“We need to raise awareness that we’re here to help families live better lives,” according to Kate Healy, a LUMINARIES judge and board chair of the Foundation for Financial Planning.
Raising awareness about the benefits of financial planning and bringing more gender, racial and age diversity to the profession has been Healy’s mission for the last decade. A strong longtime supporter of financial planning, she is keenly focused on attracting the next generation to join the industry.
“They don’t seem to know about financial planning,” says Healy, a former managing director of TD Ameritrade Institutional who previously with Merrill Lynch, MetLife and Prudential Financial.
Her work with colleges, universities and other organizations aims to change that.
“People think that financial planning is [just] for the rich and famous,” she explains in a podcast interview that took place before the Nov. 9 LUMINARIES awards gala in New York. “Helping the underserved is going to give [the industry] a little bit of a step up.”
For the last year, for instance, the Foundation for Financial Planning has indeed provided pro bono assistance to underserved populations, retirees needing help and non-profits.
As for the value of recognition programs, “We’re nothing if not a competitive industry. So when firms see someone else doing something well, they look at how they could, perhaps, do the same thing” and “aspire to make sure [they’re] getting a LUMINARIES award next year,” she says.
What’s ahead for Healy in the next five or 10 years? The industry veteran has every intention of remaining involved: “There is no way I’m leaving financial services,” she notes. “It’s in my DNA.”
In this podcast, she discusses her efforts to expand financial planning to the underserved and to inspire young people to become planners: “We need to pay attention to the many people who aren’t being served by” the industry.