Jennifer Kirksey: A Leading Woman in Fintech
Tolleson Wealth Management’s Jennifer Kirksey, Managing Director of Wealth Operations, is featured in an episode of SS&C Advent’s podcast Tech it Up, discussing “Women in Fintech” and their crucial role in organizations. Jennifer, as a top leader overseeing the firm’s financial technology and operations, is an active participant in her professional community and a regular contributor on the technology needed to manage client financial data.
In the episode, her conversation revolves around the financial work environment and how it has shifted in the gender diversity realm. Jennifer shares personal stories and insights, highlighting her career thus far, on how she achieved her many successes in a male dominated industry. In the fintech industry, women are estimated to only represent 30% of the workforce.
After graduating Southern Methodist University with a degree in Finance, Jennifer began her career at Tolleson Wealth Management as a Portfolio Reporting Associate. She is the first employee to advance her career from entry level to managing director, having been promoted four times. She says female leaders are unique in their ability to pivot, “managing families, careers, and communities. We have some amazing women that work in my company from top to bottom. When we get together inspiring things can happen.”
During her time at SMU, Jennifer worked for a female broker who motivated her to want to be in the financial services industry. As the only woman on the floor, Jennifer’s credited mentor “handled herself so well and was so smart and witty.” Taking note, Jennifer took Tolleson Wealth Management by storm and was integral in implementing technology across the firm.
“I am a yes person,” Jennifer says, referencing her success. “Every time there is a problem or challenge, I end up saying, ‘yes.’ I can tackle it.” She recognized early in her career that “if you want to grow at a rapid pace, you need the right tools and the right people.” She spent a lot of time researching a variety of technological resources to help problem solve and now regularly contributes her knowledge with partners like SS&C Advent.
Crediting Tolleson Wealth Management’s work culture, Jennifer says, “At my company, it’s definitely about the work and the person, what we’re doing, what our passions are, and how we can serve a client.” She feels as though the professional landscape has changed positively over the last ten years in financial services. “There is a great mix of women and men at my company. It feels like a good environment, it’s healthy, and collaborating with them is one of my favorite things to do.”