International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. I'd like to take a moment to honor some women who I think are pretty special - the women of Rappaport Reiches Capital Management.
About 70% of our financial advisors are women and that’s a sharp contrast to our industry, where about 15% of financial advisors are female1. Or as Karen Asbra, our Chief Operating Officer puts it, "Financial advisor conferences are one of the few places with no waiting line for the women's restroom."
How did we get here? It does help that I co-founded the firm. Very few independent investment advisory firms have been founded by women. But that is not the main reason why we are able to honor so many of our professionals this month.
The reason is perhaps best explained by a guy— my co-founder David Rappaport: “We didn’t have a plan to become a firm dominated by women. It happened that every time we looked to hire someone, a woman was the best candidate. It’s as simple as that, but I think it says a lot.”
So let me brag a little about these amazing women:
Karen Asbra, CFP® – Principal and Chief Operating Officer
Karen was our first hire in 2007. She came to us shortly after graduating Northwestern. She started as an associate, moved quickly to become our Director of Operations and most recently was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In 2019 our firm received the Schwab Operational Excellence award in large part due to Karen. She is a strategic thinker and keeps things here running smoothly.
Liz Xilas – Senior Financial Advisor and Senior Vice President
Liz was introduced to us by our mutual friend Andrea Muchin (an outstanding family law attorney). Liz specializes in working with "Women in Charge”— women in control of their finances. She is a true partner to her clients in all of their financial decisions. When you call Liz, you know your call will be returned that day, with care and thoughtfulness.
Kristyn Gibson – Financial Advisor
Kristyn worked with David and me during our days as advisors at Sanford Bernstein & Co. She was an excellent associate then and an even better financial advisor today. Kristyn has assisted several clients through difficult periods in their lives, always being available to guide and educate them at crucial moments, with patience and dedication.
Rhea Ravindran, CFP® – Financial Advisor
I met Rhea several years ago when she was looking for a new position in financial services. I was discussing career options with her and a light bulb came on— Rhea would be a perfect associate! She excelled from the start, and was recently promoted to Financial Advisor. Rhea passed the Certified Financial Planner exam days before the COVID lockdown - so we still owe her a celebration! Rhea is wonderful at building rapport with her clients and always gets her job done with efficiency.
Terri Velgara, CFP® – Financial Advisor and Director of Financial Planning
Terri joined us with over ten years of experience in wealth management. As our Director of Wealth Planning, she shares her knowledge to assist all of our advisors with comprehensive financial planning strategies. Terri has become a great resource for our firm. Clients appreciate her attention to detail and professionalism.
Wendy is my sister-in–law who came on board to help us 6 years ago. She is our office manager and always a friendly face to greet our clients. She helps with our marketing efforts, webinars and newsletters.
So there you have it. The Women of RRCM! Thank you all!
Shari Greco Reiches