The Financial Journey is a unique series focused on financial education and opportunities. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between Wells Fargo and Word In Black.
WIB: Can you describe your role at Wells Fargo?
Richter: I currently serve as Executive Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. My team provides integrated business advice across the enterprise, including in the areas of technology, digital, innovation, privacy, cyber, mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), third-party relationships, contracts and securities. Additionally, in my role as Corporate Secretary I provide governance support to the company and Wells Fargo’s Board of Directors.
WIB: What would you say is the best part of the work you get to do?
Richter: I really enjoy leading the team. In addition to providing strategic direction around the work we do, I am grateful for the opportunity to coach and mentor colleagues, watching others develop and grow. That truly is the best part of my job, day in and day out.
WIB: What does diversity and Inclusion mean for you?
Richter: For me diversity and inclusion means creating a place where everybody feels valued and like they are a part of things. An inclusive organization values every voice and ensures that each person has access to opportunities to grow and excel. I work hard to build that culture within my team, and it’s a top priority at Wells Fargo.
WIB: What is one piece of career advice you can give to our readers?
Richter: Don’t worry so much about getting that next job or promotion. Instead, worry about being ready when that time comes. That mindset has been hugely helpful to me—I really stay focused on my personal development and let the opportunities take care of themselves. And this is what I tell those that I mentor—change your focus. Think about how you can be the best you can be—be excellent—and the opportunities will come.
WIB: Having a role in banking can seem daunting at times, what do you enjoy most outside of work?
Richter: In my life, family comes first. Before I’m a banking executive, I’m a wife, mom and stepmom. I have spent a lot of my life working to find balance between home and having a big career. As my daughters have gotten older and I have had more free time to really rediscover myself I have been exploring new things, including a commitment to learn to play golf. My golf game is definitely a work in progress, but I love being out on the course and challenging myself. Outside of work I also enjoy exploring new restaurants in New York City, reading and fitness – especially running.
WIB: Describe your proudest moment to date.
Richter: I feel fortunate to have many proud professional moments. I can think of lots of small and big moments at various stages throughout my career. Broadly I really appreciate the progress that I have made over time in different roles at several organizations. When I look back on where I am now as a seasoned leader and the many ways I have grown over the years, I am very proud. I have continued to evolve over the course of my career, and I give myself credit for embracing new challenges and pushing myself to achieve more – even when it was scary.
WIB: What would you say is the most important lesson about finances?
Richter: My financial literacy really comes from watching how my parents managed their money while I was growing up. They were never wealthy, but we never wanted for anything. My parents were big savers and budgeters, and I was fortunate to learn from an early age that responsible money management is important. I tend to be like my parents and enjoy the feeling of saving. I hope that’s rubbing off on my daughters as well!
WIB: Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?
Richter: One particularly pivotal moment for me was early in my career and in my first position responsible for leading a team. Many on the team had a lot more experience and expertise than me. I leaned into the opportunity and learned how to lead even if you are not the subject matter expert for the task at hand. That moment really helped define my value add as a leader. Up until then I was primarily focused on my own personal contributions in the workplace. In the role of a leader, I learned to shift my focus into what I can inspire others to do as a team. Since that shift, my career has really grown.
WIB: What does having an “authentic voice” mean for you?
Richter: Having an authentic voice for me means speaking your truth, being genuine and direct, and not shifting who you are as you move through the world. It means having the confidence to be both vulnerable and transparent. It means connecting on an emotional level and using that connection to help achieve outcomes and meet objectives. As a leader, it means knowing your strengths and opportunities and that great leadership is a journey—it is never finished.