Teri Shepherd, President, Carson Group

Accomplishment(s): In the midst of 10-times growth in 2019 (AUM growth of 61%; number of clients we serve, up 40%; 40 advisor firms joining Carson in 2019; number of internal stakeholders increased 55%), we have stayed true to our mission — our care and passion to be the most trusted firm for financial advice has never been stronger.

We are just beginning our journey to help independent advisors lead their clients to financial clarity. This past year, we launched new technology in the form of the Carson CX (Client Experience) and Personalized Gameplan.

We have been diligently building out a leadership team that is capable and equipped to lead Carson well into the future. And key throughout all of this has been building confidence and trust throughout the organization during this time of expansive growth and change.

How to get more women into WealthTech: Leaders involved in WealthTech who strive to innovate and create new solutions need to invite and encourage other women to participate.

The opportunity is wide open, but many women won’t invite themselves to participate. We need to give them the opportunity and encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas, build confidence in the value they can provide, and most importantly — lead.

I have learned that the easy road is not the path to innovation. You must embrace diversity, fresh thinking, new ideas and often conflicting opinions. When you have diversity of thought across a diverse team that can effectively work together to innovate — that is the secret sauce.

Advice for those starting out: I didn’t know that the independent advisor profession existed early in my career. So, I would encourage my younger self to explore opportunities in the financial services industry.

I thought the only jobs available were in sales (brokers) and that I would be tied to a desk, cold calling to sell financial products.

If more women understood that they could be a financial life coach who helps families by mentoring them in their financial lives, I believe we would achieve greater diversity in our profession.

Sources of insights and inspiration: I have four life mentors that I stay connected with to provide insights, advice and wisdom. Two of them are well-known industry experts, and the other two help me maintain a strong balance in my life, both personally and professionally.

Other things I attribute to success include attending key industry conferences, staying connected with experts and trends, and reading articles every day.