You may have seen her on CNBC or Fox Business sharing investment insights, or read her prescient market forecasts in The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. As the head of RBC Wealth Management’s Portfolio Advisory group, Janet Engels has also led hundreds of advisor and client events, answering questions about debts, deficits, the future of the U.S. economy, global markets, and overall portfolio management. What you might not know about the sought-after analyst is that she is also visually challenged.
“I’m technically legally blind, and most people don’t know that,” Engels says. While she hasn’t experienced any obstacles in her career because of her vision, she says it’s created some awkward moments. “There have been times people have thought that I’m a little aloof and standoffish,” Engels says. “That couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Ann Marie Etergino, one of RBC Wealth Management’s top female advisors, describes Engels as “that rare combination of wicked smarts along with an ability to communicate complicated topics in easy-to-understand terms. Our clients love it when Janet presents.”
Ahead of her Time
Engels found her way into the financial services industry almost 40 years ago, at a time when it was rare for women to have a seat at the table and rarer to sit at the head. The New York native started at the equity research department of Tucker Anthony in the early 1980s, helping establish the company’s equity strategies group and working her way up through the ranks. Following RBCWM’s acquisition of Tucker Anthony in 2002, Engels proved her worth and eventually landed in her current position at the firm in 2018.
When asked about her time in the 1980s and 1990s in such a male dominated field, Engels says she was treated fairly and her gender didn’t hinder her ability to soar. “I find a way of making partnerships, I’m passionate about collaboration, I’m passionate about helping other people,” she says.
A Personal Perspective
Engels’ passions extend beyond market insight and strategy. She’s been recognized for advocating for diversity and inclusion, and she brings her personal experience of living with a visual impairment to that role.
“I believe deeply in supporting persons with disabilities and giving people a fair chance, because I don’t think people with disabilities always get one.”
In fact, her experiences have made her empathetic to all people, including those with disabilities that may or may not be visible, especially in an increasingly virtual environment. “I do what I do because I love what I do,” Engels says. “And every day I wake up and hope that I can make a difference.”
The Spring 2022 edition of RBC's Prosper US magazine is now out! This is the fifth issue of the magazine which showcases different aspects of or unique culture at RBC Wealth Management - U.S. and features several #WomenofRBC sharing personal stories about their lives at work and at home. Read the Spring 2022 edition.