COVER STORY: WOMEN OF INFLUENCE Kathleen Wronski Portfolio manager and director of wealth management Wronski Cann Group Richardson GMP Emotion is a huge part of Kathleen Wronski’s practice. “We work with a select group of clients, and we really try to get to know them,” she says. “We don’t get emotionally involved one way or the other in terms of the stock market, but we do get very emotionally involved in our clients’ lives.” It’s that connection to her clients that has allowed Wronski to forge a successful career that spans more than three decades and has seen her author several books, including If I Retire, How Will I Know When It’s the Weekend? “I have clients who are approaching 100 years old, and I’ve worked with them for over 30 years,” she says, “so I am definitely someone who believes in being there for someone through thick and thin. I like getting involved with people’s lives and making a difference for them.” Are you seeing any improvements in gender diversity in the industry? Some, but not as much as you’d think. When I first got into the industry, there was a tremendous push to try and bring in women advisors. For whatever reason, we probably have more women advisors than most firms, but that still makes us in the minority.
What advice would you give the next generation of female advisors? First of all, I think it’s a wonderful industry to be in. I think you can work hard, earn a good living, and you can truly make a difference in people’s lives. Women should absolutely take a look at this industry as something that certainly could be a very satisfying career choice.
Susan Latremoille Wealth advisor and director of wealth management The Latremoille Group Richardson GMP After forging a successful career serving institutional investors at Merrill Lynch, Susan Latremoille found that her role as a new mother didn’t allow her enough opportunity to be a larger part of her son’s life. So she “made a lifestyle choice to move from the institutional side of the business to serving private clients, where I had more control over my work schedule.” Shortly after, she formed The Latremoille Group, where she developed a strong support team to serve high-net-worth individuals. She says the move to working with private clients was a better fit for her advisory style, as it allowed her to focus on the one-to-one approach. “I’m a people person,” she says, “and I believe that working with individual clients in the wealth management world requires an ability to understand people and their concerns for themselves and for the future of their families.” She emphasizes how important it is to have the technical understanding of how the market performs, but also says that “as a wealth advisor, I look after the money while at the same time focusing on understanding what helps each person have a sense of comfort and security in having us plan and manage their wealth.”
Are you seeing any improvements in gender diversity in the industry? To be successful in this business, you have to be an entrepreneur as well as a good leader, and I am happy to say that I do see many more women entrepreneurs today. At the same time, it’s not easy for any woman to run a business like this and also be a mother because you first have to have the home front all worked out. I believe that there should be more women in the business, because it’s not just a number-crunching game; it’s also about
working with people, building relationships and paying great attention to detail – to me, these are a woman’s natural traits. What are some of your keys to success? Hard work and consistency are essential. Every day counts, and it is important not to get sidetracked, especially when we go through economic times such as now. I would say to stay focused and goaloriented, and ensure that you have clarity on what needs to be achieved. The support of my whole team has been essential to our success.