How Orion Picked Natalie Wolfsen to Be CEO

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Natalie Wolfsen, newly appointed chief government officer of Orion Advisor Options, is rising as one of many business’s brightest stars.

Wolfsen, the outgoing CEO of AssetMark, a turnkey asset administration platform and expertise supplier to monetary advisors, started her new job Oct. 16. 

Wolfsen, who joins the board of administrators and can keynote the agency’s Orion Ascent 2024 occasion March 12-15 in San Diego, is tasked with main Orion into “a brand new period of innovation, [which] goes to be essential to advisors and buyers,” Charles Goldman, Orion’s government chairman of the board of administrators, tells ThinkAdvisor in a current telephone interview.

TAMP Orion helps 1000’s of impartial advisory corporations and — mixed with its Redtail Expertise and Orion OCIO — providers $3.8 trillion in property below administration and $64.3 billion of wealth administration property.

Discussing the choice course of to switch Eric Clarke, Orion’s founder and CEO who in Could introduced he would retire on the finish of 2023, Goldman says that Wolfsen was chosen not solely due to her “deep, lengthy understanding of impartial advisors” but additionally as a result of she match the invoice as somebody who would drive change and has “a client-first mentality.”

Goldman and Wolfsen have identified one another for 20 years, working collectively at Charles Schwab along with AssetMark.

Earlier than shifting to AssetMark in 2014, Wolfsen held funding platform improvement, technique and advertising roles at First Eagle Funding Administration, Pershing, Schwab and American Categorical.

In March 2021, Goldman left AssetMark, the place he was president and CEO, and joined Orion’s board of administrators. He was named government chairman in Could. Wolfsen succeeded Goldman as CEO at AssetMark, the place she had been chief options officer and government vice chairman.

Goldman, who began his profession in 1987 as an analyst at Bankers Belief and was subsequently with Bain & Co., Genstar Capital and different personal fairness corporations, left AssetMark after practically eight years as a result of “I used to be able to go on to one thing else, and the board was prepared for brand new management,” he says within the interview.  

Listed here are highlights of our dialog:

THINKADVISOR:  Orion carried out a nationwide seek for its new CEO. Natalie Wolfsen, finally chosen, had been proper below your nostril! Wasn’t she?

CHARLES GOLDMAN: Sure [laughs]. That’s the way it occurred.

What are Wolfsen’s fundamental qualities that make her proper for the function?

Initially, Natalie has a deep, lengthy understanding of impartial advisors and impartial broker-dealers. So she stood out from everybody we spoke to greater than anyone when it comes to her understanding {the marketplace}.

She has deep expertise serving advisors, constructing progressive expertise options for asset administration and portfolio development.

Her base of information and expertise on this house is excellent.

You and Wolfsen labored collectively earlier than. Was she your protege? Have been you her mentor?

Natalie and I’ve labored collectively for a protracted, very long time, and he or she succeeded me as CEO at AssetMark. I’ve identified her for 20 years.

I’d hope that she considers me a mentor. I’ve been across the block and mentored plenty of executives at AssetMark, Schwab, Constancy — a community of individuals I’ve labored with that are actually sitting in CEO jobs.

To what extent will you be giving recommendation to Wolfsen in her new function?

I’m [executive] chairman of the board, so my job is to work with the CEO to ship higher outcomes for advisors. 

My expectation is that I’ll work with Natalie as she wants me to take action, and because the board of administrators wants me to. And I’ll mentor her in any manner I can.

Was Wolfsen’s identify behind your thoughts while you began the seek for a brand new CEO?

Sure, together with in all probability a dozen different individuals who have been on my unique record of individuals to succeed in out to.

What’s the “new period of innovation,” as you’ve put it, that she’s anticipated to convey to Orion?

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