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Kelli began her career in financial services while working her way through The University of Kansas as a part time bank teller. Upon graduation, Kelli moved to Ohio to be closer to family and to begin her career. Kelli accepted an entry-level teller position with a local bank in 1993. Twenty-two years and 14 internal promotions later, Kelli had turned that entry-level opportunity into her role as Senior Vice President, Director of Private Banking.
Kelli served as the bank’s Director of Private Banking for over 10 years. It was during this time Kelli first experienced what she now refers to as her “lightbulb moment” that
eventually lead her to Stratos Wealth Partners. Kelli recognized a key disconnect in the broad financial services industry: the manner in which many financial institutions were servicing their top clients was not the way their top clients wanted to be serviced. Specifically, Kelli noticed that while women were making the majority of the financial decisions for both themselves and their families generally these financial institutions rarely considered women as their primary clients. Instead, all client communication was directed to the “head of household” or to the “primary decision maker.” Both of these roles were frequently assumed to be filled by male clients. the Family Wealth Advisors Council 2011 study entitled, “Women of Wealth: Why Does the Financial Services Industry Still Not Hear Them?” tells a very similar story. In summary, the researchers found that women are not only the “new” financial heads of household but are individual wealth creators in their own right. Women, their impact on and influence over the world of consumer finance, are a force that cannot be ignored. The firms or advisors who do not take notice and adjust accordingly will not continue to thrive, the study asserts.¹
The statistics speak for themselves. Both the amount of wealth controlled by women and the rate at which it is increasing are extraordinary — 95% of women will be their family’s primary financial decision maker at some point in their lives.² Women are leading Fortune 500 corporations, winning top political posts and enjoying more career choices than ever before. By 2030, women will control two-thirds of the nation’s wealth — a result of strong organic growth rates buoyed by trillions in generational and spousal transfers.3 Despite these significant inroads and potential opportunities, barriers remain — particularly in the financial services industry.
Recognizing this “new reality” and realizing that as a woman financial advisor, not only was she uncommonly qualified but that fewer than 12% of practicing financial advisors in North America 4 are women, Kelli left her home firm of 22 years to build her own practice at Stratos Wealth Partners.
Kelli lives in Orange Township, Ohio with Tim, her husband of 18 years and their 3 amazing kids. Sons, Joe and Ben, are 13-year-old twins; attend Olentangy Orange Middle School and enjoying playing as much basketball and video games as they can every day. Their daughter, Anna, is 9 (going on 30) and she is in 3rd grade and very involved in her Brownie Troop. Kelli sits on the Board on the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and the Steering Committee of the Women’s Leadership Network of the Delaware County United Way. When free time presents itself, Kelli enjoys reading, volunteering in the community, playing a relaxed round of golf and traveling to fun and interesting places with the same girlfriends she has had since the seventh grade.
1. Family Wealth Advisors Council study, “Women of Wealth: Why do Financial Services Companies Continue to Ignore Them?”(2011), available at http://hemingtonwm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/FWAC_WomenOfWealth.pdf
2. Prudential Research Study, “Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women” (2010-2011), available http://www.prudential.com/media/managed/Womens_Study_Final.pdf.
3. Mary Quist-Newins, “Untapped Market: Women May Be Gaining Economic Power, but They Still Feel Financial Planners Are Not Recognizing Their Potential” (March 1, 2010), available at https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-219989293.html
4. PriceMetrix- Flash of Insight – Nov 2013; Is There a Gender Gap in Retail Wealth Management? Available at: http://www.pricemetrix.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/PriceMetrix_Flash-of-Insight_Gender-Gap_November-2013.pdf?t=1433589058