NEW YORK (
-- Jane Newton, a wealth manager at
, knows from personal experience that female executives, especially those working on Wall Street, are often nervous about discussing their future with a company-assigned financial advisor.
"Are you going to go to that (in-house) person and talk about whether to exercise your stock options?," she tells
. "Are you going to talk about your career steps with that person? Should I take this job in another firm or outside the industry?"
These are the kinds of questions that have steered Newton to focus on women executives in the financial industry.
Newton feels that many of these women are so busy in their professional lives that they have little time to focus on their own financial health.
"They are like the cobbler's daughter," she says. Another problem for many of these high-level financial executives is that much of their compensation is tied up in company stock. "They have this huge concentration. They really seek me out to have an objective independent advisor make these recommendations for them about how to have more financial security."
Newton has found that many of her clients come to her and ask about what she sees happening in the financial industry. She fields questions about all sorts of issues, ranging from compensation to how the competitive landscape is changing.
Many of these folks face a big challenge in learning how to repackage themselves as the industry keeps changing, Newton says. That's partly why she founded the Wall Street Women's Forum in May 2010 to create a place for women to network and exchange ideas.
One thing that's surprised Newton is how many of these financial executives aren't facing issues with achieving a balance between their work and home lives because of children. It turns out that aging parents have become the struggle. Plus, many of these high-powered women have interests outside work and they'd like to have time to pursue them.
Another challenge for her clients is figuring how to taking their careers to the next higher level.
"They don't need mentors, they need sponsors," says Newton, who explains that consideration for the next C-suite job or prestigious task force usually requires someone to put your name forward.
That's a key area focused on at Wall Street Women's Forum: Teaching members how to leverage their relationships and the importance of sponsorship. Newton, who began her career at
(JPM - Get Report)
says: "I think that the young women today have many more examples of female role models than we had back in my day."
Written by Debra Borchardt in New York
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