When I arrived in New York City, 23 years ago, little did I know that I would have the privilege of overseeing a brand like InvestmentNews for so long.
I started out in sales, working at Crain Communications on Pensions & Investments, InvestmentNews' sister publication. Bill Bisson was the publisher then, but he was much more than that. He was also my mentor and InvestmentNews was his brainchild.
About a year in, Bill pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted to work on a "startup."
We had no sales material. We had no advertisers. We had no readers.
"We're calling it InvestmentNews," he stated. "And it's going to change an industry."
How could I possibly say no?
While there was no traditional plan, we did have one important thing: a common vision. There was also Bill's passion and absolute certainty that IN would become the No.1 brand in our industry, just as P&I had in its market.
The entire team he assembled truly believed in this vision and believed that one day we would be No.1.
As a unit and a team, we saw the opportunity and we seized it.
Bill promoted me to sales director, then associate publisher and then publisher in 2006 as IN grew from startup to market leader. He stayed on a few more years before retiring and always had faith in me and everyone at IN. Importantly, he reinforced that we keep up our commitment to quality news and content and to always put the reader first.
We've come a long way in 21 years. Or have we?
Since we launched in 1997, the industry has improved in its efforts around diversity, but still has a long way to go. My hope is that InvestmentNews events such as Women to Watch, Diversity & Inclusion, 40 Under 40 and the multi-city Women Adviser Summit will continue to grow and act as motivators for firms to keep doing more in those areas.
InvestmentNews has always felt a responsibility to advocate for important issues and provide a platform to advance discussion. I am proud of what we've done so far and confident that the magazine's achievements will only grow from here.
As I write my last column as CEO and publisher of IN, I must reflect on the many people, places, events and initiatives that have left an indelible mark on me as an executive, but more importantly, as a person.
I think back to moments that brought me great joy, such as when we held our first Women to Watch Awards almost five years ago. It was a concept that has since created a community, a movement that continues to motivate both men and women and serves as a shining example of this industry at its best.
Reflecting on these past 21 years at InvestmentNews, I think of times of hope and inspiration. Of evolution and of innovation. Of persistence and the drive for excellence. These moments are represented by the people in this industry, the thousands of advisers and industry executives I have had the opportunity to meet with, work with and partner with.
And to the many dedicated reporters, editors, sales and marketing executives I have worked with over the years at IN: You all are part of something truly special. Keep up your important work; it makes us all better, smarter and stronger.
The Next Chapter
It's been a great experience to be part of the changing dynamic within the financial advice industry. After two decades of viewing it through the lens of the media, I now look forward to being right in it, with all of you, as I start my own business.
Another startup? Absolutely. Here we go again!
It has truly been a privilege to be a part of InvestmentNews since its inception and on through the highs and lows, the good times and the hard times as well.
I will never forget any of it.