Building a career advising HNW clients
Financial advisors, including those who serve High Net Worth clients, are still predominantly men, but Andreka Lapchinski, Associate Portfolio Manager, TD Wealth Private Investment Counsel, would like to see more women in the field and has tips for those who are up for the challenge.
Andreka Lapchinski, Associate Portfolio Manager, TD Wealth Private Investment Counsel, loves her work. She’s excited by how the markets paint an evolving picture of what people worldwide are doing. She also thoroughly enjoys interacting with people—including her High Net Worth (HNW) clients, who have unique stories to tell, and her colleagues who generously share their specialized expertise.
How do your life experiences inform your work with HNW clients?
I’ve always been a resilient, independent person, but just in the last six years I’ve had massive life upheavals and loss. I got divorced in 2014 and continued to parent three kids. Then I met someone else and became a blended family. In 2018, he very suddenly passed away. I had to figure out a way to keep going. I drew on an inner confidence that I could rely on myself.
A lesson I’ve taken to my clients is that change is inevitable. You have to respond, and you can’t take it personally. I see it as the universe pushing me in a different direction and opening different paths. With loss, I hold onto the memory of the things I had and then use that as a strength as I move forward. It’s a difficult but valuable experience in my portfolio.
Overall, I’d say that HNW clients expect their advisors to use efficiency, accuracy, knowledge, and resourcefulness to find answers when they don’t initially have them. I make a point of listening very closely to understand their story, point of view and ultimate goal. There are always tons of different ways to get there, so I tell my clients, “Let’s work together and use the strengths you have to help make it happen.”
“Change is inevitable. You have to respond, and you can’t take it personally.”
Andreka Lapchinski, Associate Portfolio Manager, TD Wealth Private Investment Counsel
What career experiences are helpful for women who are establishing themselves in this area of the market?
I started on the institutional side in a highly competitive trading floor environment. At times, I used the “I’m the only girl” card to my advantage to get the chance to speak and offer a different perspective. I also set myself apart by jumping in and providing an exceptional level of service. I’ve kept on doing that. I’m still always trying to do better, go beyond and over-impress my clients.
I’d tell other women that, wherever you work, always try to be in a role where you can continue to learn and grow. As soon as you aren’t, look for something else. Also, practise your presentation skills. They help you hone your ability to deliver a message to different audiences. Presenting also builds confidence and visibility and can start conversations that build rapport. People have recognized me throughout my career because I stand up and speak, whether it is an ad hoc or a prepared presentation.
Know your strengths and your talents so you can offer them up to the world and find whatever it is that gives you a sense of fulfillment. Those are important keys to succeeding at work and in life.
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December 14, 2021