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America’s Top Women Advisors 2017: 200 Women Managing Over $200 Billion

Making it in the finance field is tough. Making it as a woman is even tougher.

The eat what you kill mentality coupled with an often boys club work environment (think Susan Antlia’s “Tales From The Boom Boom Room”) has been a less than stellar place for women to succeed. Today, women make up 16% of financial advisors across the country. Compare that with 47% of the overall workforce.

But things are changing, albeit slowly.

A look at our Top Women Advisors list is proof. These two hundred female financial advisors from coast to coast manage a combined $210 billion dollars on behalf of wealthy individuals and families. They’re based in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago but they’re also managing wealth in Paducah, KY and Bartlesville, OK.

And while they manage huge sums of money these top advisors are being recognized for the quality of their practice. (For more on how we created this list with our partner SHOOK Research).

Margaret Starner is a Stanford grad and former stay-at-home mom. After reading about financial planning she decided she wanted to educate women about their money. Thirty-eight years later she’s managing nearly $900 million for her clients at Raymond James & Associates. In Denver, Melissa Corrado Harrison manages over $900 million in client assets. Her clients are primarily entrepreneurs who have come in to significant amounts of money. Part of her job is making sure that money doesn’t disappear—even if it means giving away less money to their children. At the very top of the list is Morgan Stanley’s Colleen O’Callaghan who manages over $2 billion in assets for ultra-high-net-worth clients and foundations. The New York-based advisor worked at Lehman Brothers until 2008 when she moved to her current firm.

Each of the 200 advisors offers something different. Some specialize in investment management and robust returns while some are focused on a managing and maintaining clients’ wealth for generations. Others run large teams that handle all that and more-taxes, estate plans, retirement plans and even lines of credit.

See the complete list of 200 Top Women Advisors here.

Data provided by SHOOK™ Research, LLC Data as of 9/30/16.

Ranking algorithm is based on quality of practice, such as: telephone and in-person interviews, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, such as: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criteria because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking. For more information see

1Client types represent 5% or more of each advisor’s business. 2Advisors are judged on individual contributions but total team assets are show. 3Minimum account sizes are general since it can vary depending on a range of circumstances.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. This award is bestowed by an independent third party organization not affiliated with Raymond James.

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