How Orion Picked Natalie Wolfsen to Be CEO

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 vital to advisors and buyers,” Charles Goldman, Orion’s government chairman of the board of administrators, tells ThinkAdvisor in a current cellphone interview.

TAMP Orion helps 1000’s of unbiased advisory companies and — mixed with its Redtail Expertise and Orion OCIO — providers $3.8 trillion in belongings underneath administration and $64.3 billion of wealth administration belongings.

Discussing the choice course of to exchange Eric Clarke, Orion’s founder and CEO who in Might introduced he would retire on the finish of 2023, Goldman says that Wolfsen was chosen not solely due to her “deep, lengthy understanding of unbiased 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 twenty years, working collectively at Charles Schwab along with AssetMark.

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

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 Might. 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 non-public fairness companies, left AssetMark after almost 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 below are highlights of our dialog:

THINKADVISOR:  Orion performed a nationwide seek for its new CEO. Natalie Wolfsen, in the end chosen, had been proper underneath your nostril! Wasn’t she?

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

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

To begin with, Natalie has a deep, lengthy understanding of unbiased advisors and unbiased broker-dealers. So she stood out from everybody we spoke to greater than anyone by way of her understanding {the marketplace}.

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

Her base of information and expertise on this area 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 an extended, very long time, and she or he succeeded me as CEO at AssetMark. I’ve identified her for 20 years.

I might hope that she considers me a mentor. I’ve been across the block and mentored lots of executives at AssetMark, Schwab, Constancy — a community of individuals I’ve labored with that at the moment are 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 means I can.

Was Wolfsen’s title at the back of your thoughts while you began the seek for a brand new CEO?

Sure, together with in all probability a dozen different individuals who had been on my authentic 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 carry to Orion?

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