WSR Honors CMO 10 – Top Wealth Management CMOs

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WSR List Of CMO 10 – Top Wealth Management CMOs Recognizes Leaders From Dynasty, FusionIQ, Snappy Kraken, Edelman Financial Engines, iCapital, Haven Mark Partners, Sowell Management, FMG, AlTi Tiedemann Global And Sound Income Group.

By Chris Latham
June 25, 2024

https://wealthsolutionsreport.com/2024/06/25/wsr-honors-cmo-10-top-wealth-management-cmos/ 

Marketing is the often overlooked value-add for the wealth management space that accelerates growth in established business lines and opens up new areas of growth. The fragmented nature of the independent channel requires RIAs, broker-dealers, custodians, wealthtech firms and support platforms to explain their relevance and points of differentiation to highly specific target niches. Without marketing, many of their innovations would go unseen or misunderstood.

In this industry, Chief Marketing Officers must possess a special grasp of all aspects of wealth management, and how to communicate with everyone from financial advisors to compliance officers to recruiters to other C-suite executives. CMOs also must know how to inspire, manage and lead their teams – all while operating without a clear source of revenue production metrics against which to measure success.

Our invitation-only CMO 10: Top Wealth Management CMOs honors these individuals, who craft strategies enabling firms to reach the proper audiences with messaging that resonates with key decision-makers. Please join us in congratulating them:

Erika Wilson, CMO, Sound Income Group

Erika Wilson is CMO for Sound Income Group, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, diversified financial services company. In addition to leveraging market research and competitive analysis, Wilson has utilized AI to amplify marketing strategies. She also has presented at conferences on the intersection between marketing and cutting-edge technologies.

Sound Income Group comprises three full-service firms offering marketing, coaching, practice management, investment services and franchise opportunities for the financial community. It operates Retirement Income Source, a national network of income specialists who help clients establish steady streams of income; Advisors’ Academy, a recruiting and marketing firm; and Sound Income Strategies, an RIA with approximately $3 billion in AUM.

Wilson has more than a decade in the financial services industry, and nearly 20 years of advertising and marketing experience overall. Prior to Sound Income Group, she worked for media corporations including Tribune Company and Comcast. Wilson holds a B.A. in Communications from Florida Atlantic University, where she graduated summa cum laude.

“A unique element in our approach is challenging the misconception that individuals in or near retirement are not digitally savvy,” Wilson said. “We leverage data-driven insights to identify and engage this demographic where they are most active online, using tailored storytelling to connect their financial goals with our solutions. This precise approach ensures we deliver relevant and compelling content that truly resonates.”

Gordy Abel, Managing Director And CMO, Dynasty Financial Partners

Gordy Abel leads the marketing efforts for Dynasty Financial Partners’ corporate marketing, network advisor marketing and Dynasty community educational events and experiences. In his eight years at Dynasty, he has helped grow the business to over $91 billion in AUA through raising the firm’s brand profile.

Both as CMO and a member of the firm’s leadership team, Abel participates in driving growth across the firm’s core business, investments platform, Dynasty Investment Bank and the Dynasty Connect concierge service. He helps Dynasty’s independent network firms build their businesses and has driven the creation and launch of over 40 new brands for network firms, including creating a new brand identity, mission, vision, position and values.

Abel has over 25 years of experience. Prior to Dynasty, he held executive and marketing roles at Google, JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock/iShares. In 2020, he was named an honoree for the Tampa Bay Business Journal Pride Award for his inclusion, support and advocacy of the LGBTQIA+ community. Over his career he has served two board terms for the Financial Communications Society.

Describing the uniqueness of marketing for ultra-high net worth clients, Abel noted that advisors serving this clientele must articulate a value proposition for both today’s needs and building a legacy. “This means building a relationship that transcends products and services.”

He continued, “Marketing is a critical component in both building awareness of a differentiated service model while driving the needed educational and emotional experience to capture the relationship and secure the business over generations.”

Douglas Anweiler, Chief Brand Officer, FusionIQ

With over 38 years of executive experience, Douglas Anweiler is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing the brand strategy for FusionIQ in North America. Over the past two decades, Anweiler has developed strategic business plans and award-winning brands, creating over a dozen brands in fintech, aerospace and technology.

Prior to FusionIQ, he worked at Pascal WealthTech in multiple roles, culminating in Chief Brand Officer. Previously, he held various executive marketing and communications roles at Navhouse, Authentic Seacoast and Team Reliance Group.

Outside the office, Anweiler serves as Director for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Society, and previously held advisory and committee member positions for Fort York Food Bank, National Council for the Protection of Canadians Abroad and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Toronto.

“The key to marketing success in wealthtech is to start with a clearly defined brand strategy,” he explained. “What is your purpose or winning aspiration? You need to build solid alignment with your senior leadership team around your vision. After establishing your why, then you can work on identity and messaging. Consistency and clarity are essential. Choose how and where you want to play. This layered approach builds the momentum you need to win in your markets.”

Angel Gonzalez, Co-Founder And CMO, Snappy Kraken

In 2016, Angel Gonzalez co-founded marketing technology firm Snappy Kraken. Under his leadership, the firm executes an extensive advisor marketing data analysis annually through its State of Digital Report, which examines over 250 million data points across 600,000 campaigns from 10,000 advisors, and launched the marketing-focused Jolt! Conference in 2022.

“It’s a unique experience to build something from the ground up,” Gonzalez said. “You become intimately familiar with the entire client journey. I’m grateful for that time. It helps you understand, right down to your bones, how intentional you have to be with marketing, and how it underscores every interaction with a business.”

Prior to Snappy Kraken, Gonzalez was Director of Marketing at Platinum Advisor Strategies, Co-Founder at Leads 4 Advisors, and Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Modernactive.

His understanding of client needs and challenges has driven the company’s innovative strategies, enabling over 6,000 financial professionals to effectively engage with prospects and clients.

Describing how technology will change marketing in the next five years, Gonzalez said, “Technology will continue to reshape marketing by merging quality, precision and scale, eliminating the need to trade one for the other.”

He continued, “AI and data analytics will continue to enable hyper-targeted campaigns, predicting consumer behavior with high levels of accuracy and automating decision-making. Yet, the heart of marketing will remain the same: connecting with and making a difference for the people you’ve committed to serve.”

Megan Hanley, CMO, Edelman Financial Engines

Arriving at Edelman Financial Engines in January, Megan Hanley brings 34 years of experience to the role, primarily in executive marketing positions and technology firms. She leads Edelman’s brand and marketing function, overseeing a team of marketing professionals focused on strategies to enhance the firm’s brand and customer loyalty while attracting more investors.

Prior to Edelman, she held CMO roles at Forge Global, Achieve, Helix, ShopRunner and Auction.com. She served as a marketing executive in other firms including Microsoft, Esurance and NetRead. She has also served as a board member or advisor for various firms, and mentors rising entrepreneurs and marketing leaders.

Hanley holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Magdalena Pandiloska, Managing Director And CMO, iCapital

As the CMO at iCapital, Magdalena Pandiloska oversees global marketing initiatives including brand, communications, PR, media, advertising, content, digital strategy, events, market intelligence and marketing operations. She previously served as CMO for Microsoft in Canada, where she led a marketing transformation and established the brand as the top commercial brand in the nation, earning industry awards for innovation.

Pandiloska has over 23 years of marketing experience. She is passionate about establishing strategies that aim to transform the company’s marketing and commercial capabilities. Pandiloska developed an ecosystem designed to harness data-driven methods to elevate brand visibility, boost revenue, and engage customers and stakeholders.

She leverages emerging technologies, digital tools and storytelling to create brand experiences with the goal of optimizing the customer journey. Under her marketing leadership, the company has navigated digital market demands and evolved its marketing mix, and it seeks to set new industry standards in positioning and client experience.

“As a CMO in alternative investments, blending strategic vision with creativity and business acumen is essential,” Pandiloska said. “My role involves understanding complex markets and devising digital strategies that engage our audiences effectively.”

Pandiloska continued: “It demands a combination of analytical depth and creative innovation. Success hinges on robust branding, adaptability, and the ability to inspire and lead a team toward a shared vision, keeping us at the forefront of a dynamic fintech landscape.”

Katherine Paulson, CMO, Haven Mark Partners

Katherine Paulson is the CMO of Haven Mark Partners, the brand strategy and digital marketing platform of Haven Tower Group, a leading strategic communications agency for the wealth management industry, where she serves as Partner and Head of Digital Marketing Strategies.

Paulson brings over 20 years of wealth and asset management experience to this role. She has extensive experience in developing and executing strategic marketing programs for independent financial services enterprises, including wealth management enterprises, independent financial advisor firms, insurance platforms, asset managers as well as third-party wholesale and distribution businesses.

For over a decade, she was Assistant Vice President, Director of Marketing for MetLife’s U.S. retail annuities division. She was also Director, Head of Marketing at Altegris, an asset management firm focused on alternative investments.

As head of Haven Tower’s Haven Mark Partners platform, Paulson delivers a wide spectrum of outsourced CMO solutions, spearheading and managing brand and marketing strategies for clients for both brand elevation and lead gen purposes, under ongoing agency and project-only relationship structures.

“Fractional CMOs are beginning to revolutionize wealth management by offering cost-effective and flexible marketing support. Good ones bring specialized skills and diverse experience,” Paulson said. “But the best fractional CMOs also have a strategic understanding of the industry that helps firms best scale marketing efforts and execute targeted campaigns.”

“In today’s hypercompetitive landscape, everyone needs a marketing plan to attract and retain clients, stay competitive and leverage advanced technologies in an increasingly digital world. Clearly, many are doing this in-house,” she added. “However, other firms are fast recognizing the value of CMOs. It’s a smart, adaptable solution for the needs of modern wealth management.”

Erin Taylor, Managing Director Of Marketing & Communications, Sowell Management

Erin Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing and Communications for Sowell Management, has a successful track record of leading key strategic business initiatives, including Sowell’s rebrand and the launch of Trek Wealth Solutions. Taylor created a proprietary branding process for Sowell Management advisors, to help them find their brand voice and define their story.

In 1985, Taylor graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and advertising. This paved the way for 40 years of success in marketing and advertising.

Her experience spans agency and corporate roles, public and private sectors, and B2C and B2B markets. For 10 years, Taylor owned and managed a communications and marketing consulting firm, TaylorMack, which she sold in 2000.

During her nearly decade-long tenure at Alltel Telecommunications, Taylor oversaw brand and product advertising, establishing the Direct Marketing department. Later, she served as Vice President of Global Marketing at Acxiom. Taylor also is a Senior Consultant for the Rojek Consulting Group, which she has been affiliated with since 2012.

“I believe a firm’s core values are pivotal to marketing as they provide purpose to your team, shape the brand identity and inherently foster trust,” Taylor said. “They differentiate your firm from competitors and create a foundation that supports consistency and authenticity in marketing efforts. At Sowell, I make sure core values are a part of every brand I create. They are a guiding star and signal that we stand for and believe in something meaningful.”

Susan Theder, Chief Marketing And Experience Officer, FMG

As the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at FMG and a member of the company’s executive team, Susan Theder prioritizes customer-focused strategies that use data and technology to deliver personalized and customized experiences.

In 2019, WealthManagement.com named her CMO of the Year, and InvestmentNews named her in Women to Watch. Theder has served on the Boards of Directors for Smarsh and ComplySci. As a thought leader, Theder supports advisors through live webinars, articles and marketing insights.

Before joining FMG in 2021, she served as CMO at Advisor Group (now Osaic) and Cetera Financial Group. Prior to that, she was a Managing Director at BNY’s Pershing. Earlier, she held senior positions in marketing, product management and practice management at Fidelity Investments.

Theder has led rebranding to fortify FMG’s position as an industry leader, and helped build a team that has expanded enterprise growth by 400% and delivered some of the most successful campaigns in FMG’s history. She also is key to the strategy and content direction of FMG’s “Do It For Me” program.

“I’m most excited about advancements in AI, as they offer the most accessible solution to advisor content creation,” Theder said. “For example, our mobile app’s AI integration will write a personalized, best-practice-driven summary for any timely article. Our vision is to provide this level of personalization at scale for all of our content.”

Claire Verdirame, CMO, AlTi Tiedemann Global

Claire Verdirame joined AlTi Tiedemann Global – which has over $70 billion in assets under management (AUM) – in June 2022 ahead of the merger between Tiedemann Advisors and its asset management business, TIG, and British wealth manager Alvarium. The firm recruited her to create the AlTi brand, set up an institutional grade global marketing practice and spearhead the PR effort for AlTi’s Nasdaq listing in January 2023.

Verdirame works to give the firm regular media coverage in the U.S. and globally. Her team has cultivated strategic partnerships with key organizations within the sector, such as Campden Wealth, and implemented a commercial digital marketing effort.

Her team also has supported the business to achieve an approximately 20% annual increase in AUM through data-led, strategic marketing plans that support the building of a global brand, as well as the delivery of new business at a local level across 21 offices. Working with business development and client-facing teams, the AlTi marketing team supports on closing new business via RFPs, fueling the prospect pipeline and providing opportunities for client engagement.

Verdirame has nearly 25 years of experience. She previously was the Global Head of Marketing for HSBC’s Wealth Management and Private Banking business. Before that, she held senior marketing positions at Barclays.

“It’s energizing and inspiring to work in a business that serves an ultra-high net worth client base across multiple markets globally,” Verdirame said. “Diverse global perspectives coupled with deep, longstanding expertise in the U.S. fuels better ideas, better marketing and better client outcomes.”

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About Sound Income Group

Sound Income Group comprises three full-service firms offering marketing, coaching, practice management, investment services, and franchise opportunities for the financial community. It operates Retirement Income Source, a national network of Income Specialists who help clients establish steady streams of income; Advisors’ Academy, a recruiting and marketing firm, and Sound Income Strategies, LLC, an SEC registered RIA with more than $3 billion assets under management (AUM).

Investment advisory services are offered through Sound Income Strategies, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. Sound Income Group, Advisors’ Academy, Retirement Income Source, LLC and Sound Income Strategies, LLC are associated entities.