Women in leadership, finance headline WPB Spring Symposium

Jack Smith | Auburn, AL

Cathy Saunders headshot

Cathy Saunders, head of Registered Investment Advisory Business for Putnam Investments in Boston, Mass.


Brie Williamsheadshot

Brie Williams, vice president and head of practice management at State Street Global Advisors in Boston, Mass.

The 16th Annual Women¹s Philanthropy Board Spring Symposium is slated for Monday, April 16, at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center.

The symposium includes sessions on financial management and the power of women in leadership. Admission to the symposium is free for all Auburn University students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

Cathy Saunders, head of Registered Investment Advisory Business for Putnam Investments in Boston, Mass., will present "Empower, Elevate & Achieve: A Financial Guidebook for Women," at 10 a.m.

Saunders is head of Putnam's Client Engagement Center. She is responsible for leading Putnam¹s innovative client-centric approach to sales and marketing services and for developing programs that respond to current marketplace demands on client firms, such as wealth transfer and outreach to Millennials.

Saunders also oversees the early career development of new sales and distribution associates across the firm. For the past 30 years, Saunders has been instrumental in developing Putnam's ability to identify and address the needs of clients across the financial industry. Most recently, she served as head of Putnam's Registered Investment Advisor Business, Private Bank and Trust. Prior to that, Ms. Saunders served as head of North America Institutional Business, including consultant relations and client service.

Brie Williams, vice president and head of practice management at State Street Global Advisors in Boston, Mass., will present "The Power of Women in Leadership: The Making of the Fearless Girl," at 11 a.m.

Williams was responsible for implementing the "Fearless Girl" bronze sculpture depicting a young girl facing the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street. Commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, it was installed the day before International Women¹s Day last year, with the aim of creating global awareness of the importance of gender diversity in business leadership.

Williams manages a team dedicated to the evolving needs of wealth management firms and financial advisors. Her award-winning team of practice management strategists is responsible for thought leadership, educational programs and practice management tools and resources to help practitioners achieve their business vision and deliver exceptional client experience. Williams is a highly regarded speaker at industry conferences and is the author of several articles related to wealth management practices.

Prior to joining SSGA, Williams was a senior vice president at Putnam, where she was responsible for brand strategy and retail mutual fund product marketing. She was a member of the senior global marketing team and served as a strategic partner to global distribution divisions, including investment products and portfolio management teams.

Williams' professional background includes a career in advertising and research, where she managed accounts in the retail, packaged goods and health care industries for valued brands including Frito-Lay, McDonald¹s and Target. Her work on Vonage earned her a Bronze Effie for marketing effectiveness.

For more information, contact the Women¹s Philanthropy Board office at (334) 844-9156 or via email.