What are your top accomplishments from the past year, and how did you accomplish them?
When Envestnet adapted its organizational structure last year, to place itself in a stronger position to create a premier Financial Wellness Network, I assumed responsibility for leading Envestnet | Tamarac, our premium platform solution for RIAs. When I started with Tamarac in 2008, we had five employees; today we have over 380 staff between our Seattle and Raleigh, N.C., offices, specifically supporting the Tamarac business.
Under my leadership, Envestnet | Tamarac rolled out a new portfolio management solution, PortfolioCenter Hosted, to streamline daily operations and enrich client reporting for smaller RIAs.
Envestnet acquired PortfolioCenter around the time we were evolving our broader organization, and one of my key objectives last year was to focus on providing PortfolioCenter’s existing users with elevated, best-in-class reporting insights through the Tamarac platform, along with high-touch support.
I also managed the integration of PortfolioCenter into the Tamarac offering, which significantly expands the audience of emerging RIAs that we can help to grow and scale their businesses within a secure cloud-based solution at an affordable price.
With the addition of PortfolioCenter, we added over 2,000 RIA firms to our growing Tamarac client base, totaling over 3,100 RIA clients managing over $1.2 trillion in collective assets. As a side note, the total client AUM was only $10 million when I started with the organization in 2006. My colleagues and I are proud to be able to provide smaller and emerging RIAs with a foundation to help deliver better outcomes, and financial wellness, to clients.
How can more women become part of WealthTech/innovation?
I encourage women to avoid limiting themselves to what they envision their careers will look like when they enter the workforce, and to think outside of the boundaries of their college major or previous employment history.
The financial services industry is extremely broad and continuously evolving, with different areas that cross over. There are many paths to explore. My background wasn’t in technology specifically — it was finance and marketing, so I never envisioned myself working for a WealthTech company.
Technological innovation has brought all areas of financial services closer together, so everything we learn and do can be applied to many parts of the industry.
Financial services companies can also support nonprofit organizations that expose young women to WealthTech, and educate them about the industry and career opportunities. Envestnet supports Her Spark, a nonprofit located near our Tamarac offices in Raleigh, which seeks to resolve the gender disparity in computer science, engineering, and technology by equipping girls with the STEM skills and opportunities they need to succeed in the careers of tomorrow.
We also support Black Girls Code, a foundation which aims to empower and train more women of color for digital technology careers. Black Girls Code exposes African-American girls between ages 7 and 17 to computer science and technology, and gives them the skills to become innovators in STEM fields. What advice would you give your younger self and/or other women starting out in their careers?
Don’t limit yourself based on your initial perceptions of where you think your career will take you. When we’re younger, we often think the choice we make today is the one we have to be happy with for the next 30 years — but it’s not. You can always change course. People change, and so do companies and industries.
Look for opportunities to pursue your interests and passions, and be open to trying new things. You may surprise yourself with how much a new experience or subject appeals to you.
Make sure you’re open to taking risks. My background wasn’t in technology, but I followed my instincts and joined Envestnet | Tamarac because I knew in my gut that it was the right place for me. By stretching outside your comfort zone you’ll meet new friends, develop new interests, and learn transferable skills.
What are your top sources of insights and inspiration?
My mother has been an inspirational role model for me. She began her professional journey running an accounting business. Then, she decided to make a change in her life and study entomology — and went back to school for her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D., and began a new career. My mom is a prime example of how your career choices don’t have to be lifelong decisions. She taught me you can always go a different route to find happiness and fulfillment.
Also, the corporate culture we maintain throughout Envestnet creates a supportive, people-focused environment where listening to customers, and developing ways to meet their needs through our ongoing technology enhancements, is at the heart of what we do.
Envestnet’s goal is to give advisors best-in-class tools and insights to help them improve financial outcomes for their clients, and enable those clients to achieve financial wellness. Every member of our team is aware of this mission, and being part of such a healthy workplace inspires us every day to work with our customers so they can help make financial wellness a reality for more people.