Innovator

Heather Ettinger

Heather Ettinger

Founder and CEO, Luma Wealth Advisors

“We have this tsunami of she-change coming in the next 10 years. More women are owning and starting businesses, and they are outliving men, which means they’ll have more inheritance,” said Heather Ettinger, founder and CEO of Luma Wealth Advisors (a division of Fairport Asset Management), which she founded in 2017 to address the needs of female clients.

This is just the latest woman-focused initiative Ms. Ettinger has undertaken since joining Fairport in 1987 — a firm founded by her father, Tom Roulston, in 1963.

Among her greatest accomplishments has been her co-authorship of two landmark studies sponsored by the Family Wealth Advisors Council. The first, conducted in 2011, was considered transformational for its identification of specific segments of female clientele, previously viewed as a homogeneous group. The second, conducted in 2015, was the first to study women breadwinners as its own cohort.

The studies had a ripple effect on the industry, Ms. Ettinger said, in that now more organizations are providing relevant content to women and segmenting their marketing to women.

“Firms are not just saying, ‘I serve women,’ but starting to say, ‘I serve women who are divorced, executives, business owners, breadwinners, in same-sex marriages, etc.,’” she said.

She also is seeing more full-blown women-focused financial conferences, more large firms with women’s initiatives, and recognition of the need to bring men into conversations about women’s financial lives.

The results of the studies also inform Ms. Ettinger’s vision for Luma, which encourages what she calls “financial wellness” via education, connection with other women, helpful resources and celebrations of life events.

“[There’s] a changing dynamic in the family which necessitates a different approach to the delivery model of financial advice,” she said. “It needs to integrate into [a woman’s] whole life.”

– Deborah Nason

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