Women to Watch

An early mentor once advised Rene Nourse, founder and managing director of Urban Wealth Management in El Segundo, Calif., "If you want to be successful, you have to be in places where you'll stand out." 
As an African-American female professional in the financial industry, that is no problem. 
Over 30-plus years, having overcome many challenges as a minority adviser, Ms. Nourse has responded by working to make the industry more hospitable to other women and people of color. 
To that end, she actively supports the Association of African American Financial Advisors, known as Quad-A, which is working with the Financial Planning Association to recruit more diverse people to the industry. 
Regarding women in the industry, Ms. Nourse has observed that they still face particular barriers. 
"What's different for women is that we go through the training process, we do well, but then get dropped into a sales environment. Part of the reason many women fall out is because we're more relationship-oriented," she said. 
The industry needs to adapt and create a sustainable environment to support female advisers' and clients' communication styles and their prefer­ences for collaboration, teamwork, feedback and strategic planning, Ms. Nourse said. "Not only do we work differently than men, but women clients see invest­ing as a means to an end, not the endgame," she said. 

Nominations for the Women To Watch award are submitted by independent third parties and not by the nominee. Nominees must meet a set of specific criteria. The selection process is overseen and administered by the Women to Watch nomination committee of InvestmentNews, a financial services industry publication. Nominees do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of awardees. Once the selection process is completed and announced, awardees may at that time,  purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products, payable to Investment News. Professionals from all sides of the financial advisory industry, including registered investment advisers, registered representatives, financial planners, brokers, insurance agents, certified public accountants, bank trust officers, firm executives and those working for industry organizations are reviewed by the InvestmentNews nomination committee. 

InvestmentNews will determine nominees’ eligibility for the Women to Watch list based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated success and leadership in the financial advisory industry
  • Proven ability or power to effect change in the industry
  • Exhibited willingness to share her expertise with others in the field, including by serving as a mentor or role model to other female professionals in the industry and speaking at industry events
  • Has given back to her community through such activities as sitting on boards, volunteering and donating time to help investors