Renée Baker leads Raymond James Private Client Group’s Advisor Inclusion Networks, which includes its Women Financial Advisors Network, Pride Financial Advisors Network and Black Financial Advisors Network. She joined Raymond James in 2017 and led marketing for Carillon Tower Advisers, after working for Aberdeen Standard Investments.
Baker also is active in the Tampa, Florida, chapter of the CMO Club, for chief marketing officers, is a board member for Community Action Stops Abuse and serves as a trustee for American Stage Theatre Company and a co-chair of its equity, diversity and inclusion committee. She recently became a board member of Susan G. Komen.
Active on social media, Baker is one of the most persistent voices pushing the financial services industry to embrace the power of diversity and the importance of inclusion. “There is power in stepping out of your comfort zone. I’d rather be uncomfortable and grow than feel safe and be stagnant,” she recently said on Twitter.
Sonya Dreizler is a speaker, author and consultant focused on “fostering candid conversations about gender and race in financial services.” The head of Solutions With Sonya is also a subject matter expert in ESG and Responsible Investing, and a former CEO of an independent BD/ RIA with two decades of industry experience.
She writes for Morningstar and is the author of Connected Investing, a popular educational newsletter covering race and gender in finance, as well as her insights on ESG and responsible investing.
Dreizler spent 13 years at Protected Investors of America, a boutique broker-dealer and RIA. She started at the firm as an executive assistant and took on roles with increasing levels of responsibility at the firm, eventually rising to COO and then CEO.
She previously held the CFP designation as well as the Series 7, 66, 24 and 28 securities licenses and is now on the board of CUESA, a nonprofit dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food.
Joe Duran Joe Duran is Head of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, after founding the firm’s predecessor entity -- United Capital Financial Partners -- in 2005. He did so after asking himself, “How about building a company that starts with your life and ends with your investments rather than the other way around?”
The firm, which is committed to giving its High-Net-Worth clients a personalized experience, includes an RIA and a white-label advice, training, planning and investment management platform.
Duran grew up in Zimbabwe, studied at Saint Louis University and went on to become president of Centurion Capital, an investment advisory firm later sold to General Electric. Over the years, he has written several popular books about money and business, such as “The Money Code: Improve Your Entire Financial Life Right Now.”
In the future, the role of human advisors “will be eviscerated” by technology and thus they must become “bionic,” Duran said, meaning they should let machines do some tasks while evolving how they conduct advisor led human relationships. “Understand the client and help them better understand both themselves and their entire financial life,” he explained.
Ric Edelman is an author and founder of RIA Edelman Financial Engines (earlier Edelman Financial Services). He also leads the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, which recently formed a strategic partnership with the Financial Planning Association to provide educational programming and content to help FPA members understand the complexities of cryptocurrencies and how these issues can affect their clients’ financial plans.
“Gaining vital knowledge about this new asset class will help financial planners attract more clients and serve them better,” Edelman said of the partnership and its goals. The Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals also offers a certificate program for financial planners to obtain proficiency in blockchain and digital assets to help manage their clients’ investment management strategy.
Gabe Garcia is Managing Director, Corporate Development, for Cresset Capital Management. Earlier, he served as managing director, Advisor Client Experience for E*TRADE Advisor Services, after beginning work at the firm in October 2019.
“I am thrilled to join Cresset and introduce talented RIAs and advisor teams to Cresset and the access it provides to advanced technology and marketing resources, ” Garcia said in May 2021. “Cresset serves clients with complex lives who are looking for a sophisticated multi-family office and private investing platform that can meet them where they are. That is an exciting ecosystem to join.”
Previously, he was managing director for BNY Mellon's Pershing Advisor Solutions, where he led its Relationship Management & Consulting group and served on the Executive Committee. In addition, Garcia spent 15 years with Charles Schwab, where he held several leadership positions in sales, training and consulting.
Neesha Hathi is Executive Vice President and Digital Solutions Officer, Charles Schwab. She oversees the digital platforms that support retail and registered independent advisor clients, digital advice solutions, including Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Intelligent Advisory, Schwab’s data office and business innovation.
Before moving to Schwab in 2004, she worked for startups like Enuvis, focused on GPS technology for wireless devices, and teen-media company Kibu. She began her career in investment banking at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Everen Securities.
In 2016, she received the Industry Leader Award from the Professional BusinessWomen of California. In 2012, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women also honored Hathi with the Women’s Human Rights Award for Leadership.
“I focus on how technology can improve the overall wealth management experience for investors — either through a professional … or directly through a website or mobile app,” Hathi explained.
Kate Healy is Board Chair of the Foundation for Financial Planning. Previously, she was a Managing Director at TD Ameritrade (2012-2021), where she led a highly engaged, high-performing integrated marketing team focused on deepening relationships with RIAs and other advisors.
In addition, Healy led Generation Next at TD Ameritrade Institutional. In this role, she was responsible for helping to solve the talent crisis confronting the industry by opening the RIA career path to fresh faces – including new graduates, career changes, military veterans and others.
She also has worked to promote diversity and inclusion initiatives to bring more women and underrepresented minorities into the profession – with the goal of not only increasing diversity giving RIAs a rich talent pool for sustainable long-term growth.
Healy, who joined TD Ameritrade in 2008, served earlier as a director of marketing responsible for promoting the firm’s technology and investment products offerings, as well as supporting the firm’s advocacy and client loyalty efforts.
Prior to joining the firm, she served as vice president of IRA product strategy at Merrill Lynch. She has spent more than 20 years in a variety of roles supporting the program development and marketing of financial and estate planning services in the financial planning industry.
Aneri Jambusaria is Executive Vice President of Strategy, New Ventures & Analytics for LPL Financial. In this role, she is responsible for shaping the firm’s strategic plans at the enterprise level, propelling that vision through the planning stages into execution, and turning data and insights into action and data-driven experiences.
This work includes developing new approaches to drive the firm’s growth agenda, accelerating key strategic efforts, and creating sustainable, stand-alone businesses for LPL.
Jambusaria, who is a member of the CFP Board’s board of directors and is a Certified Financial Planner herself, honed her strategic planning skills in financial services at Fidelity Investments, where she served as head of the planning office for Enterprise Strategy and Planning before joining LPL in April 2020.
In that role, she helped shape strategy for each of Fidelity’s business lines while gaining a strong understanding of wealth management and the products, solutions, and technologies that serve retail investors. Before joining Fidelity Investments, she worked as a senior consultant for Deloitte.
Jeff Levine CPA/CFP, is Kitces.com’s lead financial planning nerd and recently was tapped for the role of chief planning officer at Buckingham Wealth Partners, where earlier he was director of advanced planning. He recently signed on to advise Holistiplan on ways it can further tweak how its software reviews clients’ tax returns for potential financial planning issues.
A constant presence on Twitter via the handle @CPAPlanner, Levine shares highly detailed summaries of IRS updates and tax-related legislation affecting advisors and investors during the pandemic — regardless of how many hundreds of pages these measures entail — making him the “go to” source on such matters.
Aaron Schaben has been President of Carson Group since late 2011. He’s focused on continually improving the overall client experience for its advisors and works with them as partners to bring new strategies, enhance communications, improve client education and drive transparency.
After completing a bachelor of science degree in finance at Creighton University, Schaben completed two levels of the CFA program. Prior to joining Carson Group, he was actively involved in his family’s businesses in the agriculture sector.
Mark Tibergien is the former CEO of Advisor Solutions for BNY Mellon | Pershing (2007-2020). He’s also the former principal at Moss Adams. Now “retired,” Tibergien is an independent board member, business advisor and speaker (available through Mark Tibergien Insights LLC).
“As a client of an advisor, I’d say the one thing that makes the difference is calming me down and putting things into perspective. … Being the voice of reason at a time of emotion is the best thing anybody can do for their clients,” he explained last year in an interview.
When asked about shifts he’s seen during his career, Tibergien said: “What’s surprised me most is how quickly some wealth management firms have become real businesses and how slowly some firms have not transformed into enduring enterprises.” And, he added, “Fires and floods create new growth.” The Great Recession “cleared away a lot of brush and opened up possibilities for so many firms to do different things. We saw an acceleration of RIA firms that became real businesses.” During the pandemic, Tibergien has been asking: “How resilient are firms? What was their backup plan? Did they have the type of depth, strength and perspective to serve their clients well?”
Amy Webber is president and CEO of Cambridge Investment Research, where she’s been one of the independent broker-dealer’s leaders for 23 years.
Webber is a visible voice on important issues across the industry including nextgen, women in the industry, and diversity and inclusion. She also actively and publicly voices support for effective change in regulation to support the future of independent objective financial advice.
Webber is currently a member of the FINRA Board of Governors as the Independent Dealer/Insurance Affiliate Governor and formerly served on the Financial Services Institute (FSI) Board of Directors from 2014-2017, serving as chair in 2016. In addition, she was elected to serve on the Indian Hills Community College Board of Trustees in 2019.
Dasarte Yarnway is Founder and Managing Director of Berknell Financial Group, a firm focused on helping founders and tech professionals that opened its doors in 2016. He’s also head of community for the financial-services platform provider Altruist.
After working with some of the biggest names in the industry, he says, “too often we’ve gotten the numbers right but the people wrong. We overlook the castle builders and celebrate the kings. Berknell’s vision is different.”
In addition, Yarnway is the author of the Amazon bestseller, “Young Money: 4 Proven Ways to Design Your Wealth While You Still Can.” He also created the “Young Money” podcast series.
This year, ThinkAdvisor is launching a new and innovative industry recognition program: the LUMINARIES. The program honors financial advisors, firms and programs that are pushing the industry forward and tells the behind-the-scenes stories of winners via year-round coverage.
To pick the industry standouts, we assembled a team of stellar judges, whose careers encompass leadership excellence and innovation, as well as a focus on thought leadership, diversity and inclusion, business growth and other critical issues.