Nancy Matta is a senior vice president at UBS Wealth Management. Her New York, New York-based team manages $176 million in custodied assets. She was named a Best-In-State Wealth Advisor and Top Woman Advisor this year.
After starting her career in insurance, Matta became interested in financial planning and says her degree in psychology has proved useful. After more than four decades in financial services, she wants to inspire more women to get into the business of wealth management.
Being a woman in the male-dominated field of wealth management:
When Matta first looked into the financial services space after graduating from college, she faced discrimination based on her gender. During interviews she was asked about her plans around marriage and having children. As a woman at the time, employers just wanted to know if she could type, according to Matta.
However, Matta says being a woman as well as her Puerto Rican heritage helped her get hired. But, she says that those employers didn’t actually thing she was going to be successful.
“I was just pegged as Hispanic and a woman so they could say they have ‘done diversity,” Matta says. “I liked the challenge, because I was told, ‘you’re a woman, you’re not going to make it.’”
Now with all that experience under her belt and having worked for two major wirehouses, Matta wants to see more women enter the field.
“I would love to inspire women, it’s been a great career for me, I get to help people.”
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The role of a financial advisor:
Matta sees lots of competition for financial advisors from internet-based brokerages and sees the role of a financial advisor as critical in being the voice of reason, something that was especially necessary in the early days of Covid-19 as markets plummeted.
“I had a relatively new client who called me last year and told me to sell everything, this was his retirement money. It took four conversations to explain to him that he had 15 years before retirement and to calm him down. He did not sell any of it, thankfully, because if you look at where we are, markets are up over 80% from March of last year,” she says. “I feel that I really got my job done in that situation.”
Matta says that her psychology degree has been helpful as there is a lot of psychology involved in the role of a financial advisor.
“One of the biggest parts of being a financial advisor is being the voice of reason when everybody is ready to panic,” she adds.
While there continues to be lots of competition to the profession from online brokerages and passive index investing, Matta feels that challenging times such as the last year provide a good example of how a financial advisor can be so useful.
Meeting with clients during Covid:
Over the last year, meeting with clients has been challenging as stay-at-home orders and social distancing have prevented getting together in person. Matta always enjoyed meeting clients face-to-face but had to switch over to Skype. While most clients have been okay with that transition, it has been challenging for older clients.
“All the meetings that I’ve had in person with my clients have laid the groundwork so that this really wasn’t much of a hiccup. We’ve been able to have our regular review meetings, and been able to really help.”