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What three consumer-investors told CEOs at the Tiburon conference in New York

It's not, not, not the products and the returns that keep them coming back

Author Guest Columnist Alex Potts April 17, 2013 at 6:41 AM
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Alex Potts: In the end, I hope for one idea, or concept, to arise and challenge my thinking.


Marion Asnes

Marion Asnes

April 17, 2013 — 5:58 PM

Great write-up but a bone to pick: you describe the consumers as “a sophisticated investor, an inexperienced investor and a woman who manages her family finances”? Really? Is the woman not an investor, if an inexperienced one? This is the same old-school thinking that calls women a “niche.” Guys, we have a lot of money, and we run it—time to wake up to the fact that we are investors.

Bill Winterberg

Bill Winterberg

April 17, 2013 — 6:56 PM

Isn’t the panel part of the off-the-record sessions at Tiburon events?

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

April 17, 2013 — 7:01 PM

Hi Bill,

Alex Potts is an infiltrating CEO.

I believe this may also be a transition to on-record for this session. I believe the Tiburon event Oct. 8 has the consumer session on-record.


Marion Asnes

Marion Asnes

April 17, 2013 — 7:04 PM

Yes, the session was open to the press this year.

Gail Graham

Gail Graham

April 17, 2013 — 10:04 PM

To back up Marion’s comment, the woman was an investor, manages her family extensive affairs and is a top architect. She happened to admit to being “unsophisticated “ but I suspect she was merely being honest about a truth: we tend to overwhelm investors with jargon and paperwork. Her point was “I just want to know how I am doing” – sounds pretty smart.

Women notice these things….she would have been offended. Just a reminder as its the type of experience that frustrates women when they deal with our industry as investors.

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

April 17, 2013 — 10:22 PM

Gail and Marion,

I’m excited to see women really beginning to speak up on these issues — and you two especially. I’m working on two big women-related pieces right now. One of them is a debriefing of a recent young wealthy widow who did an extensive search for an advisor and what she experienced and who she finally picked and why. The other is a more general essay on the topic that is tying me in knots.

I’m realizing that this is an issue that requires a very wholebrained approach and I’m glad that people are at least trying to think that way.

Knowing Alex, I doubt there was any slight intended at all. But still, I think it’s great when us men get policed. It’ll benefit the whole RIA business when it gets a grip on taking it up a few notches in serving women — or just talking to women in welcoming, helpful ways.


Marion Asnes

Marion Asnes

April 17, 2013 — 11:05 PM

Thanks for your comment, Brooke. I am certain that Alex Potts had no intention of slighting women. In a way, though, that’s the problem. Attitudes toward women are so deeply ingrained that even the nicest folks are not aware that they are putting women down. So it’s up to us to call attention to it.

Looking forward to reading your stories.

My very best,

Gail Graham

Gail Graham

April 17, 2013 — 11:48 PM

Alex is wonderful, no worries there! Marion and I just want to help the industry be better in reaching this important and big audience. If you aren’t in our shoes you may not even see how slights or miscommunications can occur. We are happy to help you in any efforts to advance women as both advisers and as clients. It’s good business.


Marie Swift

Marie Swift

April 18, 2013 — 4:05 AM

Hi all,

Interesting discussion.

When I read “a woman who manages her (considerable) family finances” I actually thought that was meant to be a compliment, not a slight. I had the privilege of spending few minutes with these three generous folks before they took to the stage, and thought they were all very smart and accomplished.

Yes, I can confirm that (1) the consumer panel at Tiburon CEO Summit XXIV (just concluded, NYC, April 2013) was open to the press (2) the consumer panel at Tiburon CEO Summit XXV (upcoming, San Francisco, October 2013) will be open to the press (Brooke, hope to see you there). For each and every Tiburon CEO Summit, a special steering committee decides on which sessions will be open to the press, so future Tiburon CEO Summits may not have the same open-to-the-press sessions.

I just went back and re-read the article Brooke wrote about the Loring Ward investor panel held in June 2012 – it’s an interesting complement to the article on this page (see link in Brooke’s introductory note above).

Marion Asnes

Marion Asnes

April 18, 2013 — 7:28 PM

HI Marie,
Based on your comment, I went back and read Brooke’s article about Loring Ward’s investor panel and you’re right—the two articles are complementary. And kudos to Loring Ward for inviting investors to share the good, bad and ugly. That takes commitment.

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Mentioned in this article:

Tiburon Strategic Advisors
Consulting Firm
Top Executive: Charles Roame

Buckingham Strategic Partners
TAMP, Asset Manager for RIAs
Top Executive: Alex Potts

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