Hear and Persevere: Inspiring Stories of Dynamic Women – Abby Salameh

“This girl is on fire!” is how one of Abby Salameh’s testimonials reads, and I have to say that she is one of those proverbial professionals where to know her is to absolutely adore and respect her. Awarded the “CMO of the Year” by Wealth Management, Abby is also described as “one of those gifted leaders that elevates everyone around her. She’s creative, brilliant, and genuinely cares about the people she encounters!” I couldn’t say it any more eloquently. 

In fact, sitting with Abby during dinner one evening, we uncovered a passion that we both share: riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles! Yes, we both have a love for the open road – kindred spirits for sure. 

– Maree Moscati, CEO

Abby Salameh

Chief Marketing Officer, CAIS

Managing Director, CAIS IQ

Maree: Abby, please share with our audience how you got involved in marketing. Not only in marketing, but marketing within the world of financial services.

Abby: It’s an interesting story because I had an unconventional beginning to my career as a marketing professional. I’m not a classically-trained marketer. This role wasn’t what I had anticipated doing with my career, and I just happened to fall into it.

I always knew I wanted to be in financial services. For whatever reason, I was drawn to financial services. Even though when I started in the business, again, like yourself, it was predominantly a male-dominated industry.

My first foray into publishing was when I launched Investment News with the team that was the founders. I was meeting with all of these asset managers, custodians, and technology vendors, to try to get them to advertise with a new publication.

Maree: I had no idea that you were involved in launching Investment News - that’s one of my favorite periodicals!

Abby: I was a newly married young woman, traveling all the time for years, and realized that if I was ever going to have a family, I needed to not be on the road as much.

TD Waterhouse was an advertising client of ours and was just starting out in the custodial services business. I had gotten to know the leadership team there from my Investment News days and they tapped me and said, “You know, come on board and help us start this custodian. Do you have any interest in marketing?”

I said yes, without a second thought. I was extremely determined, and I had learned from my previous years of experience that if I ever encountered a roadblock or challenge, I would be able to figure it out. I was initially hired to build out the marketing organization, and then stayed on to build out a whole host of other things at TD.

To come full circle, that was how I began my career in marketing. I immediately fell in love with the strategy behind marketing, which so many people take for granted, because a true marketer understands the business needs and then digs through how they can utilize marketing to help reach their goals.

After taking some time off to spend with her growing family of three young children, Abby decided it was best for everyone in the household if she was working. She obviously loves what she does and she states that working is in her DNA. Her love for the Financial Services Advisory business is where she wanted to be, but she didn’t want to return to Corporate America.

Abby then joined two gentlemen who had started an RIA firm called Private Advisor Group. They proceeded to build that business to a $26 billion firm. Marketing was one of Abby’s responsibilities, as well as corporate communications, event planning, event planning, strategic relations, and a whole host of other things.

Abby then took her career path over to a private equity firm, TLH, that is the capital partner for Hightower. They were coming and bringing Bob Oros as the CEO. Oros called and asked if she wanted to come over to Hightower. Abby decided to take the “leap.” She remained there for about two years, and then the unprecedented pandemic hit everyone.

Nine months later, Abby was soul-searching as to what she really wanted to do next in her professional endeavors. What was truly interesting to her? What did she see advisors struggling with where she believed she could make a difference and help them?

That led her to alternative investing and fintech.

Abby: CAIS is a fintech platform that bridges the gap for independent advisors that are trying to access diligence, transact, and monitor alternative investments. It seemed to fit a number of my own interests, having seen firsthand the struggles that advisors had with alternative investing. I ended up reaching out to the firm and I said, “I noticed you don’t have any women on your executive team, and you don’t have a chief marketing officer if you’re interested in chatting.” To CAIS’ credit, someone reached out to me, and we had great conversation that led to more conversations. A month later, I officially joined the team.

Maree: Abby, I absolutely LOVE your story. What an incredible journey with many educated and calculated risks and leaps. You truly are a “girl on fire”!

Abby: It’s been a little over two years, and it’s been an incredible journey. It also has been a big learning experience for me, having never worked at a fintech firm before, which is very different from a wealth management firm. Also, working with alternative asset managers, and alternative products, is a super different change for me. However, it’s been very exciting.

Maree: Wow. Such similar experiences we have. I went from wealth management retail into the fintech space, It is a huge transition, but you know, you surround yourself with great people. And as you stated, you figure it out along the way. So in your opinion as a very prolific speaker, what is one of the most dynamic subjects that you feel is prevalent in today's environment?

Abby: Talking about how we can break down those barriers to provide independent advisors with the solutions that they need to help diversify their client portfolios is an area that I love to speak about. Tech education is just one solution to help advisors. Being able to discuss this aspect of the business has been extremely rewarding. I also am very passionate about empowering women in the financial industry. I think those two areas need some support and it’s something that’s always appealed to me. As I get older, I’m recognizing the greater need to spend more energy and give more of myself to help those two causes.

It’s extremely challenging to be a female executive in a male dominated industry, of which I still am, to raise children, and try to find that ever-elusive balance of life that does not really exist. I feel like that’s a calling for me, as I get more and more involved in helping and mentoring more women as well as helping and supporting organizations that provide pro bono services for women to understand their finances better. While this topic is fairly new to me personally, I hope to be doing more of that in the future.

Maree: Abby, I have to salute you for all your efforts and sadly. It’s the same conversations I have heard and have had for women in financial services for over 30 years. However, the tide is turning even though we still have a long way to go. It is heartening for me to see so many younger women really embracing the industry both in fintech and financial services, but they still face many challenges. And I am a firm believer, as you are, that those of us who have been in the forefront of this challenge and have lived (and survived) through it have an obligation to pay it forward. What advice can you give women who are considering entering, or just entered, this wonderful world of financial services and fintech?

Abby: Life is a journey, and you never know if you’re making the right decisions or not. There are times that you want to lean in more, and do more, and be more, and go for it from a professional perspective. There are also times that you want to lean out, and lean back, and stay home. There’s no right or wrong answer. Unfortunately, no one can give you that answer. They can only be supportive in giving you the permission to make the decision that you want to make at that moment in time.

I would say that for younger women looking at getting into or climbing the ladder in financial services, it’s important to be truthful with them, to let them know that you really can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.

Unfortunately, there are sacrifices that are made in this quest to have it all. If you’re all in and you’re working your **** off and you’re working a million hours to stay ahead, or to get that executive level role, then something is sacrificing them together. On the other side, if you decide to stay home — which is a noble cause to stay home — it’s not easy.

I’ve been very blessed and very lucky to be able to come in and out of the industry a few times. I think that’s because of my authenticity and the relationships that I’ve built with men and women in the industry that I kept in touch with. When I was ready to step back in, I had champions and advocates who were ready to help me.

I think that one of the most important facets of professional development to keep in mind is to never burn a bridge. You should only be truthful to who you are. If you only do everything with good intentions, things come back to you threefold.

Maree: Wow! Truer words have not been spoken! What a journey you have been on, and I am so grateful to be able to share your story with all our readers – so one final question for you Abby, tell us something about yourself that they wouldn’t necessarily know about you?

Abby: I just went to my 100th U2 concert. I have gone to U2 concerts all around the world, and I attended my 100th concert in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.

Maree: Abby, it’s truly been an honor, and welcome to being one of our most “Dynamic Women”! You are an inspirational leader – with gratitude!


Abby Salameh serves as CAIS’ Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director of CAIS IQ, where she leads the firm’s brand and media strategy, corporate communications, channel marketing, conferences/events and the CAIS IQ business unit. Ms. Salameh has over 20 years of experience in the independent wealth ecosystem. Before joining CAIS, she served as Hightower’s Chief Marketing Officer, taking the firm through a strategic rebrand that helped support the transformation of the firm from a recruiter of ex-wirehouse advisors into a serial acquirer of RIAs.

Prior to that, Ms. Salameh was CMO at Private Advisor Group, a $20 billion RIA, where she spent six years creating top-line solutions for independent advisors and driving both organic and inorganic growth. She has also previously held leadership positions at Fusion Advisor Network, where she successfully led the company’s sale to NFP, and was Head of Marketing for Institutional Services at TD Ameritrade and TD Waterhouse Institutional Services. Ms. Salameh began her career at Sanford C. Bernstein before moving on to become a founding member of the team that launched Investment News.

Ms. Salameh is a member of the FSI Growth & Marketing Council, a member of the Invest in Others Board of Directors, a vetted industry speaker and a regular volunteer at her local animal shelter. She holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Hofstra University.