Taking the next step
Samantha Trebesch is the new head of the Advisor Inclusion Networks
Samantha Trebesch has earned a reputation for building big ideas from the ground up. Since joining Raymond James in 2016, she has been an advocate for sustainable investing, co-founding the Raymond James Sustainable Investing Advisory Council in 2018. She was named the Private Client Group’s first head of sustainable investing in 2021. She’s also been a key member of several other high-profile initiatives from their inception, including the Private Client Group’s 2030 Vision, Branch of the Future real estate program, approach to Regulation Best Interest implementation, and the development of the firm’s private wealth advisor designation program.
But now she has a new challenge, not to create something from nothing, but to take something vibrant, essential and growing and make it even more so.
Trebesch, a senior vice president, is the new head of the Advisor Inclusion Networks. In this role, she aims to apply her signature approach to leadership – one that’s analytical, pragmatic and collaborative – and set the organization on a path to its future.
She hasn’t come in with a rigid agenda but, rather, an open ear, and a framework for making ideas tangible.
Her listening tour has already begun – daily conversations with network advisory council members, advisors, divisional leaders and others whose work or goals intersect with the Advisor Inclusion Networks.
“We have an amazing history to draw upon, and so many amazing people and partners who have been on this journey since it started,” Trebesch said. “To take the Advisor Inclusion Networks to their next iteration – to build on all the great work that has come before – it’s going to take focused, cooperative support behind a strategic roadmap with clear objectives that keep the mission top of mind.”
Part of this will be by encouraging ongoing engagement and collaboration, not just between networks, but between other key areas of the firm as well.
“I’m focused on collaboration across networks, advisors and the home office, engaging everyone from branch professionals to regional leaders to further our mission of attracting, retaining and empowering advisors from diverse backgrounds,” Trebesch said.
Between the tentpoles
At the start of this new era for the Advisor Inclusion Networks, expect programming to be a hot topic. The networks’ symposiums are powerful, exciting and high-profile events – Trebesch’s goal is to keep the enthusiasm rolling between those motivating moments.
“We have energizing symposiums, high-production events and a great community – so now it’s up to us to increase investment and impact behind the scenes,” Trebesch said. “For example, how we can better work with the Advisor Mastery Program (Raymond James’ training program for new advisors) to attract diverse talent and more importantly, ensure they succeed throughout the program? How can we expand internship and mentorship opportunities in advisor branches? Or work with our Succession & Acquisition Planning group to help new advisors find teams and established practices find next-generation talent from underrepresented groups?
“Needless to say, we’re still figuring out what this looks like. But we start by leaning on the experience and expertise of the advisory councils, to understand where the focus areas and objectives need to be. My background is in creating and executing upon strategic roadmaps – but in doing that, we have to make sure what’s on the page matches up with advisors’ lived experiences.”
“Empower others, build relationships and get strength from them, so that those connections become your solid foundation.”
The bigger picture
In addition to her responsibilities as the head of the Advisor Inclusion Networks, Trebesch will retain her role as the head of the Private Client Group’s sustainable investing program, supported by a new director who will focus on day-to-day operations.
In many ways, her two roles are related, Trebesch said. They are both about creating opportunity with capital, and they are both about aligning one’s actions with one’s values. These themes have been a throughline of her career. She has helped business units make connections with historically Black colleges and universities, as well as academic fraternities and professional organizations serving underrepresented communities. Additionally, she is a national co-chair of the Women’s Inclusion Network – a counterpart to the Advisor Inclusion Networks for home-office and corporate associates – and has helped plan its major events.
Even before her time at Raymond James, the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion guided her work. As the mathematics department chair at the United Nations International School of Hanoi, she created a microfinance instructional platform to help students understand firsthand the real-world power of capital in improving the livelihoods of those without access to traditional financing, namely women farmers and entrepreneurs in rural Vietnam. While helping to elevate individuals and their communities, it also taught her students that opportunity exists in overlooked places.
Leading the Advisor Inclusion Networks is the next step of this journey, she said.
“By empowering advisors from all backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities, genders and experiences, we not only see the impact in financial services, we see stronger connections to the communities we serve. By empowering a more diverse population of advisors, we are able to empower a more diverse population of clients. Raymond James was founded on the idea that finances should support one’s unique life and goals. The Advisor Inclusion Networks support that thinking – it’s essential to a firm that seeks to be as unique as the people we serve.”
This piece was featured in Aspire Magazine, a biannual publication from the Women Financial Advisors Network. View the latest.
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