Valerie Newell '75 recognized by Barron's as best financial advisor in state
BGSU alumna also named No. 4 female financial advisor in nation for two years in a row
By Bob Cunningham
One of the most important lessons Valerie Newell ’75 learned at Bowling Green State University is to always give a full effort on an everyday basis.
She acquired that knowledge as a three-year captain and two-time All-America swimmer at BGSU, but what she gleaned in the pool also has applied to her successful career as a financial advisor.
Newell is the chairman and managing director of Riverpoint Capital Management in Cincinnati, and she has been recognized by Barron’s for the second consecutive year as the top advisor in Ohio and No. 4 in its list of the Top 100 Women advisors in the country. Riverpoint also ranked No. 14 out of the top 100 in the country for independent investment advisers.
“When I think of the difference between Riverpoint and some of our competitors, the fact that we put our game face on every day and work very hard every day is really the big secret to our success,” Newell said. “I learned this in swimming because my attitude was always if you go to all the trouble to go to swim practice, you should work your hardest. If you are not going to work your hardest, why go at all? Always putting forth a maximum effort is a really important life lesson. If there’s an opportunity to work with a particular client, I go for it all stops out.”
Being recognized by Barron’s is important in the finance industry, she said, because the publication is the gold standard.
“It’s a very prestigious and well-regarded publication in the investment industry, and to be ranked in three of their most important rankings is really important,” said Newell, who was inducted into BGSU’s Hamilton Hall of Fame in 2014. “Plus, I think it’s fun to see a firm from Ohio be so highly regarded in the national rankings. Keeping our clients happy, satisfying their objectives and having that be a real acknowledgement of the top client service and top investment results that we get is really terrific.”
Newell specializes in investment management, financial planning and retirement planning for high-net-worth individuals, multi-generational families and retirees. She has experience in managing portfolios in a tax-effective manner, including determining appropriate strategies for highly concentrated positions in low-basis stocks such as Procter & Gamble and General Electric.
Newell, who grew up in Loveland, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati, received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from BGSU, graduating magna cum laude.
“Bowling Green was such a great environment for someone like me, and I think for many people,” she said. “It was not too big, but not too small. One of the things that I really learned was that hard work really pays off because when I came to the University, I was really behind. I came from a very rural high school, and I was so concerned and scared that I was going to be way behind everyone else so I just worked my living rear end off trying not to fail. It was that overall acknowledgement that if you work really hard and you have a lot of determination, you can succeed over and above other people who have had better opportunities in the past. I think that was an important lesson and an important thing to experience.”
Giving back to her alma mater, as well as the community, ranks high on Newell’s priority list.
“It’s a very important part of our culture here at Riverpoint,” she said. “We have a very successful business, and one of the most important things that we all believe in is that when you’re successful, you have a responsibility to help the community and to help those who are not as fortunate as you and to help make the city a better place by getting involved and volunteering and making an impact.”
Previously, she served an 11-year term on the BGSU Board of Trustees, finishing as chair. She also served on the alumni board, and recently was voted to serve for the second time on the Foundation Board.
“One of the things I’m most proud of in my time serving on the Board of Trustees at Bowling Green is reorganizing the way the portfolio was invested so that it ended up resulting in a very significant improvement in the investment return,” Newell said. “That made me feel really good about my time and my contribution to the University by using my skills.
“I’m looking forward to being involved again with the Foundation. I really think President Mazey is a phenomenal president and leader.”