Sonya Dreizler is a speaker, financial advisor, advocate, consultant and a true leader in our profession.

Though her father who was one of the pioneers of socially responsible investing, Sonya had no desire to enter the financial services industry herself. She stumbled into it because that’s where the jobs were when she first moved to San Francisco. A one-year commitment with an RIA turned into a 13-year career that included becoming the firm’s COO and CEO.

After her firm was acquired, Sonya decided to focus on consulting and help other firms with ESG and SRI investing. She also launched a project called Do Better that challenges firms and advisors to think differently and more seriously about sexual assault and harassment within the industry.

In this episode of Framework, we talk about everything from cooking and dragon boat racing, to how we can be better advocates for others in our professional lives. As we think about the trends impacting the industry right now, professionals like Sonya play a huge part in moving the profession forward.

“A code of conduct alone is not quite enough. There has to be a code of conduct and an enforcement mechanism and actual enforcement.  Conference leadership needs to address it and talk about why it’s there. ~ @SonyaDreizler

Main Takeaways

  • Even though most of us want to believe that we’re on board with gender equality, we’re still operating with outdated stereotypes that make it challenging for women in the financial services industry; if they even get into the industry at all.
  • Creating a code of conduct isn’t enough. We have to create enforcement mechanisms and have leadership in place that will actually enforce the code.
  • Socially responsible investing is typically more values-based. And SRI managers will often use ESG data to create portfolios that reflect either the fund’s or a client’s values.
  • Don’t assume that a client knows what socially responsible investing is. Advisors shouldn’t wait for clients to ask about it—they should have a plan for educating their clients and bringing these options to them.
  • Communication is critical. Advisors who are able to communicate their value in the client’s language will be more successful and trend toward longer, more enduring and meaningful relationships with their clients.

Links and Important Mentions

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Sonya Dreizler is not affiliated with Carson Partners or CWM, LLC. Opinions expressed by Ms. Dreizler during the Framework podcast may not be representative of Carson Partners or CWM, LLC.


Jamie Hopkins

Managing Director, Carson Coaching
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