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Virtual Career Insights Panel: The Wealth Management Industry

This event is offered exclusively for members of the Columbia University community including students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Join Columbia University’s Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management program on October 26th at 4 p.m. ET for an interactive panel discussion with three industry-leading wealth management professionals about the industry’s ecosystem. Our panelists will provide unique insights and practical context from their experiences at three channels in the wealth management industry, including Registered Investment Advisors, Brokerage Firms, and Private Banks. 

Following the conversation, the event will be opened for a question and answer period, where attendees can ask questions directly.

Topics of Discussion include:

  1. Unique characteristics of the three main wealth management platforms
  2. Career insights regarding culture, compensation, support, and training
  3. Evolving trends across the industry and within each platform

This event is brought to you by Columbia University’s Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management program. Uniquely designed to educate working professionals, this 16-month, part-time online program prepares experienced and aspiring wealth management professionals to meet the disruptive challenges of today’s industry. The innovative and rigorous curriculum connects advanced theory with practical applications through problem-based learning while providing students with the educational requirements for the CFP® certification.


Christian Habitz (Former Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management)

Christian was a Managing Director for five years with J.P. Morgan Wealth Management. His experience also includes working for fifteen years with Credit Suisse’s Private Banking Group and Morgan Stanley’s Private Client Group.

Early in his career, Christian managed a hedge fund for Geneva Securities, LLC, where he was a derivatives trader and risk manager. Christian’s first professional position was with Financial Investments Corporation, the private multibillion-dollar, multi-family office of former LaSalle Bank Chairman, Harrison Steans. This early experience was his inspiration for The Invictus Collective.

Christian graduated from the University of Chicago, where he received a BA in Economics and was a varsity letterman in basketball and football. He is active with various charities through his family foundation, which focuses on enhancing educational opportunities for underprivileged youth and criminal justice reform.

John McGuiness (Former Managing Director at Citi Bank)

John brings more than 30 years of wealth management experience in both enterprise management and client facing positions. John was a Managing Director within Citi Private Bank’s Ultra High Net Worth business, working with the bank’s wealthiest clients and offices to manage the delivery of asset management, liquidity and credit, and capital market solutions. Earlier, he held both management and client facing roles as a Managing Director at Bank of America’s Private Bank in New York. He was involved in the creation of Bank of America’s Family Wealth Advisors segment, launched in 10 major markets in the U.S. and focused on families with investable assets of greater than $50MM.

In prior positions, John served as Executive Vice President at PNC Advisors in Pittsburgh, where he headed both sales and marketing for the firm’s wealth management business. Additionally, John had several leadership positions at BNY Mellon, including Head of Sales and Training in its Private Client Services business as well as President of the Putnam Trust Company in Greenwich, CT.

John earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Providence College. He resides in Fairhope Alabama.

Gary Sica (Former President at KLS Professional Advisors)

Gary was the past president of KLS Professional Advisors, an $8B registered investment advisor (RIA) based in New York, NY, owned by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Prior to joining KLS in 2005, Gary was an experienced Tax Manager at Andersen advising high net worth individuals and families on income and estate tax matters. Gary received his B.A. degree from Villanova University, his J.D. degree from Villanova University School of Law, and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.

Moderated by

Bill Woodson, Lecturer for Columbia University’s Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management program and Executive Vice President and Head of Wealth Advisory and Family Office Services, Boston Private

William I. Woodson (Bill) has 30 years of experience advising wealthy families, closely-held business owners, and family offices across a wide range of wealth management disciplines, including investment management, taxation, estate planning, philanthropy, wealth education, and family office best-practices. Bill is a frequent author on issues wealthy families face and is quoted extensively in financial publications. Bill is a co-founder of the UHNW Institute, an independent non-profit "think tank" that provides thought leadership and content helpful to families, family offices, and professionals.

Bill has advised clients from numerous platforms within the wealth management industry, including public accounting, boutique RIAs and MFOs, large brokerage firms and global banks, and as the head of a family office. Bill is currently Executive Vice President and Head of Wealth Advisory and Family Office Services for Boston Private. Bill joined Boston Private from Citigroup, where he was a Managing Director and Head of the Family Office Group for Citi Private Bank. Before joining Citi, Bill was a Managing Director and Head of the UHNW and Family Office business for Credit Suisse.

Bill began his career in Big Four public accounting, where he spent a decade providing tax and related planning advice to wealthy executives, families, and closely-held business owners. He left public accounting to run the family office for one of his larger clients, a Hong Kong-based family with 40 employees and operations in Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Bill was a founding member of myCFO, an integrated wealth management and technology firm started by several well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. At myCFO, Bill ran one of the firm's largest client practices and served as the CFO for myCFO Securities. Shortly before the sale of myCFO to Harris Bank, Bill joined Merrill Lynch's Private Banking and Investment Group and oversaw an integrated investment advisory practice for UHNW families and family offices ranging in net worth from $25 million to $2 billion.

Bill has a master's degree in accounting from New York University's Stern Graduate School of Business and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Irvine. He previously held designations as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Investment Management Analysts (CIMA). Bill was also a founding member and past President of First Graduate, a non-profit that helps students become the first in their families to graduate from college.


For questions, please contact sps-wealthmanagement [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

For additional information about program offerings at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, please contact an Admissions Counselor at 212-854-9666 or inquire [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.