Welcome back for the sixth episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!
This week’s guest is Eleanor Blayney, one of the founding partners of Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros, & Blayney – now known as SBSB – an early leader in the world of independent RIAs that quickly grew to a billion dollars under management in the early 2000s before it was sold to Harris Bank. Eleanor is also an author, and currently the CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate.
On this episode, I talk with Eleanor Blayney about the challenges of growing an independent RIA as a woman in a male-dominated industry, starting with how she first learned of the world of financial advice by reading about it in MONEY and Washingtonian magazines, and then cold called well-known advisors in the DC area until she found her way to her first job… and followed a path that ultimately led to her to becoming a partner at the firm despite not bringing her own book of clients.
From there, Eleanor talks about how SBSB grew its first billion of AUM so rapidly, by providing a combination of financial planning, investment management, and tax preparation services and forming a niche specialization advising on stock options for tech companies during the 1990s tech boom, and what it was like to sell the firm and transition into her current role as an author and industry advocate.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Eleanor weighs in on the controversial question of whether women should be considered a “niche” in financial services, and her advice on how to survive as a woman in a male-dominated industry (and what male advisors could do to be more supportive of industry diversity!).
So whether you’re a woman trying to find your own path in the world of financial planning, or simply an advisory firm owner looking for inspiration on how to carve a path to a billion dollar firm, I hope you enjoy this latest episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast with Eleanor Blayney!