“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
Director of Technology Client Engagement, BNY Mellon Pershing LLC
Michelle Feinstein is a Director for BNY Mellon’s Pershing in Technology and has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of client engagement, strategy and product development for wealth management.
As Director of Technology Client Engagement, Michelle manages a team responsible for communicating Pershing’s technology strategy, and consulting broker-dealers and advisory firms on ways Pershing can help them grow, scale and compete. This team acts as experts on Pershing technology offerings for advisors and investors, demonstrating solutions with a focus on digital transformation, integration, collaboration and efficiency.
Michelle leads the planning and execution of Pershing’s Technology Advisory Board where executives from many of Pershing’s most strategic clients gather to collaborate on technology trends, impacts, integration strategy and new design concepts.
In 2019 Michelle was recognized by Investment Advisor magazine as one of 16 women in its inaugural “Top Women in WealthTech” story. She was also named Consultant of the Year by Waters magazine’s for its Women in Tech and Data Awards.
Amy: Tell us something about yourself that most people aren’t aware of.
Michelle: What most people DO know about me is that I have been in the wealth management industry for more than 20 years. What they do NOT know about me is that if I could reset my career and go back in time, I would love to be a news anchor on “The Today Show”—like Katie Couric. That was a passion of mine, to travel the world and report on world events. I am also passionate (obsessed probably) with bulldogs. I have a beautiful English bulldog named Bear at home. My goal is to adopt at least three more. I also have three amazing children, and I consider Bear my fourth child.
Amy: How has your career path helped position you where you are today?
Michelle: I was a communications major and an English major in college. I ended up graduating with a teaching degree in elementary education. As much as I love working with children, life took me down a different path and I ended up not using my teaching degree.
Instead, was offered a job at Pershing. I worked for a part of the company in online discount brokerage called the PC Financial Network. Back then, this was a cutting edge concept—something that was just taking off in the industry—and it put me on the path to learning about technology and the ways it can enhance the wealth management experience. It was great because my journey through Pershing and some other companies always put me on the client-facing side, where I held roles in business development and relationship management, technology, product strategy and technology product management. Each position gave me the opportunity to stretch, grow and use my teaching skills.
I love being a storyteller. I realized that I was telling the story about what was happening in the industry. What are the trends? What is impacting businesses? Why should clients care, and how can they apply technology to help move their firm forward?
Today, I manage a team of technology client engagement specialists. Together, we are responsible for communicating Pershing’s value proposition and technology strategy. We give end-to-end demonstrations of technology solutions that support the advisor experience, the investor experience and our integration services and capabilities.
It was interesting how even though I did not want to teach, I have been teaching for most of my career. I have been teaching executives and advisors about technology solutions and how technology can reimagine the client experience and transform organizations.
Amy: What advice would you share with women entering the industry?
Michelle: I would recommend they study the wealth management space, the needs and preferences of advisors and investors and the impact emerging technology will have on these firms. I think a great place to begin is to have, what I call, a river of information at your fingertips at all times … listen to podcasts by advisors and leaders in the space, follow thought leaders and third-party providers on social media, read blogs, read news on FinTech firms, custodians and wealth management firms and understand where they are focused.
Use the technology yourself. Understand what defines a great experience and how expectations have changed over the years. Communication skills are critical to success in any role in wealth management.
Knowledge is power. And to really add value, anyone entering the industry should constantly gather technology knowledge in the wealth management space.