“Women, I hear you. And I revere you.
As a woman, and especially as a female CEO, I cherish the dynamic women whose counsel and support have inspired me to persevere throughout my career. And I cherish our own Amy Yoder, who has partnered with me to tell their stories – stories of how women overcame formidable challenges to rise to the top of their respective fields. For this new Copytalk initiative, Amy will focus her incredible talents on interviewing these woman and writing their stories, which we will publish as an ongoing series. Why are we doing this? Because I’m confident that these amazing stories – extraordinary women all – have something of great value to offer you, as well.”
– Maree Moscati, CEO, Copytalk
Founder and President of The Rudin Group
Founder and President of The Rudin Group, April J. Rudin is widely acknowledged as a top marketing strategist for the financial-services and wealth-management sectors. Distinguished by her ability to forecast and leverage critical trends, and by her expertise in digital and traditional media, she leads a firm that designs bespoke marketing campaigns for some of the world’s leading wealth-management firms, fintechs, and family offices; campaigns that strengthen brand value and drive client acquisition. The Rudin Group was founded in 2008.
April is recognized by Onalytica as the #1 “Influencer” in wealth management, and regularly-featured source of expert commentary to international news and business outlets, trade publications, and broadcast media. She is an annual contributor to the Capgemini World Wealth Report; produces the CFA Institute’s Annual Outlook for U.S. Wealth Management; and speaks about wealth, next-gen, and fintech at conferences in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa. April is also a contributor to the Wealthtech book.
April has created an extensive repertoire of thought leadership that has appeared in Huffington Post, American Banker, CFA Enterprising Investor, Family Wealth Report, Fundfire, Wealthmanagement.Com, and heads the editorial board for NexChange, a global fintech start-up based in Hong Kong and serves on the Board of MiradorLLC, a wealthtech firm providing concierge reporting for U/HNW. A member of the Private Asset Management advisory board, she also serves as a judge for the FT Wealthtech awards, Family Wealth Report’s Annual Wealth Management Industry Awards, and Canada’s Wealth Professional Awards.
April is the mother of two sons who are quick to point out that they considered her an “influencer” well before Onalytica did.
Amy: Share how your career path positioned you to be where you are today.
April: Sometimes I call myself the original millennial girl because I was hired in the late ‘80s by Kelly Services, the temporary help company. The president of the company asked me one question. “Do you know the Wang word processor?” And I said, “Yes.” He said, “You’re hired, because we don’t.”
It was at that inflection point that companies needed to automate themselves, so before my very eyes and with my help, I saw Kelly turn from a staffing company into a technology company. That’s what enabled me to understand so much of what’s happening in wealth management, which is turning to digital.
I started my business, The Rudin Group, in 2008. I went to a friend of mine who was the CEO of a major global bank, and I said to him, “Hey, I have this idea for a business, which is a wealth management financial services marketing firm.” He told me, “You’re too old to be an entrepreneur. Banks will never hire outside firms. High-net-worth people will never be on the Internet, and social media is a fad.” So the minute I heard all of that, I went home and started my business.
Amy: What are you really excited to see that’s happening in the wealth management technology space right now?
I wrote for CFA Institute’s Annual Wealth Management Outlook, and for many years, I’ve written about technology. Last year, I wrote about partnership, and what I’m really excited about is that there is plenty of technology and lots of different choices. But what I see happening now is integration and implementation. People are actually doing things and enabling technology. After watching people sit on the sidelines for such a long time, it’s really a thrilling thing for me to see.
Amy: As the #1 influencer in wealth management, what can you share with women just entering the business and in particular, in the fintech space?
April: As an industry, we haven’t done a good job making people aware of the fact that it is a great field and a great industry, so I would back up to that and say we need to do a better job for women in particular. It’s beholden on us professionals to get the word out that there are many different ways to enter this sort of vast sector.
It’s a very portable career, and that makes it amazing for women. Today, it’s not so much where you live, but it’s who you work with and what your specialization is. Marketing, and particularly digital marketing, can help carry your methods, and so you can acquire clients based on your specialization. Your physical location is not a barrier, and it’s portable from that standpoint.
Also, you can set your own hours as a financial advisor, for example, or an entrepreneur, such as myself. That makes it portable and accessible. People can work as many hours as they want or as many days as they want.
And then the other area of portability is that you can take your book of business from one platform to another platform and still remain really seamless. So from every sense of the word, I think it becomes a really good career with a very portable skill set and portable client base.