Sheryl Rowling

Sheryl Rowling

Principal with Rowling & Associates, head of rebalancing solutions at Morningstar Inc.

“Once I dove in, I had to keep swimming,” said Sheryl Rowling, describing her quest to develop the best rebalancing software the industry had ever seen. The product, and resulting company, became Total Rebalance Expert, which was purchased by Morningstar Inc. in 2015.

Ms. Rowling is principal with Rowling & Associates and recently signed on as head of rebalancing solutions at Morningstar.

Having implemented an early version of rebalancing software, she realized that the time-saving aspect “changed our lives.” When the product became restricted to only the largest RIAs, Ms. Rowling saw an opportunity to build something for the rest of the market.

“I never want to do rebalancing by hand again,” she said. “I figured if I built something that I would use, other advisers would use it too. I wanted to make sure [the software] was available to the smaller, bread-and-butter firms.”

Ms. Rowling, 60, is also a CPA, and the source of her entrepreneurial drive came from her early days as a woman working in the male-dominated tax field.

“There really was a glass ceiling,” she said. “For example, I was a tax manager, and one of my clients was taken away from me and given to a new employee because he was a man.

“If you wanted to get ahead, you had to work very, very hard and get used to disappointment,” Ms. Rowling said. “It frustrated me, and I thought if I really believed in myself, if I was so valuable to these companies, I could be valuable to myself in my own business.”

– Deborah Nason