2024 Women’s History Month Series: Christine Opp

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Christine Opp, CFA, CFP®

Managing Director, Client Advisor

“The biggest challenge women face is the belief that they must fit in a specific mold of a stereotypical advisor. Many of my clients love that I am authentically myself.”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re showcasing some of the inspiring talent at Freestone. By highlighting the successes of powerful women and asking them to share their wisdom, we hope to empower women to not only enter the financial services industry, but to excel.

With over a decade of experience in serving high net worth individuals and their families, Christine understands that wealth can often bring complexity and uncertainty. She focuses on simplifying her client’s lives through building a portfolio with a purpose to reach their unique goals. Christine is passionate about financial planning and loves diving into projects that creates lasting value for her clients. Christine joined Freestone Capital Management as a Client Advisor in 2014. Prior to that, Christine worked at Cornerstone Advisors on their client management team and Montlake Capital, a Seattle-based private equity firm investing in growth stage companies.

What inspired you to get into the financial services industry?

I have always loved the balance of people skills and math skills within the financial services industry. I became passionate about financial services when I was an intern at a wealth management firm during the great financial crash of 2008/2009. I saw firsthand how much impact a talented advisor can make in a client’s life by being the strong voice of reason among a world in panic. A steady hand and a commitment to long-term investment values, with the ability to communicate with empathy and understanding, made all the difference for clients who fire-sold their entire equity portfolio and those who didn’t.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge women face in the financial services industry? How have you personally overcome challenges in your career?

The biggest challenge women face is the belief that they must fit in a specific mold of a stereotypical advisor. Many of my clients love that I am authentically myself, and different from the traditional (male) advisor. I have had the pleasure of being mentored by some amazing advisors in my career so far, and each of them have very different styles and ways they approach the client relationship. That has helped me learn that successful advisors use their uniqueness and authenticity to build trusted relationships and that I should focus on the same. I think the pandemic was when I finally dropped this mask of always feeling like I had to maintain this perception of perfection. I was able to be honest and vulnerable with my clients and prospective clients—my career has significantly benefited from there. 

How can we encourage women to enter our industry?

I wish I could shout from the rooftops how amazing this career is for women! I feel if someone has the characteristics that they always want to learn, crave a work/life balance, enjoy deep relationships, solving problems, and strategizing on solutions… it’s the perfect career choice for them.

How can financial literacy empower women?

Education creates empowerment. So many of my clients, friends, and family are brilliant, smart women in careers outside of financial management. Many of them have or have had unhealthy feelings towards investing and money—fear, anxiousness, avoidances and more. But through education and a willingness to create a financial plan they can become empowered and confident in their financial management. No question is too basic on a path towards beating investment illiteracy.

What advice did your mentors give you throughout your career?

Believe in yourself, shape the mold you want your career to look like, ask questions, be curious and always be willing to learn.

Posted By: Heidi Metzger