With more than two decades of professional writing experience, I deliver compelling, crystal-clear copy. With sharp focus on the needs of online consumers , I specialize in writing and editing marketing communications in the securities brokerage arena.
Nearly 2 Decades in Securities Marketing
I currently work as a Vice President and editorial designer supporting Bank of America’s self-directed securities trading platform Merrill Edge from my newly-renovated home office near Richmond, VA. Since 2010 I have provided editorial support to Merrill Edge, which advanced to the third best online broker according to Kiplinger’s, which currently awards the brokerage website 4.5 stars out of 5.
Previously, I was an advertising copywriter for Edelman Financial Services. The firm’s Chairman and CEO Ric Edelman was named three times Barron’s #1 independent financial advisor. My editorial contributions were acknowledged in the New York Times best-selling author’s book Rescue Your Money.
Before the recession, I advanced in 12 years from administrative assistant in retirement plan services to an acting marketing creative director at the top-tier investment firm Wachovia Securities, which is now part of Wells Fargo Securities. People who attended a seminar entitled “How to Save $1 Million” that I wrote opened nearly 100,000 new accounts in less than three months. (I was asked by a senior marketing leader to write the seminar after an ad agency failed to deliver what the bank wanted on time.)
Personal Marketing Brochures
Before the headquarters of Wachovia Securities moved from Richmond to St. Louis, and then merged into Wells Fargo, in 2008, I managed the team of writers who supported the financial advisors at what was then the fourth largest investment firm in the county for assets under management.
For more than five years, I also wrote, edited, and worked directly with the firm’s highest producing financial advisors. I was proud to be a part of the in-house marketing team of writers, graphic designers, and marketing coordinators consulted with local printers and produced thousands of customized personal marketing brochures. At the time these beautiful brochures were recognized as the quality standard for personal marketing brochures in the securities industry.
One of these brochures, which featured a theme based on Rodin’s Le Penseur (The Thinker) and printed on black plike (a rubbery paper), nabbed a first place award from the Print Industries of Virginia. You can view the PDF here: GravesLightPMB
Before advancing to writing team leader, I spent two years writing compliance communications during an increasingly challenging regulatory environment, as well as three years coordinating brokerage lending services with bank underwriters. I also completed self-study programs and passed three securities registration exams: The Series 7 Registered Representative license required for paid stockbrokers; the Series 24 General Securities Principal required for people entrusted to approved securities advertising (unknown audience) and sales literature (known audience); and the Series 66 Combined State Law Exam required for fee-based investment advisors. The Series 7 is a grueling 300-question, 6-hour test with a mandatory 30-minute lunch break. I missed a passing score on the Series 7 by two points (six questions) on the first attempt.
Living in Luxembourg
After graduating from Winthrop College (now University) with a bachelor’s degree in communications, I (was Kris Sykes back then) followed my dream and became a community reporter in Camden, SC. I covered the county beat that included varied commissions and human-interest stories. I received a second place award for features writing and two second-place awards for business and features writing from the SC Press Association.
It was on one of those assignments covering local industry that I met Joe, my now husband of 24.5 years. He managed the construction for a new plat that would employ 200 people, and his boss didn’t want to deal with the local press. We met in January 1991 and married in the historic Kershaw-Cornwallis house a year later.
His next assignment was in France. For two years in the ’90s, we lived in the tiny country of Luxembourg and traveled mostly in the Benelux region. While he managed an international construction effort for what was then Allied Signal, I spent my days shopping for Villeroy & Bach china and volunteering. My four years of high school and three years of college French came in handy, especially when I prevented Joe from ordering horsemeat for dinner one night! I wrote the newsletter for the American Women’s Club of Luxembourg and helping edit the expatriate guide Living in Luxembourg. I interviewed the wife of the American ambassador to Luxembourg for the publication.
Back to present day, I’m currently enrolled in the Kennesaw State University (which now includes legacy institution Southern Polytechnic State University) program and studying for a master’s degree in interaction design and communication. I have completed courses in professional communications, visual design strategy, content strategy, information design, and project management. I’m taking one class at a time and hope to get my degree before I die.
Feel welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook. My personal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
[Keywords: Kris Spadaccia, financial services writer, brokerage marketing copy]