FA-IQ reached out to advisors to ask: What makes a good mentor for female advisors?

Lauren Cosulich, an advisor and partner at Summit Trail Advisors. Boston-based Cosulich has been in the industry for 16 years and has $677 million in client assets.

“A good mentor will offer three important things:

Perspective. A significant component of the value proposition for any potential mentor is her ability to look at the big picture and provide appropriate guidance. This is typically made possible through experience and seasoning, but longevity in a career doesn’t automatically translate to having appropriate perspective. A beneficial mentor will also look forward and think or advise for the long run. Her long-term mindset will be valuable when you face critical decisions or are at a crossroads, just as her experience and tenure will provide insightful context and knowledge.

Communication. The knowledge and perspective that a mentor could offer are only as good as her ability to communicate with you. Your experience as a mentee will be enhanced if your mentor welcomes your questions, shares anecdotes with lessons learned, and clearly explains the context of a situation or rationale behind a best practice. A communicative mentor will maintain an open, ongoing dialogue with you about the role, company, industry, etc. in such a manner that you feel comfortable asking questions that might otherwise betray your naivety.

Lauren Cosulich
Relatability. An excellent mentor will be relatable to you. Some aspect of her needs to be relevant to you and your situation; this could be because of demographics — as a person of color, mother, etc. — but also could be based on personality traits or professional interests — e.g. estate planning or philanthropy. If you can see yourself in the stories she tells or effortlessly tie her advice to your specific circumstances, then the perspective and guidance she offers will be that much more valuable to you.

I was immensely fortunate to have found a terrific mentor early in my career. Daniela Pedley hired me at JPMorgan Private Bank when I was completely new to the industry. Her passion as an advisor was obvious, and her patience with and encouragement of me in my first few years was deeply appreciated. Her long-term perspective was genuine, and I am both lucky and grateful to call Daniela my partner today here at Summit Trail Advisors.”

Katherine Forrester Schneewind, chief executive officer at High Note Wealth. Deephaven, Minnesota-based Schneewind has been in the industry for 25 years and has $450 million in client assets.

Katherine Forrester Schneewind
“Someone who takes a holistic approach. I firmly believe when we are our best selves as mothers, sisters, wives, friends and self-care takers, we bring the best part of ourselves to the business and are the most efficient. Find a mentor who cares about your entire life."

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