Texan is First Woman Named Securian’s Top New Advisor of the Year

Monday, March 26, 2012 8:00 am CDT


ST. PAUL, Minn.
"It’s easy to quit if you have a fallback option."

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--All Laura Vaughn knew in early 2010 as she prepared to graduate from the University of Texas with a degree in finance is that she wanted to use her major in a career where she’d work with people.

Vaughn haunted the job boards, looking for an internship that met those two basic criteria. She contacted Shaun McDuffee, senior vice president, North Star Resource Group in Austin, TX, who was looking for an intern who might become a financial advisor

“Laura came across as very driven and coachable,” remembers McDuffee. “She was a successful high school athlete and wanted to be in a career where she could make an impact and help people. I offered her the internship to give her an opportunity to test drive our firm and vice versa.”

The test drive was smooth and McDuffee hired Vaughn full-time right out of college. Her first full year in the career, 2011, was one for the record books. Vaughn’s competitive spirit and love of the work propelled her to the top of her class of new advisors affiliated with the Securian Financial Network, earning her the title of Diamond New Advisor of the year, the first woman to receive the honor.

“My goal for 2011 was simply to win the race,” says Vaughn. “I knew that if I hit a certain level of production I would be in the running for Diamond New Advisor.” As it turned out, Vaughn exceeded that goal by more than six percent. Her friendly rivalry with Craig Molldrem, Securian’s 2010 Diamond New Advisor, also helped keep her motivated. Molldrem is in North Star’s Dallas, TX office.

Data from LIMRA®, an industry research group, show that 22 percent of financial advisors in 2010 were women. Vaughn doesn’t understand why that percentage is so low. Her view is that the defining characteristics of successful advisors have nothing to do with gender.

“I would look for someone who wants to help people and has no family business or other fallback options. It makes you work harder and better able to get through the tougher days,” she says. “It’s easy to quit if you have a fallback option.”

Securian’s website offers additional information about the financial advisory career. Potential Candidates also can take a short quiz that gives a preliminary indication whether they may be suited for the career. There also is a section that offers a practice assessment for experienced advisors who are looking for a new type of broker-dealer relationship. A third section for women describes WISE, Securian’s nationwide network of female advisors.

Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, it is the holding company parent of a group of companies that include Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York-admitted insurer.

DOFU – 0312


Maggie Jensen, Media Relations Consultant, 651-665-7558