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Carolyn Armitage, CFP®, CIMA®

Head of Thrivent Advisor Network

Masterclass 4: Shortening the Learning Curve

The last decade of RIA M&A fervor has often left us with more questions than answers. Has the evolution of the industry from solo practitioner to enterprise been the right path for every financial advisor? In the race to capitalize on enterprise value, have financial advisors become too fiercely independent for their own good? Do the headlines dominating our inboxes tell the complete story, or are there hidden insights waiting to be discovered? Most financial advisors are exceptional at providing client services and generating new business. Operations, building a tech stack, vendor relations, compliance, constant regulatory changes, cybersecurity, and more often add up to distractions and inconveniences that take away precious time from financial advisors’ unique abilities. As the next generation of financial advisors considers how to build thriving and profitable businesses, there is much to learn from the independent advisor trailblazers that came before them. Join Carolyn Armitage, Head of Thrivent Advisor Network, as she uncovers the real-life outcomes of recent industry M&A trends that nobody is talking about. She will give concrete advice to the next generation of RIA leadership looking to shorten their learning curve.


Carolyn Armitage leads Thrivent’s newly crafted independent registered investment advisor, Thrivent Advisor Network. With her extensive experience in the wealth management industry, Ms. Armitage’s strategic guidance will enable the next phase of development for the organization. Her experience includes roles as an independent financial advisor, producing branch manager, and the head of multiple wealth management teams such as HD Vest (now Advantax), ING Advisors Network (now Voya and Cetera), among others. She also led the large enterprise business management consulting team for LPL Financial. Previously, Ms. Armitage provided investment banking and consulting services, including valuation, expert witness, strategic planning and positioning, compensation, incentives, and equity sharing structuring, and internal and external succession planning to the industry’s most elite firms through the firm ECHELON Partners. Her extensive experience affords her a rare and valuable command of the entire wealth management value chain to help entrepreneurs navigate complex entity, family, and legacy decisions. In addition to growing numerous financial services organizations, Ms. Armitage founded and runs a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, True Circle Organization, which provides immediate resources, sustenance, and compassion to improve the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness throughout California. She earned a BS in business administration from the University of Minnesota and a MS in management from The American College.