With more than three decades of experience in the financial services industry, Daralee Barbera has garnered many well-earned accolades, perhaps none more deserving than the honor recently bestowed upon her by the Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS). During its annual conference awards ceremony last month in St. Louis, WIFS named Barbera “Woman of the Year,” the organization’s highest tribute. 1 A Waddell & Reed managing principal and ardent advocate of women in leadership, the honor is especially meaningful to Barbera.
“I am honored and pleased to have been chosen as Woman of the Year by WIFS. I view this as a valuable opportunity to share the essential message that women are successful leaders and mentors across our industry,” Barbera said. “I am appreciative and respectful of the trust and confidence placed in me by so many. It is my privilege to be of continuing service, and to have received this prestigious industry recognition.”
Based in Costa Mesa, Calif., Barbera supervises nearly 50 financial advisors in nine branch offices. Of those advisors, more than a third are women.
“A career in financial advice is wonderfully rewarding, and of critical importance to the clients whom we serve,” Barbera said. “Yet women are, at this point, underrepresented in our industry. As such, it is one of my personal goals to raise awareness that financial planning is a career choice to be considered by women, as it is practically tailor-made.”Thomas W. Butch, chairman and president of Waddell & Reed, Inc., echoed WIFS’s choice for the esteemed recognition. “As one of the most experienced and admired members of our field leadership team, Daralee is more than deserving of this high honor,” Butch said. “Throughout her tenure, many Waddell & Reed advisors have achieved a great deal of success in their own professional lives, thanks to her mentorship and outstanding leadership skills.”