Ellevest Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management
University of Wisconsin-Madison Bachelor of Arts (BA), Economics
Current Time 0:00
/
Duration Time -:-
Progress: NaN%

How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
I graduated in the financial crisis of 2009. It was not an ideal time to be looking for a job, especially. I majored in economics at the University of Wisconsin and wanted to work in some type of financial role. Obviously, most banks and financial firms were at hiring freeze. I was still trying to figure out what I was going to do. Then I went on a postgraduate business program in London. I wanted to work in finance. I went on to get a chance and do something unique and different. I went on a program called Mountbatten, which is for individuals who have graduated from universities and are looking for a combination of full-time work, but also study while over there. So I worked for a New York-based brokerage firm called Cantor Fitzgerald. They are rather large broker-dealer here in the U. S. and at the same time took international business graduate courses. Over there, I actually worked in corporate finance, which was a very helpful thing for me to see what that looked like in terms of all the different types of finance you could be in. I loved it, but it was kind of like the same type of thing every single day that I was working on a lot of currency trading. I came back to New York and then went up to financial institutions networking, ending up at J. P. Morgan in an associate program. An analyst program there first within the commercial bank. I worked with midsize corporations on their cash management and with the investment bankers and such. It was a great experience. I was very young and I was able to go to client meetings and do all these things that not everyone is able to do. I did that for a couple of years and then wanted to take advantage of interim mobility and moved over to the private banker J. P. Morgan, where I went through the associate program there, partnering with a senior adviser working with high net worth individuals, families, opponents, foundations. Telling them to invest, lend, loan, lend money, borrow money, estate planning all of these different things and in helping them with their financial life. Working on that it was a great experience and stayed there until I was actually looking at my own client book. And I had worked with a lot of women, and I saw really the issue that women weren't getting invested in. I'm lucky enough to have seen my current CEO now speak at multiple events in New York City. I started a wealth management firm for women but actually hadn't started a high net worth business and it was really by chance I saw that they wanted to hire an adviser in high net worth at Ellevest. So I came over actually like the first advisor for Ellevest. And you know what I think about it? I wouldn't be here today if I weren't working a J. P. Morgan, but really being able to see the issues that women weren't being served, meeting women who just weren't investing needs. Most powerful women in this country who are just sitting on millions of dollars of cash. Really was able to see you know why I kind of wanted to go in to help early mission-driven investment firm rather than big bank thing. It was great. Have that Step one is the tool of someone with no place that gives you a lot of training and experience, and I was able to really bring that to my little on basic shape are offering in a way that made the most sense for us.

What are the responsibilities and decisions that you handle at work? Discuss weekly hours you spend in the office, for work travel, and working from home.

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
No two days are the same for me, which I like. My responsibilities are managing my current clients. So for an instance of times like one in a lot of market volatility, I have to call my clients, talk to them about the markets, reassure them about their strategy. It's my job to find new clients so I'm constantly meeting many people and networking and such. And then when those clients want to have a discussion about business or prospect clients want to have a discussion about becoming clients, I'm also working with them on what's the strategy? we should put together? What type of investments should you be investing in? How can we be the most tax-efficient as possible? How can we bring the most impact to you as possible? Because we do a lot of activity investing and so a lot of it also brings finding what's your mission statement, what do you care about? We should be putting together many portfolios. On average, I travel quite a bit. I travel every week. This week I was in Washington, D. C. Last week I was in LA. I probably spend 2 to 3 days a week in the office and the other two to meet clients or hosting events. I very rarely work from home because I like to be in the office and like to interact with my colleagues and such. I have analysts and associates, who sit in the New York office doing pitchbooks for me holding my accounts. It's always great to see them and actually work with them on that. But I'm lucky that I get to travel across the country meeting different people and spending my time in the office to do my real work.

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) do you use at work? Do you prefer certain tools more than the others? Why?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
We're doing a lot of work in Excel. We use range planning tools quite often than thinking about that. Our system is algorithm-based, so I don't actually build those. We have a team of engineers and such here who really work with our chief investment officer to build out those. A lot of what we use is Excel-based. Building out people's financial plans within that. You're taking someone's statement and mapping it to their current investment allocation is today and what we want it to be and all these different types of things. There are people my company who use more of the core, like engineering systems and such because they're building it out. We don't have to do that. Frankly, we do a lot through SalesForce and such a tool to send emails, to do all these things and then just a lot of basic kind of like wealth management types of tools. In Bloomberg, we use Thompson Reuters, but you don't have like these types of basic financial tools that any management firm would use.

What things do you like about your job? Were there any pleasant surprises?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
I love it. Not every day is the same. The best part of Ellevest is that I truly enjoy every single one of my clients. We're friends through very close relationships. I think they're all amazing people. I want to support them in any way. I'm very lucky that I don't have clients calling me and I say "God, this person again" I really do enjoy working with these people. I think one of the most amazing things, when I came to Ellevest, as I worked in a very large right wealth management firm before. But being able to work with very wealthy women who actually like you were making such a difference in their life that they're so thankful to you. We've had women cry because they just feel like it's the first time they've had the ability to understand their finances and have someone listen to them and such. So it's really an incredible experience to feel like you're making such a difference in someone's life. I think at the same time, for me in kind of that scene, working on a newer type of financial company and one. We're feeling the impact that you're making in the company is great. When you work for larger organizations, it's harder to feel the impact because there's just so many people there, so many things going on. But when you work with smaller organizations, it's been great to see, like every single thing I do does make a difference. And that client, I bring in the idea I have. All those different things really matter to our day today. And that's one of the most amazing things that, as I come from a big organization, I honestly never would have thought about.

What are the job titles of people you routinely work with inside and outside of your organization? What approaches do you find to be effective in working with them?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
The main people I work within the office on a day to day basis would be our CEO, our Cheif Investment Officer, and her team which would be the director of investments, our investment associate and our Investments Team. The other people I'm probably working the most would be our financial planners within our company and our Client Service associates on a day to day basis. Those would be the most routine people I work with. And the work is different. Different types of people work very differently. That's kind of when I alluded to earlier. I think it's important for me to see these people. Everyone's also we go through, my investment associate, put together my pitchbook, and I need to go through and change things with her. And, we literally pick things and decide. It's a very collaborative work. We do a lot of Emails back and forth, we use Slack, a communicator message to go through things that I don't find to be as an effective individual. I believe in things like Google sheets as we're very busy, we can comment on things and such. What I try to do with my team is especially say we're working on a certain client or prospect, setting aside that 15-30 minutes on people's calendars so they could be completely focused on what we're thinking about rather than just answer emails and then going back to something else or Slack message answer. I think this way you can kind of focus on this specific subject and there's more creative ideas, especially at the commonplace. So I feel very strongly about having those conversations, whether they're on the phone or a person. I think I was outside of the organization of people I work most would be like our fund manager partners. That would be, we use alternative investments. Thinking about the people who are actually running money for, say, a real estate investment, we use that type of investment. So interacting with people on the outside as well as several manager Cone managers that we used to provide data for us for Impact Analytics and such would be the most people look with on a day to day outside in terms of my internal. My external the most time I probably spend is a whole outside the organization are my clients. And so this will be all different types of job titles and people in such on that. But I think in terms of fund managers and such, like, for instance, I was just on the phone with one of them. And again, it's setting aside. You know, I sent her like, five items. I tried to send everything I know in one email. I need five things, but we had a 15-minute call just to be like, "Here's a prioritization list, this I may need first and I need this by tomorrow. I need this type of thing" to just kind of make sure we're all on the same page rather than working on something, and then I come back and say that is not what I meant and whatsoever. 

What major challenges do you face in your job and how do you handle them? Can you discuss a few accomplishments?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
The biggest challenge for me is money is the most personal thing to someone. Especially women to talk about Money is not the easiest thing in the world. If you had a financial advisor for kind. Even if you care about our missioners and you want to invest with impact or whatever may be, women tend to be afraid to fire their financial advisors. And, there's just this level of inertia that once you're with someone, you just kind of stay with him. I do a lot of work with our clients to think about the prospects to think about. What is the bigger benefit that we're going to give to you here? How can you fire as I would literally sometimes tell people like here that this is how you could tell your adviser like you're leaving them and such. So a lot of it for me is a psychological side of it with our client. So it's not necessarily the hardest part is be sitting down and figuring out what your asset allocation is and what this like. I could do that. It's helping people through, the other side of that thought process or talking to their partner about it or their dad and their family office or whatever. When I think about some kind of confidence in that room, I think it always takes a time period. For me, when we look at, for instance, I have a family office client that I met with and they'd use their adviser for 10 years. But we were clearly more impactful than them. We believe in gender lines investing. That's what we do a lot of time. So a lot of it for me is being able to figure out who are the right people to bring in their room because sometimes it's my CEO. Sometimes it's my chief investment officer. I went to a family office of the South that a lot of it was so making sure that we're not just for women sitting there like knowing your audience and such and thinking about that and knowing if potential manager lost investor, this is analytical. But that woman looking financiers, you kind of think about these things. So for me, my favorite accomplishments are really these tougher cases of people to move over. And we certainly have the clients that we meet maybe some clients, and it feels like a very easy, seamless process. But I think there's something much more to it when even when someone comes back, to come you're like, All right, now I'm really going to make that my client. Let's get data and all these things and all that background behind it. We have many of those instances, but that's kind of like the fun of it that we go through. 

What qualities does your team look for while hiring? What kind of questions does your team typically ask from candidates?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
We look for people who have some financial backgrounds and understand investing. We also need people who can talk to other people, can relate to other people. As money is such a personal thing, you need to have a way to understand, to relate to all different personalities. One of our biggest things, actually, as a financial firm that is more of a startup type of environment. It's a lot of times we're hiring people from financial institutions. Finding people who can invest the time to learn new things, not everything's just gonna be handed to them. It's really kind of like the flexibility of a person to understand that not every thing's gonna be figured out. Sometimes we have these types of situations where someone, a client asked for something, and we figure out in one week, and we just there were other projects. You just drop everything else and say, "Hey, look, let's go to this now. " It's really that possibility of the personality. I'm hiring people who are supporting my clients. It's a combination of people who can write clearly because you want to make sure that people are gonna be easily understood if they're in the investment role, think about investments but also just on the client service, they're gonna be friendly. And wish everyone a great day, every day, and just a lot of my clients I joke like they're obsessed with my client service people. And then you tell them everything that they love this type of cookie to all these things. Just because they develop these relationships. It's so important for them to be organized and such but to reach that level of interaction in a relationship is so important along with that kind of startup side of it. 

What is a typical hiring process for a job like yours? What are the titles of people who interview? What questions usually get asked and how to handle them?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
When I was interviewing, I had an interview with two founders and Chief Investment Officer. Not necessarily people get into that process at this point in our company. We have an HR woman who pre-screens everyone. And so she has an initial phone call. So people, just to lay the groundwork of, that's how much money we pay people, this is what the role is and these are the goals of the role. How do you feel about the pre-screens? And then they go on to the woman who screens them again to talk about operations and say we should actually bring this person, and so that's another phone call. And then that way we feel like a strong candidate they actually come in. And do almost like a super half day where you do extra five different sessions. That includes me, another adviser, chief investment officer and advisor of the client service team and another person under the Investments Team. There's a combination of just conversations, but we also do an actual exercise and kind of like role-play type of thing. We find some questions beforehand in the person's portfolio and go through this person. This woman inherited this money she wants to be. She wants an impact face portfolio. She spends this much year. She's focused on returning, whatever it may be. How would you structure this conversation? It's a whole hour. That day is focused around going through how someone would actually go through that. Our investments team focuses there if the candidate has the right knowledge of investment. It's my job to focus on checking if someone is the right fit for this environment. Have you ever done something where you felt like you were more in a startup environment before? How do you feel about being somewhere where not everything has figured out? Just the experience of working with different types of clients and such. The best thing is the preparation of going through that process and understanding. I always think that people who do the best are the most prepared. Like I worked for J. P. Morgan for seven years, and that's my background. While, they're talking to someone else who is a totally different background, so understanding the type of person they're talking to within that. Expectations? I think setting those expectations within those conversations and I always tell people like there's nothing wrong. People say "I don't wanna repeat myself again to a different person", but you're meeting people in groups that they're not all gonna talk to each other. It doesn't matter if you have a really important point repeated all five sessions you have because we're not related to each other. And I think some people think that we know already and I don't think that's necessarily true. A lot of it is the basic side of it, but it's also just yeah, quite calming down. And this is such a relationship based role that I think it's hard when someone comes in like so nervous to see how they're really gonna be. So I think it's a lot of is just like the prep side of it.

What is a future career path for professionals like you? How long does it typically take to advance through various roles? How easy are such promotions to come by?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
A typical person who's actually a financial advisor, their career path actually just becomes like growing a book of business rather than saying "I'm gonna go and become the CFO" It's always from when you have a couple of clients and then you have a lot of clients and throughout that, you build your team. When I first started, I had my investments team, but I didn't have any other client service people or investment associates. I did my pitch books. I opened my accounts I talked to the clients. I did everything. And now I have three people who do all that for me because they have a large set of clients now. You just continue to think about it and there are different ways by which people can go on this path. Someone could just grow their book and be a financial advisor for their whole life. I'm also very much involved in the day today, building our business. I think there are ways you can, like when I was at JP Morgan, there were very successful financial advisors who go and run a successful corps office launch, the public city office they launch like thinking about all those two different types of things. As well as more focus roles on maybe I'll manage the advisors maybe we'll do this like those different types of things that people can come and do. I'd say that I feel this way of not just about financial advisors, but every single role within finance. I think you're never going to get anything unless you ask. I think that the typical way in the timeline to do it really depends on a person because there's not. When I was running with the training program at J. P. Morgan there is, it's a very traveling. I was your analyst for three years and an associate for three years. Then you're kind of on your own, and you kind of go from there. But I think after that, it's really up to you and at the recent organization I worked, if you don't ask, you're not going to do it. So it could take someone ten years, someone can do it in one, but I think that we look at it, we're a very flat organization. So whereas in banks, you have the VP, MD type of titles, we choose not to do that here to keep everyone on the same field. We don't do that to instate promotions is a big of a deal here. But, like, for instance, we do with our client service team. We do with our investments team. I think I like it here so much. It doesn't have to be like only in January we do that. If you're doing a great job and it's April, we'll promote you because you've been doing an amazing job. And so I've seen people do that within their short periods of time. And other people have been here for long. 

What are different entry-level jobs and subsequent job pathways that can lead students to a position such as yours?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
I think there's a couple of ways I mean at the bigger banks, there are training programs that do exactly that. Those are private bank analyst programs. They're really set up for this. I think within an organization like mine, it can be varied different things. It can be for instance there is someone who works on our client service team, which has nothing to do with our private wealth business. It's focused on our digital client, and she kind of raise your hands saying, she's young. She graduated from college just two years. This is her first job out of college and speaking to me and said, "Hey, I would really love to work at private wealth." And as I talked to her about work and I want her to kind of join some of our calls or meetings to see kind of what was she interested in? Okay, you want to work in Private Wealth? Do you want to be on the investment side? Do you want to be an adviser? Do you want to be a planner? She gripped some great things here and I said you're doing a wonderful job. That changes with the capacity to pulling you over and work with like a partnership type of way in order to get clients. In my mentees, I really like someone who likes to build a business and you could go to meetings with them, could be on the coffee, then you're interacting with their clients. Hearing how people work I think is truly the best way to be successful. 

What were the responsibilities and decisions that you handled at work? What major challenges did you face in your job?

Based on experience at: Private Banker - Vice President, J.P. Morgan
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
It was a very similar role in the sense that I had sales goals and we did broader platforms. We did investments, we also did basic banking, lending, mortgage, estate planning. We just had a lot more services there. It was very similar in the sense that I had to build my own business. It was also very different in the sense that I had a lot more people who did all these different types of things with me. There's an account opening team, client service team, we had an analyst who only did investment stuff and different people at different roles. The way we think about that and so very similar responsibilities and decisions that I have to make at work. I'd say the bigger challenge there was that JP Morgan was very well recognized. It's different than here that you don't to explain like I have to explain, everyone else has to explain what Ellevest is whereas everyone knows about JP Morgan. The bigger challenge was really navigating in a large organization. I think you have so many different paths that are more defined. There we had a team that covered hedge fund partners or the team that covers CEO. They have a team that covers wholesale business owners, and so and they're looking to you to very quickly decide what you're gonna cover but here I have all sorts of clients and sanctions. 

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
I majored in Economics. I also chose to take like accounting and finance courses and such. One thing I really liked about Wisconsin did especially like accounting program and a lot of it was just case studies. Getting an MBA and such. And I thought that was very helpful. Instead of just sitting there and saying like, well, I will see, there were real-life scenarios and thinking through that. One of my favorite things I ever did was in the fall of 2008 I happened to be signed up for a class on economics and financial markets on which we know that they're more trembling, thinking about this. I had this fabulous professor that really took the time to say, throw away and not even focus on this book that we have because we're living in it right now like the world was falling, the banks were failing and everything was failing. He really took that opportunity. Just look through the real-life things that were going on and teach us that, rather than just focusing on the textbook all day, I think it was good. Wisconsin is great in the sense that it has a network within different cities, and so there's actually a lot of my network here and such that host events and these types of people in networking and things like that. And I have found that I've been exploring different types of roles. One of the things I have done is caught on LinkedIn and chat with people who also went to Wisconsin, talked to them and I think the great thing about the pride of a university is that people feel they want that their fellow classmates to succeed. I used that really to my benefit and thinking about that, and I continue to do so, but there are different events that they host. There's a business society here in New York that I turn to all of their events and small dinners that they host that they're thinking through that. And I think that I still do that. While I was there, I was making sure that it's easier to figure it all out while you're there. The one you've been so kind of navigating. What the different resources are gonna be that you have to leverage as you go through your career, I think is important while you're in school. 

Would you like to share something that is not on your resume? This may include your passions, facing setbacks or adversities, a unique experience, or an unexpected help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
I think you know one of the things for me that I have always been and inspired by my family. I came from a family where my mom, my grandma were the financial people in our family. They did the investments, they talked to the financial advisors. My grandmother traded in stocks all day, and my mom was really the investment side of that. I come from back home thinking about this and hadn't really realized it at the time, but it was really important to me that women were financially empowered. And so whereas I said I came into an organization into a wall, that was not exactly that way. And I think, it was incredible for me to sit down and work for people who really didn't know what was going on. And there were some of those powerful people of the country, and you take a step back and realize it was really helpful. And this was to be the women were financially empowered. And so when I started it at Ellevest, it is totally different mission-driven company. I think that I feel so passionate about it. And I always tell this to people when they hired that feeling passionate about your work and such changes things completely. Not only how happy you are on a day to day basis, but when you're trying to sell to clients, I don't have to sit there and there's no faking it. How am I gonna sell this type of thing? It's like I feel so good about it and so finding a way to do that. One of my hardest things to leave J. P. Morgan was frankly just finding myself at J. P. Morgan. I thought I worked for this big organization and it's fancy and people feel like you're smart when you work there. It was really hard for me to leave, but you come to realize that that's not what the most important thing is in your career. 

Do you have any parting advice for students hoping to get to a position such as yours? What 3 dos and 3 don'ts would you suggest?

Based on experience at: Financial Advisor - Private Wealth Management , Ellevest
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Mar 06 2020
I think that it's putting yourself out there are the most important parts of the meeting. I would not have had my first job at JP Morgan, I remember graduating in 2009 and the world was really not a good place, and they weren't hiring. I literally came to New York and spend 5 days meeting 20 people and even though the woman who actually hired me said there was no opportunity when I first met her, it actually came down to a month later, one of her analysts left, and she called me and said, "Hey, I actually an analyst role on my team. Would you want to work for me?" And I ended up there. So I think, it's always being at the right place, right time. I think to put yourself in front of someone, but a little like reminding them that you're there because if you're not reminding them that you're there, they're not going to think about you if something does come up. What I think about it is that networking, thinking about that having your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and actually being active on LinkedIn. That could be as small as liking someone's posts that they put up you wanna work. Sometimes I have people like a post I put up like Oh my God, I should follow up with them on XYZ because I see it it seems so small but doing things like that and then in terms of using your university's network. Just like I even think about a lot of the colleagues I have and they reached out to someone here who worked here and doing things like that. When I think about don'ts, it's don't look for knowing it all. You want to have informational interviews is you're thinking about what you're doing and such, but I'd say don't boil the ocean. Sometimes you think you need to have all the information. I think actually experience will tell you what you like and maybe don't like and thinking about it. So focusing on that side and it's okay if it's not right, you can figure that out. I wouldn't say no to a job since that wasn't exactly what you want. But I think you could take it if it rolls into things. I had to do that because we were in a terrible recession. The financial world had really come to crash at that point and thinking about that. And so being flexible and thinking about that and being open to new opportunities. But I think just put yourself out. That is really the most important part there.