Michelle Lynchage 38
Vice president of the Network for Women Advisors, Raymond James Financial Inc.
- Dream was to become an Air Force fighter pilot until a recruiter told her women weren't allowed to fly in combat
- Has a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo
- Studied mass communications and advertising and has an MBA
Michelle Lynch is a “Wise Owl,” observant and assured.
That’s the archetype that surfaced from the Fascination Advantage personality quiz taken along with others in the 40 Under 40 group selected this year by InvestmentNews, and Ms. Lynch agrees with the assessment. It’s also fitting for someone focused on supporting the nearly 1,000 female advisers at Raymond James Financial Inc. and seeking to recruit more.
“Being a financial adviser is a great profession for women,” she said, citing a special ability to empathize and build relationships, which is important to clients who entrust advisers with their life's savings.
Yet women represent just 15% of the industry, a stat she’s working hard to change in part by targeting those in engineering, teaching and law who may be looking for a second career. Ms. Lynch is helping to create coaching programs for women at St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Raymond James including one designed to attract high-net worth clients.
She’s also planning a group trip in August to the MIT AgeLab in Cambridge, Mass., to help advisers better understand the challenges faced by aging clients, and is evaluating ways women can forge relationships inside Raymond James to brighten their careers. “We’re going to be instituting a mentoring program over the next year,” she said.
Ms. Lynch, who got her black belt in Taekwondo as a kid, isn’t easily ruffled, preferring to quietly take in what’s being said and done around her before delving in and taking action.
“I’m a listener,” she said. “People tell me I have a poker face.”
– Christine Idzelis