Kathie Andrade
Head of Individual Advisory Services, TIAA-CREF Financial Services

It's taken Kathie Andrade only a few years to transform TIAA-CREF's wealth management business.

When she joined as chief operating officer for Individual Advisory Services back in 2011, the unit had 66 offices and fewer than 300 advisers.

Today, there are more than 700 advisers with 125 offices around the country and a wide array of offerings — brokerage services and managed accounts among them. The unit is on track to more than double total sales as compared with when she began.

TIAA-CREF's focus is on serving clients in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields, among others. Its organic growth model relies on building trust within these segments, and Andrade is doing well in that regard. Under her leadership, 38% of qualified sales leads have been converted — significantly higher than the industry average, according to TIAA-CREF.

Andrade is enthusiastic about several technology initiatives that she expects to help improve the client experience. Among them is a new app for smartphones and iPads that lets clients view their accounts on the go, tap to schedule appointments, share files directly with their adviser and store them in a secure environment.

A key component of Andrade's talent acquisition strategy — one that is designed to increase diversity within her organization — is the Accelerated Advisory Development Program, a two- to four-year rotational program that prepares participants for careers in wealth management.

She came up with the idea as a way to get more women and underrepresented groups to enter the advisory field.

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