It’s not uncommon for the people we work with to feel like family. In some cases, they are family. That’s particularly true at RBC Wealth Management – U.S., a firm known for its strong culture, where employees are so passionate about the work they do and the company they do it for, they’ve brought their children into the business. Financial advisors Susan Stewart, Deborah Sullivan and Rhonda Smith are three examples of mothers who have brought their kids into the business they love.
Susan and her daughter, financial advisor Taylor Stewart, are a team in the Chevy Chase, Maryland branch, and have worked together for five years.
Taylor first went into politics after graduating college, but became interested in the financial services industry when Susan suggested she apply for an open client associate position at her firm. Taylor got the job, and after a year and a half in that role, joined the firm’s advisor training program. She then started working for her mom as a junior advisor specializing in financial planning.
Taylor says she was initially uncertain about her mom’s idea of working together.
Susan, left, and Taylor Stewart
“Five years into it, I’ve found it to be the most professionally rewarding experience, and I’m glad we took the leap,” Taylor says. “I’ve learned so much from getting to work alongside my mom.”
For Susan, it’s been gratifying to work alongside her daughter and watch her grow at the same time.
“I enjoy watching Taylor grow in her profession and see her work with clients in her core area of financial planning,” Susan says. “We already knew we had a great mother-daughter relationship, but found we also make great business partners.”
In the Southpointe, Pennsylvania branch in Pittsburgh, Debbie and her son, Registered Client Associate David B. Schwartz, have worked together for nearly six years.
David initially wanted to be a chef, but while attending culinary arts school came to realize that that career wasn’t for him. After speaking with his mother, he learned more about what she did in her role as a financial advisor, and decided to intern with her while attending college. He found satisfaction in solving problems and helping people understand the sometimes complicated topic of financial planning, and eventually was able to join his mom’s team full-time. Following in Debbie’s footsteps, David has since become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and will start in the firm’s advising training program in July.
Debbie never expected that one of her sons would be interested in joining her practice, but is happy with how things have turned out.
“I feel blessed to have my son working with me,” Debbie says. “I enjoy our time together, and love to see his professional growth. What was surprising to me was how well we actually got along, and how well we work together.”
Deborah Sullivan and David Schwartz
David has particularly appreciated the opportunity to get to know his mom in a new and different way over the last six years.
“The biggest surprise to me is just how many instances there have been where I meet people that Debbie has had a positive impact on,” he says. “Growing up I would hear of her successes, but you never fully understand them until you see it firsthand.”
On the other side of the U.S. in Tacoma, Washington, Rhonda and her daughter-in-law, financial advisor Katelyn Smith, have worked together for more than six years.
Rhonda helped introduce Katelyn to the financial services industry nearly 15 years ago, when Katelyn, who was dating Rhonda’s son at the time, was still a sophomore in high school. Katelyn spent a day job-shadowing Rhonda (who is now her mother-in-law), and a few months later got a job as a bank teller with Rhonda’s firm. She spent 10 years in various positions at that firm until joining Rhonda’s team as a client associate.
Although Rhonda had some concerns that hiring a family member could bring work conflicts into their personal lives, she’s found that working with Katelyn has actually strengthened their relationship.
Rhonda Smith, far left, and Katelyn Smith, third from left
“I love coming to work every day and working alongside Katelyn, who I love and respect with all my heart,” Rhonda says.
Katelyn, meanwhile, says she’s grateful for the opportunity to get to know her mother-in-law in an entirely new way.
“It is fun to get to work together every day,” Katelyn says. “I love knowing I work on a team that loves and supports one another.”
“The one hard thing sometimes,” she adds, jokingly, “is when we want to do family vacations, it means we are both out of the office.”
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