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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Elizabeth M. Shabaker, CFP, CDC

Chief Executive Officer

Versant Capital Management Inc.

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Founded: 2004

Industry: Wealth Management and Investment Services

Leadership isn’t something to aim for, it’s a way of life, says Elizabeth M. Shabaker, CFP, CDC. Once you’re in that role, there is no downtime from it. 

“For me, (leadership has) been a career-long exploration of responsibility and critical thinking,” The CEO of Versant Capital Management Inc. said. “With almost every strategic move I make, I think, ‘what’s going to be the outcome?’ Thinking three steps ahead helps me anticipate the unplanned, unforeseen and unexpected. This approach informs how I manage the future of our firm, impacts how we serve our clients, and guides our employees in their roles to set them up for success.”

Versant Capital Management was founded in 2004 to provide comprehensive financial advice and management. Versant is an independent firm and does not sell or promote investment products. “We rely on skilled professionals to deliver research-driven strategies customized to meet each client’s unique goals,” the company said. “This mindset brings together the best of financial planning and the best of investment management.”  

When Shabaker joined Versant Capital Management in 2010, the firm was solely an investment advisory operation with three employees. Since then, she built a wealth management practice and grew the staff to more than 20 employees. Today Versant is one of the largest independent RIAs in Arizona, with nearly $900 million in assets under management.  

As CEO, Shabaker manages the firm’s strategic direction and directs the firm’s investment operations, client management processes and human resources. She has added training for employees and created a paid internship program. 

“Her hands-on leadership is unique for a CEO in a financial business and is typical of the type of best practice that Liz cultivates at her firm and in her industry relationships,” her team said. “She is sought out to help young women in the financial industry to open their own RIA firms and to help them navigate the wealth management field, something to which she always says ‘yes’ and dedicates her time and brainpower.”  

Shabaker is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Institute for Preparing Heirs. She is a member of the Female Advisor Network and provides support, initiatives and programs that are uniquely beneficial to serving her female clients. She was recently featured on CBS Good Morning Arizona discussing the tax benefits of charitable giving. She is Dementia Care Certified and can recognize the early signs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in clients and provide specially-tailored financial advice for those facing dementia (and their families), lessening the anxiety associated with financial issues while planning for the future. 

Shabaker and her 15-year-old daughter volunteer at the National Charity League and local food banks. Shabaker wants to make sure that her daughter understands that those who engage in community service are more responsible and have higher self-esteem and personal resilience. 

Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

Did you know?

As a youth, Liz had always planned on being a dentist. Then, her aptitude for math, an uncanny memory for details, and a job in her grandfather’s accounting firm while in high school let her on a path to helping people with their financial wellbeing, and she’s never looked back.


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