Investing IN Change

Can ESG help women advisers succeed?

Episode Summary

Women advisers still only make up about 20% of the American advisory industry, despite years of work being done to increase their presence. On this episode, Kacie Swartz and Haleh Moddasser, both financial advisers, join Steve for a conversation about how integrating ESG practices can be a huge opportunity to pull in new women to the field, retain and grow those who are already here, and help all women advisers thrive. As Kacie summarizes, the industry needs to get women to understand that it's not about greed and helping the rich get richer, it has a higher purpose, and ESG helps women tell that story.

Episode Notes

In this episode, you’ll hear about: 

-The current state of women advisers

-The a-ha moments for Haleh and Kacie and why they became ESG advisers

-How utilizing ESG has helped them succeed

-How ESG practices can keep women in the advisory space throughout their careers

-The power of values-based client relationships that are at the heart of sustainable investing, and why that is opportunity for women advisers

-Outlooks for sustainable investing in 2022

ESG study shared with SEC reveals fund labels are often useless

Guest Bios:

Haleh (pronounced Holly) Moddasser is the senior vice president and lead advisor of our Chapel Hill office, where she works with clients of all ages and in all stages of life. Haleh also leads Stearns women’s advisory practice where she focuses on issues surrounding women and finance, as well as ESG investing as a tool for creating social change. She is the author of two books; Women On Top: Women, Wealth & Social Change and Gray Divorce, Silver Linings: A Woman’s Guide to Divorce After 50 (Stearns Financial Group Field Guide Series Book 1). Haleh speaks at local and national events and serves as a media resource on a wide range of financial topics. Prior to joining SFG in 2011, Haleh used her CPA credential at Price Waterhouse Coopers and in a treasury and finance role at a public company.

Kacie Swartz has been helping individuals and families pursue financial independence as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner since 2012. Kacie is an advocate of socially responsible investing and is a frequent public speaker promoting general financial literacy and educating investors about sustainable investing. Her background in investment education makes her a good fit for clients broadening their knowledge of financial planning and investments and helping people through major life changes like ending a marriage or losing a spouse.

Kacie’s interest in Environmental, Social & Governance funds (ESG) started as an extension of her personal commitment to living a more sustainable lifestyle. Kacie turned her years of experience constructing advance portfolios as a Certified Investment Management Analyst® to researching ESG fund options. She found clients were also drawn to the topic and has helped countless people better understand how their dollars are invested and how best to align their values with those investments. Kacie has spoken to local groups, including the Austin Women's Investing Group, about the fundamentals of ESG investing and how to get started. Kacie also recently spoke to other advisors about ESG investing as a panelist at the Investment News Women Adviser Summit in New York City.