Meeting Estee is an experience that remains within one’s experiences forever. Estee is warm, engaging, and always welcoming with a smile. I first met Estee years ago and was immediately impressed with her outgoing manner, her invitation to conversation, and a genuine interest in who you are and what you do. I’m sure that Estee is not aware of how impressive she is and how much of an impression she made on me. Over the years I have watched in awe of her amazing journey up the ranks to her current position at Primerica. We are honored to present Estee’s story.
– Maree Moscati, CEO, Copytalk
Chief Executive Officer
Share how your career path has helped you get where you are today.
Estee: I make no apologies about consistently wanting more responsibility and bigger roles throughout my career. And that has sometimes meant that I needed to change firms to get to that next level. And that’s an important decision point. For example, you might have a strong loyalty to your current firm, and feel you’re ready for that next step, but the next step is impossible at your current firm because either the role doesn’t exist, or it’s currently occupied by somebody else. I had an instance where I felt my career plateaued because I waited too long for that “next level” moment to come about, and I resolved to never let that happen again. In order to continue to advance my career, I had to be open to switching firms, and that’s something that’s served me well.
Another thing I’ve learned, and this is really, really important: Don’t be afraid to stretch and be uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to take risks. I have been very uncomfortable so many times in my career. It is not fun. It can be deeply unpleasant. But I firmly believe that it’s only through being challenged to the point of being uncomfortable—and then surmounting that—that you are able to get to the next level and truly progress in your career development.
But with that said, it’s very important to know what’s really important to you—what exactly your goals are. And your goals may be a very fluid thing throughout your career. Allowing yourself to have changing goals, and accepting that goals and priorities will almost be a moving target, is critically important. We have countless demands on our time, and priorities are constantly shifting. “Having it all” is a fallacy. I can assure you, no one does. Something always has to give. Accepting that is crucial.
As I’ve advanced in my career, I’ve definitely learned the value of authenticity. I enjoy seeing people’s authentic nature, and I enjoy letting people see mine. This usually means not being afraid to ask the “stupid” questions that everyone wants to ask anyway! One of the worst dynamics is an environment where people are uncomfortable asking questions and challenging the status quo.
Who is one of your most influential mentors and why?
Estee: I don’t and have never had a formal mentor relationship. Instead, I have many informal mentors, and 90% of them probably don’t even know it. I have learned so much from so many different people. There’s almost always something you can take away from your relationships, both positive and negative. So don’t assume that you can only learn from a dedicated mentor/mentee relationship. There’re so many opportunities to learn if you just have an open mind and aren’t afraid to ask questions. Almost every interaction, project, conversation etc. is truly an opportunity to learn and grow.
With over 25 years of experience, Estee Faranda has had leadership roles ranging from operations to distribution in several different sectors of financial services; from Retirement Plans to Advisory to FinTech. At Primerica, Estee heads up the securities division, specifically the retail Broker Dealer and Investment Advisory business lines. In her previous role at Envestnet, Estee built the asset management network and was responsible for all asset management product on the platform, as well as the economic model between Envestnet and the thousands of product providers distributing through its platform. Prior to joining Envestnet, Estee spent eight years at Morningstar Investment Management, where she led their National Accounts team. Estee was on the Board of Governors of the Money Management Institute (MMI), named one of the 2018 Women to Watch by Investment News, named one of the 16 Top Women in Wealth Tech by Investment Advisor magazine, is on the board of EIOC’s Women in Wealth Management, is on the mentorship committee of Women in ETFs, and is passionate about both mentoring and the advancement of women in financial services. Estee attended Kean University and spent six years in the United States Naval Reserve.