Shizu Nair is an Assistant Vice President in Product Development for Envestnet |Tamarac in Seattle, Washington. She lives in Seattle, a city she’s called home since 2019, when she relocated here with her husband and their four-year-old son. As a “newbie” to Seattle, Shizu enjoys exploring all that Seattle has to offer, especially through the eyes of her young son. She also likes trying foods from all over the world and looks forward to experiencing more of the rich restaurant culture in Seattle.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Global Management. I have spent my entire career in financial services, the bulk of it with Charles Schwab in San Francisco. In my twelve years there, I had the opportunity to work in different departments — beginning in retirement business operations, then transitioning to retirement business product development, and finally client experience in advisor services. In my last role at Charles Schwab, I worked closely with RIAs to create new products and services to help them grow their businesses.
After a brief move to Tampa for my husband’s job, when he was offered a new career opportunity at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, we were excited to move back to the west coast. Because of my connections in the financial services industry, I had known of Tamarac’s presence in Seattle and the firm’s strong reputation in the financial advisory marketplace. When I learned of an open position in product management, I reached out to a friend who worked at Tamarac to help me get my foot in the door, and the rest is history.
What brought you to Tamarac?
I joined Tamarac in September 2019 as a Product Manager on the RIA Analytics team. It’s an exciting time to be here, as we are in the midst of creating a new analytics product offering to serve the growing needs of our RIA clients. With our new RIA Analytics product, we help RIAs find the value in data. While large amounts of data have always been available to RIAs, it is challenging to find the time to analyze it, to know what to do with it, and to make sense of it all.
Our product takes all the data available on the Tamarac platform, cleans it up, normalizes it, and helps RIAs learn from it. Whether that means identifying a specific area of focus or benchmarking data that shows how a practice compares against peers, our tool helps to tease out insights that can be turned into actionable steps. Through these insights, RIAs can make better data-based decisions for their business and their clients.
In my daily conversations with our RIA clients, I look to understand exactly what it is they need. Without a doubt, that is the most rewarding part of my job: helping to solve problems and making sure our clients have the data they need to be as productive as possible.
What inspires you about working at Tamarac?
As one of the newest members of the Tamarac team, I value the collaborative environment and the fact that I am continually learning. Regardless of where I am located at the firm, what impresses me the most is the focus that each of my co-workers dedicates to doing what is best for the client.
With a strong team culture, I find that colleagues across the firm are always willing to help. Whether it is a question about the operating platform or insights to help resolve a challenge, the firm-wide commitment to helping our clients is top of mind every day.
I am also inspired by Envestnet’s leadership team and their response to the coronavirus crisis. With a culture that placed the health and safety of employees and family first, and with the technology in place that allowed us to transition to a remote work environment easily, we continued to provide the resources and support our RIA clients need.
When it comes to financial wellness, how do you see Envestnet | Tamarac making a difference?
In my overarching view, I believe Envestnet | Tamarac is best positioned to help RIAs offer advice on their clients’ entire financial wellness through the breadth of our product offerings. If you simply look at Tamarac, what you see is a software platform. But when you add in all our affiliated businesses — like Envestnet | MoneyGuide, Envestnet | Yodlee, and our new analytics offering — we make it easy for RIAs to look at a complete picture.
Especially in today’s uncertain times and life under lockdown, data can help our RIA clients gain additional insights that can make a difference. Without the in-person connections and nonverbal communications that are so critical to client relationships, data can provide RIAs with powerful perspectives that may otherwise be overlooked.