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Kate Healy: A Woman on a Mission


Kate Healy: A Woman on a Mission

Written by: Kate Healy | TD Ameritrade Institutional

When it comes to nourishing the future of the RIA industry, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s own Kate Healy is a woman on a mission. Determined to reach back and lift others up, she’s a constant presence at industry conferences and events — leading the charge to educate and encourage current and future advisors. She has so much knowledge and inspiration to share, we’re pleased to introduce her new blog series “AdvoKate.” Here Kate will keep you up to date on what we’re doing to nurture and sustain RIAs with a focus on diversity and NextGen talent.

Impact Is Multiplicative

A few weeks ago I heard that’s Word of the Year was “xenophobia”—fear, or even hatred of things or people that are foreign.

This really stopped me in my tracks. And, while it’s a sad statement for our society as a whole, I was comforted by the fact that in our industry, from what I’ve seen, nothing could be further from the truth.

When I think about this year’s fall conference season, one thing really stands out. It was so refreshing to see such diversity on the circuit—it makes me realize we are having collective impact. I saw exponentially more diverse participants across the board: gender, race, experience, business model, you name it.

I’m pleased to share a few standout organizations and people that really stuck with me.

QuadA and XYPN: Newer Conferences to Watch

As someone who attends a lot of conferences, it’s exciting to see newer events take off. I was particularly thrilled to participate in the QuadA Conference (Association of African American Advisors). It’s the 15th year of the organization and only second year of the conference. What an amazing group of professionals who focus on the expertise and contributions of African Americans in financial services.

Another conference really making an impact is XY Planning Network (XYPN). If you want to focus on NextGen clients, this is a can’t-miss event. XYPN’s efforts to foster the growth of fee-only financial planners who specialize in helping younger Americans work toward their financial goals are leading the industry. Here’s more information on our partnership with XYPN.

Both QuadA and XYPN are adding diversity to the industry and supporting the RIA model. Two of my favorite things!

I also love making connections . . .

InvestmentNews Women’s Advisers Summit: Memorable Moment

I was a panelist at the InvestmentNews Women’s Advisers Summit in San Francisco. After the discussion, a woman who was moved to tears approached me. She said she’d finally found her home in this welcoming network of support for women advisers.

Sometimes there’s a perception that women don’t help each other—and maybe it was true in the past—I see that myth busted every day.

She also noted that the topics covered in the session resonated with her. One thing I shared as a panelist that she’d never heard before was how today’s generations (Y&Z) are more diverse than boomers. (Generation Y is over 40% diverse, Baby Boomers are closer to 20% diverse.)

Because of this, their expectations are different— they were raised in a multicultural world, and it’s no big deal to them. They have seen that the top students in their classes are multicultural, and they associate that with success. So they’ve come to expect to see diversity at the top of successful organizations. If they don’t see different cultures work their way to the top, they assume it’s not a world-class firm.

I was so happy these points made an impact on her. I hope she was able use what she heard to make a difference in her business. I’m looking forward to seeing her next fall.

Texas A&M Conference: Model for NextGen

Texas A&M really gets it right. Its Financial Planning Career & Education Conference is an amazing event and something I’d love to see more universities adopt. They bring in local advisors and have a round-robin recruiting session with financial planning students. Think speed dating meets old-fashioned career fair.

While this year was the seventh annual event, it was my third time attending at the third different venue as they outgrow their space due to the conference’s growth each year.

During this conference, I had the pleasure of running into Mariel Braun. You may ask: Who is Mariel Braun? I met her four years ago at the TD Ameritrade National LINC conference. She was a Texas A&M undergrad attending as part of the Student Program.

The next year, she was successfully recruited by United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC. through the Texas A&M program. Next she attended as an industry professional and this year, she was there representing her firm as a recruiter.

It’s an accelerated path, and one that showcases that what we are doing is truly making an impact. Here’s Mariel, an advocate for her profession, and in just four years, already reaching back to lift others up. Such an inspiration!

Making the Most of It

I know how busy you are. And, time away from the office is time away from clients. So how do you make the best use of the precious time you can devote to networking at conferences? The most important thing is to get to the right conference for you. If you find an event that caters to something you are truly passionate about, amazing support will be easy to find.

Seek out an event where you can meet people who understand your situation. Then, put yourself out there. At breakfast, grab a cup of coffee, find a table of people you don’t know and sit down. You’ll be sure to get a new point of view.

Continue to talk to people about different business models that exist—these conversations help you gain the kind of insight you don’t get at school.

Most importantly, if you see me—and you probably will—say hello. I look forward to seeing you out there.

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