For the Women in Wealth Management
We’re excited to be invited to the Women in Wealth Management event happening soon. Our CEO and Co-Founder Tea Nicola is a finalist for Female Executive of the Year and Woman Innovator of the Year. She will also give a talk: Secrets to achieving work-life balance from Canadian robo-adviser pioneer. It’s about work-life balance tips that are right on the money.
Tea pioneered the robo-adviser model in Canada. As a Start-Up Canada finalist, and Top 40 under 40 award recipient, Tea was also part of the Government of Canada’s Digital Industries Table. She’s an inspiration to all of us at CI Direct Investing.
What’s it like being a female financial adviser (and today, CEO) in the wealth management industry? Tea spoke with the Globe & Mail about her experience:
The financial planning industry, which she entered after accidentally falling in love with the trade while working as a receptionist at a wealth management firm, was an improvement on her engineering classes in terms of female representation. But as she ascended in her career, Ms. Nicola grew acutely aware of how few women make it to the high ranks of firms.
“Once I got into tech startups and ventures and started talking to people at a little bit of a higher level, the women started to drop off. Now, I make a point, if I’m in a meeting with a woman in finance, I literally say, ‘This doesn’t happen very often.’ ”
And for those women who are striving for work-life balance, what about bringing up baby at a financial firm? Asked about maternity leave at financial companies, Tea explained that there can be both positive and negative aspects. It’s important for both the firm and the adviser to be flexible:
“It’s harder because you depend on your direct production and there’s no safety net. … On the other hand, you have a relatively high level of flexibility and relatively high ability to make a [leave] work.
Advisors may come back earlier than six or 12 months after birth because of the nature of their jobs or by choice, Ms. Nicola says.
“One of the disadvantages of maternity leave is it happens so early in your career. When you are a financial advisor, that’s when you mostly depend on pounding the pavement activity and getting new clients through the door, and less on trailers and renewals and reviews, so it can be quite challenging.
“You can leverage technology like a robo-advisor for advisors or someone at the office who can handle the face-to-face aspect of your business for a commission share, either temporarily or on new business, in order for you to stay at home longer.
That kind of flexibility has helped Tea and others to prosper at CI Direct Investing. It’s a company culture that promotes a healthy workplace environment for everyone!