started with a clean slate, engaging advisors and assistants in group sessions and individual interviews to understand what was most important to them and then partnering with industry thought leaders to translate that input into a seamless and user-friendly solution.

Many of the advisors and assistants we engaged up front also participated in a pilot to ensure we were on the right track as we progressed. The result was FrontPoint, a cloud-native platform that provides security, stability, responsiveness and vast integration capabilities with FinTech vendors.

We began rolling out the finished product to advisors in October last year. I was very pleased to play a leadership role in each stage of the process.

FrontPoint’s landing page is designed for touch-screen use and allows advisors and assistants to quickly review their book of business, access detailed information about accounts, contacts and households, and view consolidated notifications and alerts to quickly recognize issues requiring resolution across multiple platforms and more.

How to get more women into WealthTech: Women are naturally innovative. When we increase the numbers of women in financial services, we’ll see more innovation coming from them. And by showing young women the career opportunities waiting for them in financial services, they’ll also see the growing opportunities in WealthTech.

But recruiting women, and the next generation of financial advisors across the board, starts with creative, concerted efforts to bring them into the industry. That’s why we developed our outreach program, Link to the Future (LTTF).

Each LTTF event is held in conjunction with one of Ladenburg Thalmann’s conferences. We invite college students from the conference site’s surrounding area and children of our advisors to apply for competitive scholarships to attend the conference.

The winners are paired with highly successful advisors who provide mentorship and shadowing opportunities. They receive an up-close, personal and eye-opening introduction to financial services most people never get.

We try to attract a diverse group of students to the program, and many of the 120 participants so far have been young women. Some of them completed internships with our advisors and found full-time financial service positions with them.

We’re entering our third year of LTTF, and it grows stronger each year. It’s the kind of innovative program that makes a quantifiable difference.

Advice for those starting out: Believe in yourself, take enough time to enjoy life, understand the world is much bigger than you think and travel!

Sources of insights and inspiration: I try to focus on trends outside our industry for opportunities and insights. I find “The Wall Street Journal” and “Harvard Business Journal” to be valuable sources.

I’m also fortunate to belong to a women’s leadership group at Securities America. We review various books, articles, TED Talks, podcasts, etc. as a group. It’s extremely valuable to be able to reflect on the discussion and hear insight from other female leaders, whether they are tenured leaders or brand new.