What do you enjoy most about wealth management?
Knowing that I’m making a difference in people’s lives. It’s a meaningful profession.
What’s the biggest challenge?
Today’s 24/7 news cycle is a blessing and a curse.
What do you love most about being part of Aspiriant?
The intelligence and diversity of our people and clients make me love my job.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
Making a major career move into personal financial planning and investment management after 10 years in marketing was an attempt to find more meaning in my work and better match my personality and interests to my career. It’s worked out better than I could have imagined.
What quality of yours makes you best suited to what you do?
A balanced mix of analytical and people skills.
What do you love to do outside of work?
Athletics – running, swimming, cycling, golfing, hiking. They keep me physically and mentally healthy, and they’re a big part of my social life. And rooting for the San Francisco Giants! I became a season ticket holder in 2016 and enjoy taking friends and clients to games.
What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Aspiriant?
Teaching music to elementary and middle school students. Music was my “sport” growing up: I sang in choirs and a cappella groups and studied classical piano through college.
- Elected to Aspiriant’s Board of Directors in 2008 and becoming board chair in 2019
- Named one of the FT Top 100 Women Financial Advisers in 2014 by Financial Times
- Three years in compensation and benefits consulting at Hewitt Associates
- Ten years in brand management and consumer marketing for PepsiCo, Nestle and Excite@Home, as well as several start-ups
- Personal financial planning and investment management at Kochis Fitz and Aspiriant
What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?
Learning to swim a mile in open water at age 40 to compete in my first triathlon.
Education and accreditations
- B.A. in Mathematics, modified with Computer Science, Phi Beta Kappa, Dartmouth College
- M.B.A., Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
- Member and scholarship program chair, Financial Planning Association of San Francisco
- Member, Executive Committee of the Tuck Annual Giving Campaign
Karen joined Aspiriant as an Associate Financial Planner in 2003, and five years later, she was named a Partner and elected to Aspiriant’s Board of Directors. Starting in January 2019 she began serving as Chair of Aspiriant’s board. Her areas of expertise include retirement planning, executive compensation issues, developing strategies for concentrated stock positions, philanthropic planning, and helping families develop multi-generational wealth transfer strategies.
Prior to entering the financial planning profession, Karen worked in marketing for several major packaged goods organizations including PepsiCo and Nestle, as well as Bay Area start-ups Excite@Home and Sega.com. She began her career in 1986 as a compensation and benefits consultant with Hewitt Associates.
Karen is a member of the Financial Planning Association and currently serves on the San Francisco chapter’s Board of Directors, leading their scholarship program as part of the Career Path Committee.
Karen attended Dartmouth College, where she earned a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Computer Science (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.B.A. from The Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She completed the Personal Financial Planning Program at University of California-Berkeley in June 2003 and earned her Certified Financial Planner® credential in May 2005.