Nina O'Neal

Nina O'Nealage 35

Partner, Archer Investment Management

Fast Facts

  • Is a working mother to two young boys
  • Loves to travel to new countries and experience the cultures
  • Guilty pleasure: expensive dinners at amazing restaurants

Nina O'Neal learned a lot very quickly in the fall of 2009 when she decided to leave Merrill Lynch.

"It was the perfect storm of all bad things," she said. "I was 28, a young female adviser, my firm was in the media with really bad press and people were losing assets."

But it was also a time when Ms. O'Neal could truly help clients.

She learned the importance of taking the emotion out of investing for clients and being their level head. It’s a strategy that was critical during the financial crisis that soon hit.

Ms. O’Neal conquered feelings of isolation as an independent adviser by jumping into several industry organizations, including the National Association of Professional Agents and Ron Carson's Peak Advisor Alliance.

In 2009, she joined Matt Archer as a partner at Archer Investment Management in Raleigh, N.C. Since she became a co-owner, the firm has more than doubled assets under management, and revenue has grown by more than 25%. It has about $50 million in AUM.

But Ms. O’Neal’s commitment to the industry goes beyond her own firm’s success. She mentors young female advisers and provides internship opportunities for local college students, as well as helping finance students from multiple area colleges and universities connect with industry professionals.

She also is creating a formal career path and training program for new advisers at her firm, and a mentorship group for all women advisers.

How does Ms. O’Neal find the time to contribute to her company’s bottom line while also giving her all to strengthen the industry’s next crop of advisers?

"My philosophy is to keep a very structured day,” she said. “The only thing I can control is my time and how I use it."

– Liz Skinner