“The most powerful advice we can give clients illuminates possibilities and empowers them to consider doing more during their lifetime.”

“The most powerful advice we can give clients illuminates possibilities and empowers them to consider doing more during their lifetime.”

New York, NY

Katie Nixon, CFA, CIMA, CPWA

Chief Investment Officer, Wealth Management


Katie is a globally-recognized market commentator and directs the investment management activities of portfolio managers across the nation, with a focus on empowering clients to achieve more with their wealth through portfolio construction and goals-driven investing.

Wealth Management Executive Q&A

Do women and men approach investing differently?

At the risk of generalizing, studies show that women focus less on performance and more on achieving financial goals. Whether it’s paying for their children’s education, a philanthropic endeavor, or simply not outliving their money, women want to know they will be able to fund their priorities. We help clients identify and quantify their goals, and we construct portfolios that are designed to meet each goal with the highest degree of confidence based on a more intuitive approach to risk and return.

"Knowledge is power, particularly for women who want to be sure they have enough to fund their lifestyle before looking ahead to other goals. We are helping our female clients with the art of the possible."

What are the biggest concerns you hear from female clients?

A primary concern for women is outliving their money. Typically, women live longer than men and their later years can be filled with skyrocketing healthcare costs. They don’t want to become a financial burden on their family, and this can sometimes manifest in strong risk aversion and suboptimal portfolio allocations. We show clients what it will cost to fund their desired lifestyle and construct their portfolio to safeguard the necessary funds. Knowledge is power, particularly for women who want to be sure they have enough to fund their lifestyle before looking ahead to other goals. We are helping our female clients with the “art of the possible.”

Favorite Quote

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” –Jane Goodall

How is the wealth management industry falling short in addressing women’s unique planning needs?

When surveyed, many women cite the same issues with today’s wealth management industry. A key challenge seems to be communication. The wealth management industry is not wired to communicate information in a context that is meaningful. For example, most meetings with financial advisors focus on investment performance; however, it is framed in a language of “beating the benchmark” and may even include a discussion of risk tolerance defined as standard deviation. This is not the way many clients think about their wealth. They prefer to put their investments in the context of their financial goals and measure success against funding those goals. Risk is not standard deviation: It is falling short of funding goals. Our goals based framework has really bridged this communication gap, as it ties investment decisions directly to goal funding and puts performance in a more meaningful context.

"The most powerful advice we can give clients illuminates possibilities and empowers them to consider doing more during their lifetime."

What is a time when your advice has made a big difference in a client’s life?

We believe assets serve a purpose, and that purpose is to fund goals. When we can bring confidence to and clarity around an investment process that aims squarely at what makes each client unique—their goals—it is powerful. We often see women apt to postpone some meaningful goals given their concern about funding their lifestyle. They simply are not confident that they have enough. The most powerful advice we can give clients illuminates possibilities and empowers them to consider doing more during their lifetime. And we do this by providing confidence around their most important goal: securing their lifestyle. For example, one client planned to leave her estate to a foundation for her daughters to manage once she passed away. While she was delighted to support her family’s philanthropic mission, she regretted that she would not be around to see the foundation’s good work in action. But she was reticent to fund the foundation during her lifetime, as she was not sure how much she could really afford and didn’t want to compromise her ability to fund her lifestyle. We were able to quantify her goals, protect the wealth she needed to fund her lifestyle through old age and build a philanthropic strategy for the rest to be given away during her lifetime. She is now building her philanthropic legacy hand-in-hand with her daughters.