Women in Leadership Spotlight

Featuring Cindy Nagel, CFP®, Director of Business Consulting

Financial Resources Group Investment Services supports women in leadership who have gone above and beyond to achieve for the benefit of our firm as well as the financial services industry. Over the coming months, we will be featuring a series of articles spotlighting women leaders at our firm and beyond.

With over 30 years of financial services experience, both in the institutional and independent channel, Cindy Nagel, CFP® Director of Business Consulting and Financial Planning at Financial Resources Group, understands the needs of advisors.

“It all begins and ends with relationships,” she said. ‘“I have ‘been in the shoes’ of advisors, so I know how important it is to provide a great client experience. It’s up to our team to help our advisors deliver that.”

A native Floridian and die-hard Gator fan, Cindy relocated from Florida to the Charlotte area for a second time, with her husband, Mark, their two grown children, Emily, 23; and Adam, 18; and their dog, Sophie.

Relationship Roots Lead to Financial Resources Group

“I had previously worked with Bruce Miller and several others at Financial Resources Group several years ago,” Cindy said. “Back around 2008-2009, I saw what an advocate Bruce was for advisors. Knowing his outstanding reputation in the industry, I reached out to him. After a position that aligned with my experience and goals opened at the firm – I was excited to learn more. After several meetings and discussions, I was privileged to join this stellar team, and relocated from Florida back to Charlotte. It’s been a fantastic move, personally and professionally.”

A Woman in the Male-Dominated Finance Industry

Being a woman in the male-dominated finance industry has presented its challenges for Cindy over the years, but she has managed to overcome. Back when her mother was making career decisions, her primary options for a profession were to be either a nurse or teacher. While those are noble professions, as a woman, her choices were limited.

“My mom became a kindergarten teacher.  She loved it and she was a fantastic one. Yet she still would have liked to have felt like she had more choices. She and my dad instilled in me that you can do whatever profession you want – no matter your gender,” Cindy said. Inspired by her father, who earned his Masters degree in Economics, Cindy took business courses at the University of Florida, and chose to become a Finance major.

“My first job was an insurance agent and I was the only woman out of 30 agents,” she said. “In fact, we shared one phone for every 4 agents in a large room and there was no privacy!  What you think when you hear ‘bullpen’. That teeth-cutting, ‘interesting’ experience tested my ability to adapt at being a female in an all-male setting. I’ve learned it’s all about how you handle situations that you’re presented with and interpersonal dynamics.”

Pleasantly Persistent with Solutions – Not Problems

Cindy has learned from her years of experience that it’s important to be “pleasantly persistent” and to come with solutions – not problems – when tackling challenges in the workplace. “If you’re having some challenges, set time on your coworker’s calendar, your manager’s calendar – whatever the situation may be – and come with potential solutions, not just problems,” she said. “Have purposeful conversations where you ask questions, have dialog, and share solutions for overcoming challenging situations.

Find a Mentor to Emulate

Cindy adds, “It’s also important to find someone – male or female – that you respect and want to emulate, a professional you admire, and observe how they handle situations. Offer to take that person to lunch and have purposeful career conversations. Also remember you can’t expect to climb the ladder overnight. You have to put in your time and be patient… but pleasantly persistent. Walk the walk.”

Advisor Advocate and Educator

“One thing I’ve learned is that advisors have a tough job,” Cindy said. “It can be rewarding, but challenging. The markets go up and down, clients can be demanding, many require handholding to keep them from selling their investments at the wrong time, and so on. My job when working with advisors may be a sounding board, problem solver, or educator, showing LPL tools and resources to make their jobs easier.”

Cindy adds, “Advisors I worked with over the years still reach out to me out of the blue because they know I’m their advocate and will do whatever I can to help them. That means a lot to me. I also seek to connect advisors and facilitate discussions – so they don’t feel like they’re on an island. It’s important that advisors hear from their peers.”

Blocking and Tackling

As a football fan, Cindy compares operations of institution programs and advisor practices as basic fundamentals – ‘blocking and tackling’. Relationships are key – but after relationships, make sure you’re sticking with the fundamentals – or best practices for growth. In institutions for example, that means activities like pipeline meetings, morning huddles, drip campaigns for clients, branch manager check-ins, and branch partner coaching meetings, etc.

Cindy adds, “I look at my job in working with advisors in two primary ways – being proactive and reactive. I’m reactive, meaning I want to ensure advisors know if they have an issue they are having trouble resolving, come to me – such as when there’s an escalation or problem that needs addressing.  I’m proactive in helping them with best practices for growing their practice however it works best for them.”

Fortune Favors the Bold

One of Cindy’s favorite lines is “Fortune favors the bold,” which she heard from the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. “You have to be bold to get what you want out of life. Fortune can mean different things to different people – the job, the experiences, whatever it may be,” she said. “For example, my daughter was very bold and brave in writing a letter to her favorite actor, Stephen Amell, telling him how his show “The Arrow” helped her deal with chronic pain.  She was hoping she could meet him at his panel at San Diego Comic Con to say thank you. Instead, he read her heartfelt letter and hosted us for the whole weekend! I was so proud of her for writing that letter.  Do what you’re passionate about. If you don’t know a certain area, learn it. Ask questions. If there’s something you want to do, get exposure to that area. Network, network, network!  Be bold to get what you want out of life.” 

Picture of Jennifer Hallmark, Director of Marketing

Jennifer Hallmark, Director of Marketing

"Fortune favors the bold. Go for what drives your passion, It's what life is all about!"

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