Northstar Financial employees, front row from left: Julie Roux; Robin Young, president; and Jill Ross. Back row from left: Tina Dube; Kristina George; Rachel DeCarolis; Alexa Darbe; and Julie Fortin. courtesy photo.
Robin Young worked in the investment industry in Boston for more than 15 years. She was on track to become a partner, putting in more than 60 hours weekly, and juggling kids, a commute from NH and a full client load. But when the firm took on new partners, she was excluded from the list.
“That was frustrating,” she says. “I wanted to have a great career and honor what is important to me—my family.”
So, she looked for a firm that would provide opportunity while respecting her needs as a mom. She joined Northstar Financial in Windham in 2004 as a partner and, by 2008, bought out the other partner, signing the paperwork just before the economy tanked.
“It really did take building resilient skills,” she says of surviving the recession. “You have to focus on what you can control.”
Young says of Northstar Financial, which now has eight employees, all women, “It started with a mission of mine to create a place where they could have a fantastic career while raising children.”
That means having a team that supports one another and allows employees to pull back when family needs arise, Young says. And, in October 2020, despite the pandemic, Young moved forward with offering four of the advisers a 5% share of the firm.
Young says the firm’s specialty is helping clients manage their major life transitions, such as divorce, a spouse retirement or loss of a job. “We help them manage their emotions through the transition so they can weigh their options and make good long-term decisions,” she says, adding some women feel patronized by other financial advisers. “If they haven’t been the one managing the finances, and divorce or widowhood happens, it is overwhelming and intimidating. They want to be able to ask questions and be educated and talk about what is happening in their lives with someone who can relate. Woman to woman is more comfortable for them.… They don’t want to feel like they are asking their father for money.”