Teach your children the value of money and saving at a young age. For example, we sometimes do “stock market games” with children. We educate them about the markets, let them pick companies they know and interact with on a day to day basis, and create a “sample portfolio” that they can track.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Fox . Julie is the Market Head of the Mid-Atlantic Private Wealth Market business. Previously, she served as National Sales Manager and led our sales effort for both the Field Sales team and the sales organization. She was responsible for the sales strategy and direction of all field-facing resources both internally and externally to ensure consistency across our sales efforts in how we deliver products and solutions to Financial Advisors and clients. A 17-year veteran of UBS, Julie was instrumental in launching the UBS Global Family Office Group, a unique offering in the industry serving the needs of UHNW clients and their Advisors. Julie spent five years in the field in key branch roles as the Metro Regional Sales Manager. She also has seven years of experience in our Capital Markets group leading an array of teams and businesses. Additionally, Julie served as the management liaison between the FA Advisory Council and home office, ensuring a productive exchange of ideas and advisor-informed solutions. She also is the former co-chair for the firm’s Diversity Network (All Bar None) in the Americas. Julie played collegiate Division I tennis at Lehigh University and still plays frequently in New York City. She holds her executive M.B.A. from Fordham University. She has served on several non-profit boards in New York City. Julie, her husband Stephen, and sons Mason and Logan live in Long Island City, New York.
Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the finance industry?
I entered the financial services industry I like to say “by accident.” I was lucky enough to meet some great people who worked at UBS Financial Services who were also Lehigh University alumni. I had never taken a finance class and always wanted to work in sports. But, somehow I ended up starting my career on a sales/trading desk at UBS 17 years ago. I found that it was easy to learn the business from the people around me and that I had a true passion for the industry. It’s challenging, always something new to learn/changing, and I get to work with great people.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
In my role as the Market Head of our Mid-Atlantic Private Wealth Management business, we are working on exciting things every day. We focus on meeting the needs of exceptional families of great wealth and business owners, which takes experience, dedication and above all, trust. This is the foundation of the strong one-on-one relationships we have with our clients, and we apply our global resources as the world’s largest wealth manager to create tailored, comprehensive solutions to help them achieve life’s most important goals. This enables them to pass on their values and legacy to the generations to come.
And locally, in Philadelphia I am excited because I just helped to launch a new location (their 24th) for 100 Women in Finance in Philadelphia. 100 Women in Finance is an international non-profit organization whose goal is to give women in finance a place to network, educate and give back to the community. I am thrilled to help bring this to Philadelphia because there is a meaningful gap in women business organizations in the marketplace.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
UBS was just named for the 11th time to the “Working Mothers 100 Best Companies” list. This year, UBS was ranked first for their gender-neutral parental leave policies. I am proud to be at a firm that is recognized for their ongoing commitment to forward-thinking workplace programs in the areas of women’s advancement, parental leave, family support, flexibility and career development. I have been lucky enough to have had two boys during the last four years while working at UBS. During that time, I have still been able to progress in my career by taking on new roles, get promoted and be able to spend time with my family. It is never perfect, and we NEVER have enough time to do everything we want to, but it’s been a pretty incredible four years!
Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Wall Street and Finance used to be an “all white boys club”. This has changed a lot recently. In your opinion, what caused this change?
Wealth X just published their 2019 World Ultra Wealth report and in it they shared that “women make up a larger portion of the global UHNW population than ever before,” with a record-high population share of 14.6%. In the latest global UBS Investor Watch we surveyed women from nine countries on their approach to finances and found that 96% of women who share decisions equally with their spouse are more confident about their future. And that 91% of women are equally or more involved than their spouse in managing expenses. Women have a seat at the table now; in the workplace and at home when dealing with their personal finances. It is great to see this evolve and change!
Of course, despite the progress, we still have a lot more work to do to achieve parity. According to this report in CNBC, less than 17 percent of senior positions in investment banks are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a) individuals b) companies and/or c) society to support this movement going forward?
1) Companies can continue to ensure they have diversity at the top — we are seeing more focus on women on boards; both in the for profit and non-profit space.
2) Firms need to continue to have focus diversity efforts to help develop, promote and retain women.
3) Inclusion — it is not just about the women, the men need to be involved to help everyone accomplish this and without them no one will.
Let’s now turn to a slightly new topic. According to this report in Fortune, nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy. In your opinion or experience what is the cause of these unfortunate numbers? If you had the power to make a change, what 3 things would you recommend to improve these numbers?
I wouldn’t say that there is any one cause to point to, but one thing I do know is that starting from an early age is important and there are basic skills and programs in place that can help with this.
For example, we understand at UBS that financial literacy is extremely important, so we partnered with EverFi, the nation’s leading education technology company, to launch the UBS Financial Education Program. This program provides access to a series of digital, interactive personal finance courses for learners of all ages. Whether you’re trying to teach your middle school child the value of money, talk to your teenager about how to pay for college, or give your millennial confidence as they manage their finances on their own for the first time, there is a course available to introduce important financial concepts at key life stages. Our hope is that this program will inspire meaningful dialogue about money within families, and encourage everyone to learn responsible money habits that will enable them to plan for their financial futures. The more young people we can do this with, the more we can help to change the statistics.
Three things to take action:
a) Start financial literacy at a young age — sign up for a program like what we offer with EverFi at UBS
b) Teach your children the value of money and saving at a young age. For example, we sometimes do “stock market games” with children. We educate them about the markets, let them pick companies they know and interact with on a day to day basis, and create a “sample portfolio” that they can track
c) Help others — volunteer at your local schools and help teach financial literacy!
You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart investing what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?
Managing your finances can sound overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be. I like to tell people to think about it in these five simple terms and find a financial advisor you like and trust to help you put a plan in place to execute on this:
a) Think about your life and wealth along three key strategies: Liquidity, Longevity and Legacy
b) Each is designed to work in tandem throughout your life and beyond
c) Liquidity: what are your near-term expenses for entertainment, travel, taxes, purchasing a home? And what cash flow do you need to cover those expenses?
d) Longevity: what are your needs down the road — retirement, healthcare and long-term expenses (for you and your family), what other goals/longer term expenses will you have? How can you create a plan or a roadmap to make sure you will have the resources over the course of your life?
e) Legacy: what legacy do you want to leave behind? Philanthropy, wealth transfer over generations, giving to family?
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have been lucky enough to have great mentors and sponsors in my career — both men and women. Mentors are there to ask for advice and feedback on things like new roles, how to ask for promotions, issues you run into day to day, advice on a presentation. Sponsors advocate and speak for you and help you get jobs/promotions. It is important to have both. I found that the key is to do it naturally and to not force the relationship. Come prepared when you have discussions/meetings so you can use the time to get some good advice.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Every time I am on a panel, people always ask me “how do you have a good work-life balance.” The answer is- there is no perfect balance and it’s something we all struggle with. A few months ago I read an article that resonated — it was about Randi Zuckerberg’s new book, “Pick Three.” In it she says “We can only realistically do three things well every day. So, every day she wakes up, she thinks to herself: Work. Sleep. Family. Friends. Fitness. Pick Three”. You can pick a different three every day and as long as you end up picking everything over the long run, you can balance your imbalance. I have tried to use this thought process and it’s helpful to think about success and have realistic expectations.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Gender balance in corporate leadership is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Women can get experience and become involved with boards at any time during their career. Non-profits and junior boards are a great way to start and it helps teach the basics of board leadership that can prep us to take positions on corporate boards. If we do this right over time, companies can make progress in the number of women they have on their boards.
Thank you for all of these great insights!