Firm: UBS Wealth Management
Location: San Jose, Calif.
Years with firm: 30
Years in the business: 30
Business specialty: Corporate stock plans
Back in 1980, the brokerage business was a little bit different. “I was the first girl broker in San Jose for Kidder Peabody. That was…interesting,” says financial advisor Emily Van Hoorickx. “It's much easier today.” Hoorickx now oversees $1.41 billion in assets for Silicon Valley Investment Group, a firm in San Jose, Calif. affiliated with UBS Wealth Management.
Her first day on the job, she was handed a reverse telephone directory and a map of the town with the nice parts circled, and she started dialing. As the branch's first trainee, she had to answer the telephone as well. But she had the good fortune to take an early interest in a niche that would serve her well in the decades that followed: stock options.
One of the advisors in the office had a relationship with a small business that was paying people with stock options, a technique that flourished among cash-strapped startups in San Jose at the time and would go on to make many residents very rich. Van Hoorickx wanted to know more about how options worked, so she took a course at Santa Clara University — a step in self-improvement that set a pattern for the years that followed. Many companies needed help administering their stock option and restricted stock plans for their workers, and the workers needed help managing the compensation as well.
“I was in the right place at the right time, and I was willing to work very, very hard,” Van Hoorickx says. “I was very young and no one trusts silly little young girls, right? I was only 24 and the only woman, and I felt like I had to try that much harder.”
She obtained her Certified Financial Planner designation in 1986, but a bigger move came several years later when she became the first registered rep in the country to obtain a Certified Equity Professional designation, which, among other things, provided expertise in managing stock plans.
“It gives you the ability to see the whole picture. You become a problem solver,” she says. “When you show up at a Silicon Valley company and you're talking to the CFO or the VP of HR and you can discuss the problems of implementing their plan with them, it's a whole different ballgame.”