“Without purpose and intention, the blessing of wealth can turn into a burden. Families who clearly articulate their vision and desired legacy tend to be more successful passing their wealth on to future generations.”

“Without purpose and intention, the blessing of wealth can turn into a burden. Families who clearly articulate their vision and desired legacy tend to be more successful passing their wealth on to future generations.”

Chicago, IL

Linda Nolan, CPWA

Senior Managing Director


Linda leads a team of investment, trust and banking advisors who collaborate to help clients achieve their goals and realize the full potential of their wealth. She is a recognized leader in the Chicago business community and is deeply engaged in nonprofit causes focused on empowering underserved populations and promoting the professional advancement of women.

Wealth Management Executive Q&A

What is the most important lesson you have learned from the families you have served?

Without purpose and intention, the blessing of wealth can turn into a burden. Families who clearly articulate their vision and desired legacy tend to be more successful in passing their wealth on to future generations. Engagement between generations often leads to more thoughtful wealth transfer strategies that truly fulfill family goals.

"Female clients are especially attuned to the emotional impact of their financial decisions, and want to ensure they transfer family values with family wealth."

What are the biggest concerns you hear from clients and how do these concerns differ among female clients?

Everyone with significant wealth wants to sustain it across generations. Female clients are especially attuned to the emotional impact of their financial decisions, and want to ensure they transfer family values with family wealth. They want their children to be productive members of society and use their wealth for social good. Because women often outlive men, it is critical that they are prepared to manage wealth independently of their spouse. Additionally, our female clients increasingly are sandwiched between their own parents and children – faced with having to care physically and financially for two dependent generations. These costs can have a meaningful impact on family wealth planning goals.

Favorite Quote

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

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

More and more, women are driving wealth creation and financial planning decisions. As such, wealth managers need to stop making assumptions about a woman’s financial acumen and instead empower them to make decisions informed by their own unique circumstances and goals. When it comes to investments, women are particularly intelligent risk takers. They don’t just want to beat a benchmark – they want to know how taking on additional portfolio risk will affect their ability to fund financial and family goals.

"Wealth managers need to stop making assumptions about a woman’s financial acumen and instead empower them to make decisions informed by their own unique circumstances and goals."

Do you see a difference in how female clients approach philanthropy?

Women often set the philanthropic vision and strategy for their family and ensure their children are engaged in the process. One female client, a retired CEO with three grown children, empowered each child to select a cause they were passionate about and covered their lifestyle expenses for a year while they contributed their own time and “sweat equity” to that charity. We’ve worked with other families to set aside discrete pools of money and allow children to submit proposals for grants to their selected organizations.

Philanthropic Pursuits

Linda is an active member of the Chicago philanthropic community, working to build communities and promote the advancement of women. She is the incoming chair of the University of Chicago Women’s Board, where recent grants have been issued to fund university research on non-addictive pain relief and AIDS prevention, among others. She also serves on the YWCA board, working to advance the organization’s mission to eliminate racism and increase economic opportunities for young women. She is a member of the Red Cross Tiffany Circle, a group of female philanthropists driving significant giving aligned around the mission of the Red Cross.