Publisher's Note

Suzanne Siracuse

Welcome to InvestmentNews’ second annual issue dedicated to honorees of our Women to Watch list and Alexandra Armstrong Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement.

In July 2015, we announced our Women to Watch Awards, a new initiative to recognize female advisers and executives who have elevated the financial advice industry.

We had a tremendous response to our call for nominations and were able to select the inaugural 20 women and lifetime achievement award winner from a fantastic candidate pool.

This year, the momentum continues, and we could not be more pleased to tell you the stories and highlight the achievements of 20 more Women to Watch, and a new Alexandra Armstrong Award winner.

Just like last year’s honorees, the women profiled this year meet the rigorous criteria we look for in our selection process. Their work has made a lasting impact on the industry. They are distinguished leaders at their firms. They have demonstrated a willingness to share their experiences with others and have given back to the industry.

All of these women are fabulous role models for other women in the business, as well as those who are thinking about joining the industry. 

From leading wealth managers and financial planners to C-suite executives at large financial services firms, we hope you will enjoy learning more about these distinguished women and why they made our list.

This year’s winner of the Alexandra Armstrong Award, named after its inaugural honoree, was an easy and unanimous decision.

Deena Katz is a legend in this business. She has been an adviser, CEO, mentor and educator. Just like Alexandra Armstrong, she is a trailblazer and provides inspiration for many women looking to not only enter the profession but become a partner in a firm. Many, including myself, consider Deena to be the reason we see more colleges and universities devoting more courses and curriculums to the study of financial planning.

This is critical to the continued growth of our industry.

She continues to mentor many of the students at Texas Tech University, where she teaches. She also shares her expertise by speaking at top industry conferences, including Schwab IMPACT and InvestmentNews’ Women Adviser Summits, as well as events hosted by the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

Deena is outspoken and opinionated, knowledgeable and warm, and truly cares about the future of the financial planning industry.

Many members of the InvestmentNews team, including myself, have had the privilege to learn from Deena directly. Her insight, dedication, love of this business and the people in it made her our obvious choice for the Alexandra Armstrong Award. And Alex herself approves 100%!

If you want to be part of honoring Deena and all of our Women to Watch, I invite you to attend our Women to Watch awards luncheon on March 8 in New York City. I hope to see many firms there as a show of their support for the advancement of women in financial services. 

All of us at InvestmentNews continue to be grateful for the opportunity to honor the many women who are part of shaping the future of the financial advice industry.

-- Suzanne Siracuse, VP-Publisher, InvestmentNews