In an industry built and still dominated by men, Leticia Santiago is breaking the glass ceiling — with a sledgehammer. As the director of operations for Women Empowering Financial Independence (WEFI), Santiago is tapping into a market that has largely been underestimated, underappreciated and underserved — until now. Santiago describes how WEFI’s unique platform and higher purpose are driving the industry in an exciting, new — and decidedly feminine — direction.
Describe WEFI, its vision and how it was developed.
WEFI began as the vision of Nancy Ellis, president and founder of Life & Annuity Masters. Nancy, and her husband, David, have owned and operated the company for more than 15 years. As a female entrepreneur, Nancy saw an opportunity to empower women in the insurance industry by helping them build their own business using the WEFI platform, which focuses on promoting financial literacy among women and girls.
Why do you think it’s important to empower women in this industry?
Women as agents and advisors, as well as financial decision-makers, are populations that are highly undeveloped and largely ignored in our profession. WEFI gives women the opportunity to empower and mentor each other, and share experiences, and that makes for stronger businesses and communities.
How can agents become part of WEFI?
There are multiple ways an agent can be a part of WEFI’s mission. For example, WEFI is seeking experienced, licensed agents and advisors to become founding partners. Founding partners are WEFI ambassadors who recruit agents interested in living out the WEFI servant-leadership mission.
WEFI also includes partner agents, which range from seasoned and successful to brand-new to the business. These agents receive mentorship, guidance and all levels of training to help them grow their production.
What makes the WEFI platform unique?
Our initiative demonstrates a strong passion for philanthropy, for which we seek to build partnerships with non-profit organizations across the nation aligned with our mission and vision to bring awareness to our mutual cause. And for WEFI partners and agents, it’s just as important as making a sale.
For example, we have a partnership with a nonprofit organization, Forever Found, whose mission is prevention, rescue and restoration of child trafficking victims in the United States.
We encourage our agents to become involved with our non-profit work. Think of it this way: WEFI has the potential to be in every city, state, county and town, and each of our representatives has the chance to participate with Forever Found’s program. So, we have women bringing awareness to this cause all across the country. And, they’re using the WEFI platform to do it.
Describe how WEFI makes the communities in which its agents work stronger.
We have created a foundation of women within our industry to empower women to become leaders, to bring financial literacy to communities across the nation, and to empower young girls and women to become financially independent. We make communities stronger by empowering networks of women to become better prepared for the future and the uncertainties life can bring.
Why should an agent choose to be part of WEFI?
WEFI’s tested marketing and networking playbook has proven to be a successful system, built from the 30 years of industry experience of the husband-and-wife team of Nancy and David Ellis. Partnering with our agents to help them to build their dream business, become financially independent and leave a lasting legacy is what we are all about. Agents are invited to learn more about the WEFI mission on a special podcast hosted by iPipeline with Operations Director Leticia Santiago and Founding Partner Toni Golden. To listen, visit www.WEFIDifference.com.
Real Advisor Testimonials:
WEFI has given me a sense of purpose in this industry. Most professionals when they obtain their license are on an island by themselves, trying to figure out the primarily male-dominated wealth management industry. WEFI has provided me with great training, a sense of team and support. There is nothing like WEFI in this industry; it sets me apart from my competition. … If you want to join a brand that is bigger than yourself and want to win in every aspect of your life, WEFI is for you!
— Monica Carter, MBA/Licensed Private Wealth Advisor
As a Founding Partner of Women Empowering Financial Independence (WEFI), I am proud to be associated with an organization that is committed to creating awareness of the importance of financial literacy and is equally as passionate about philanthropy. The time is now, and I’m beyond excited to be in the financial services industry with WEFI under my wings to help empower the lives of women and business professionals in various capacities in their quest to become financially independent!
— Toni Golden