MEET Patricia (Trish) Cowart of FSDA, Institutional Member with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Patricia (Trish) Cowart, Senior Company Counsel
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
100 NE 3RD Ave, Suite 610,
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
Trish, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Answer: I was raised in South Louisiana, mostly New Orleans, but I lived in a few other true Cajun Country towns such as Morgan City and Port Sulphur; I went to school at Stetson where I studied political science and Spanish (so I got to go to the Universidad de Madrid for a semester too!) and then went to the University of Florida for law school; I was a partner at the law firm of Ruden McCloskey before joining PaineWebber / UBS and then moved over to Wachovia Securities in 2004 which of course became Wells Fargo Advisors in 2009.
What do you do at Wells Fargo Advisors?
Answer: I have held a range of management roles and now I am in the Wealth and Investment Management Litigation group of the Legal Department. Primarily I handle FINRA arbitrations but also see a wide variety of other litigation. I also am a part of the Senior Leadership Board at the firm.
I know you're a member of several FSDA Committees. Tell us a little bit about what each committee does.
Answer: Goodness, that could take me hours! I was the Chair for several years of the Education Committee and that is where I first developed my strong attachment to FSDA. This Committee has three areas of focus: (1) industry outreach and education events, (2) elder fraud education directed to the investing public and (3) teen financial literacy. I am also an active member of the Legislative Committee. Last year, as President, I made a number of trips to Tallahassee as part of our efforts to get support for the mortgage licensing exemption law that ultimately passed and was signed into law by the Governor. FSDA also supported proposed legislation related to creation of additional tools for firms to use in connection with elder fraud prevention as well as our continuing support for making a course in financial literacy mandatory for Florida high school students. FSDA also has other Committees such as our Scholarship Committee but Education and Legislative are the two I have worked with the most.
Why is it important for Wells Fargo Advisors to be a member of the FSDA?
Answer: One of the reasons is that Florida is such a leading state in securities law development. We often see statutes enacted here first that influence other states. In addition, of course, Florida is a large and important market. FSDA gives us access to information and contacts that are unique to the FSDA. It’s also great to meet with like-minded people who sincerely have a strong focus on investor education and protection for citizens of our state.
Trish, I know that you have a special passion for the opera. Tell us about the South Florida opera scene.
Answer: You are certainly right – I am very passionate in my love for opera! South Florida is fortunate to have the Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organization in Florida and the seventh oldest opera company in the country. FGO’s season consists of four operas – at least one of which is always focused on showcasing contemporary opera with a Hispanic focus. Last year Before Night Falls by Jorge Martin and this year Florencia en el Amazones by Daniel Catan were stunning and are works not generally as available outside of South Florida. I’m looking forward to next year when they will perform Frida by Robert Xavier Rodriguez in addition to ones from the standard repertoire: La Boheme, The Marriage of Figaro and Werther. I already have my subscription! We also have a huge base of opera lovers in South Florida who regularly attend the live transmission of ten operas each season from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York at movie theaters. We love to chat on the Facebook Page “Met Opera Live in HD Fans” started by an opera fan from Tampa. That group now has over 10,000 members worldwide and I’ve become friends with opera lovers not only from Florida but many other states as well as from Germany, England, Japan, Australia, etc. It’s a great time to be an opera lover.
Trish, thanks for taking time to speak with us today.
Next month, Andy Hirsch, of RW Baird will be “In the Spotlight.”