Growing your network on LinkedIn helps build your brand awareness and form real connections with potential clients. And the best way to stay vigilant and find these opportunities to connect is to follow industry leaders.
Following these financial services thought leaders will help you stay on top of industry news and key conversations. They start conversations that create opportunities for you to engage with others in the space. It’s difficult to narrow the the industry down to a handful of “must follow” influencers, but here’s a solid start.
This is my list of 20 financial services leaders worth following on LinkedIn.
- Jamie Dimon, Chairman, and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co
Jamie runs the largest bank in the U.S. He began his career at American Express and later helped build modern-day Citigroup. In 2000, he became the BankOne CEO, and a year after BankOne was purchased by JP Morgan in 2004, he was named CEO. He has been named four times to Time Magazine's TIME 100 most influential people in the world list and Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders for 2018 list.
- Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest
Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, an innovative digital investment platform designed to help women reach their financial goals. She is one of the highest-ranked women ever to have worked on Wall Street, having held posts such as CEO of Smith Barney, CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and CFO of Citigroup. She has been profiled as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” in business, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, and more.
- Mohamed El-Erian, Advisor, International Advisory Group, GIC
Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian is Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz and President-elect of Queens' College, Cambridge University. A Financial Times contributing editor, Bloomberg Opinion columnist, Gramercy senior advisor and part-time Practice Professor at Wharton. He has authored two New York Times bestsellers.
- Bob Reynolds, President and CEO, Putnam Investments
Bob has been Putnam’s CEO for over 11 years, where he was the first financial services CEO on Twitter. Now with 160,000+ followers on LinkedIn, Bob is undoubtedly someone to follow. He posts regularly on market trends, industry news, and important company updates; and is the author of, From Here to Security. As a former NCAA College Football referee and former Vice-Chair at Fidelity, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more interesting financial services leader to follow on this platform.
- Adena Friedman, President, and CEO, Nasdaq
Listed among Forbe’s 40 most powerful women in 2015, Adena has served Nasdaq for over two decades. She is also an advocate for financial literacy and education and has served on the Board of the Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter of Junior Achievement, a non-profit that supports youth in their journey to financial independence.
- Aaron Klein, CEO, Riskalyze
Aaron is the Co-Founder and CEO at Riskalyze. His groundbreaking firm makes it easy for advisors to help their clients understand risk. He also co-founded Hope Takes Root with his wife Cacey, which is an initiative to use vocational training and life mentoring to change the future for orphans and at-risk kids in Ethiopia. He posts frequently on industry news and trends, and always looks to shout out his team.
- Ray Dalio, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman, Bridgewater Associates
Ray is the founder of the world's biggest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates, which manages $160 billion. He's also the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Principles: Life and Work. He was ranked third on Forbes 2019 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers.
- Margaret Keane, CEO, Synchrony Financial
Margaret led the Retail Card platform at GE Capital as President and CEO, later expanding her responsibilities to become President and CEO of the GE Capital Retail Finance business in 2011. She began her career at Citibank where she provided leadership in Sales, Marketing, and Operations for over 16 years.
- Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal
Dan has managed PayPal’s spin-out from eBay, and he’s overseen major acquisitions and partnerships. Before PayPal, Dan led AT&T, American Express, and Priceline, and he helped to launch Virgin Mobile. He has been recognized in Fortune’s 2017 top ten Business Person of the Year list.
- Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
Larry is Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, Inc. He also leads the firm’s Global Executive Committee. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of New York University and is Co-Chairman of the NYU Langone Medical Center Board of Trustees. Larry has been named one of the "World's Greatest Leaders" by Fortune, and Barron’s has named him one of the "World's Best CEOs" for 13 consecutive years.
- Alex Chalekian, CEO, Lake Avenue Financial
Alex is the founder and CEO of Lake Avenue Financial and has served as a financial consultant to many successful professionals, business owners, and retirees. He publishes content regularly to viewsfromthelake.com and maintains a highly active LinkedIn profile. His content varies both in format and topic, but be assured, you'll always come away with value.
- Robert Sofia, CEO, Snappy Kraken
Robert is the CEO of Snappy Kraken, a SaaS marketing solution that helps financial advisors personalize, automate, and track marketing campaigns and business processes. He frequently posts about the most innovative marketing techniques advisors can use to advance their practice. In 2015, Robert was recognized as a 30 under 30 winner from Power. He's the author of three books and has been featured in many publications including Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, INC, and Business Insider.
- Craig Iskowitz, Founder and CEO, Ezra Group LLC
Craig is the CEO and founder of Ezra Group, a strategy consulting firm providing technology and business advice to banks, broker-dealers, asset managers, private equity and fintech firms. In addition to providing customized solutions to the wealth management industry, Craig publishes WMToday, a blog offering the latest insight on technology for wealth, asset, and investment management professionals. Craig is also the host of the Wealth Management Today podcast where he discusses, dissects, and debates the latest news and trends in wealth management technology.
- Gavin Spitzner, President, Wealth Consulting Partners, LLC
Gavin is the President of Wealth Consulting Partners, a consultancy that advises Financial Institutions on how to leverage technology and implement best practices in Investment Platforms, Portfolio Management, Goals-Based Advice and Digital Advice. He’s always looking to improve the client experience and drive topline revenue and bottom line business results. He often posts about industry news, key events, and the latest trends in financial services. Gavin is a key leader to follow if you’re interested in financial technology platforms.
- Samantha Russell, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at Twenty Over Ten
Samantha focuses on helping advisors and others in financial services understand the value of their online presence. Always posting original content, Samantha is a must follow if you’re interested in FinTech marketing. Look out for a true mix of content that ranges from screenshots to written posts to original videos. If you want to more effectively manage your brand, look no further. Samantha was recently featured in InvestmentNews’ “40 under 40” and WealthManagement.com’s “10 to Watch”. And for good reason. She’s one of the best content creators in the industry. By following her, you’re guaranteed to learn something new every day.
- Steve Gresham, Managing Principal, The Execution Project, LLC
Steve is the Managing Principal of the Execution Project and current Managing Partner of Money Management Institute’s Next Chapter. He is an industry veteran with expertise in consulting and investing in wealth management. Steve can be found sharing his knowledge and insight into the Future of Financial Advice, and often sparks detailed discussions in the comments of his posts.
- Michael Kitces, Head of Planning Strategy, Buckingham Wealth Partners
Michael is the Head of Planning Strategy for Buckingham Wealth Partners, a private wealth management firm located in St Louis, Missouri, that oversees approximately $50 billion of client assets. He is the co-founder of the XY Planning Network, AdvicePay, fpPathfinder, and New Planner Recruiting. He is the publisher of the e-newsletter The Kitces Report and the popular financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View that is dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning.
- Clara Shih, Founder and Executive Chairwoman at Hearsay Systems
Clara is a truly unique voice in our industry. As a pioneer of social media in financial services, Clara built an extremely effective platform of solutions for compliant advisor communication at Hearsay. She is very active on LinkedIn, regularly posting articles that showcase her expertise as a true leader to watch. Follow Clara with confidence, knowing you’re going to get the most up-to-date and informed view of digital communication, technology leadership and the future of work.
- Cheryl Nash, CEO, Tegra118
Cheryl is the CEO of Tegra118, formerly Fiserv Investment Services. Her specialties and expertise include leadership, product management, marketing, business development, diversity and inclusion, thought leadership, and women in wealth management. Cheryl posts often, sharing expertise and insights that are both welcomed and needed in our industry.
- Adam Holt, CEO and Founder, Asset-Map
Adam is the CEO and Founder of Asset-Map Platform which enables advisors to have a visual and meaningful financial conversation with clients. Adam is an advisor in addition to being CEO. This brings a fresh perspective to the technology he’s building and the content he’s posting to LinkedIn. It’s always a bonus when the CEO is also a marketer. And Adam lives this to a T. In addition to these positions, Adam facilitated AdviceTech.LIVE, the industry’s best-executed digital event of the year (in my opinion). Be sure to follow Adam for the latest Asset-Map news, events and activities!
Following financial services leaders and key industry influencers will give you ideas on what you should share from your profile. This will keep you on top of relevant news and will also create opportunities to engage with others in the industry. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get on Facebook and move your practice forward.
Advisors: If you're taking a modern approach to social media, you're likely taking a modern approach to wealth management. This whitepaper dives into the components of a modern wealth ecosystem and provides a blueprint for how to get there.