As managing director, chief information officer, Victor Fetter has oversight of the LPL Financial Business Technology Services business unit. He is responsible for bringing to life the company’s commitment to investing in the people and processes necessary to deliver the best technologies in the industry for LPL Financial advisors and employees.
Prior to joining LPL Financial in 2012, Mr. Fetter was vice president and chief information officer for Dell Online, where he led the digital transformation of Dell’s approach to providing global, multichannel solutions for consumers and commercial customers. His accomplishments include driving IT efficiency with a focus on increased innovation, delivering highly scalable infrastructure solutions, and enhancing sales and corporate systems—including the architecture of global online, mobile, and social commerce capabilities.
Earlier, Mr. Fetter worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, where he served as director of global applications development, chief information officer, and ultimately global chief information officer during his tenure. He held previous positions at Hewitt Associates LLC and Electronic Data Systems.
Mr. Fetter has a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.
There is a tremendous opportunity for the youth of our nation to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. There are more than twice as many job postings for STEM careers as non-STEM for college graduates. In addition, STEM careers, on average, pay more (a 26% premium), which is helpful to college graduates who take out student loans and average nearly $30,000 in debt.
It makes sense for those who have an interest in STEM to look into this career path. Jobs in STEM are vast and deep, and companies need a wide variety of skill sets to be successful. For example, some may see LPL Financial as a career path for strictly Finance majors; however, our technologists on my team prove differently. Technology drives our society and our businesses, and as the world evolves, STEM disciplines will become an even more vital part of every organization. Job seekers will find that many STEM jobs require more than just technical skills; these positions can also allow you to simultaneously pursue other passions, such as writing, management, psychology or even sports. I can personally testify that at LPL we are always looking for applicants with a diverse and well-rounded knowledge base to join our Information Technology team.
Expanding the STEM education/workforce is critical to the success of our nation. Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” We all have the ability to think creatively, but a background in STEM allows you to put those thoughts in motion. Our students are struggling in these STEM proficiencies; the U.S. is ranked 35th in mathematics and 27th in science out of 64 countries. History must be taught so we don’t repeat our mistakes, and at the same time, STEM must be a priority to ensure our kids can embrace and lead the future.
I grew up in a southern suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana. St. Bernard Parish is primarily an oil and fishing town and was among the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. It was, and still is, a small town where family life was valued and almost all live paycheck to paycheck. Growing up here, it was more common for children to follow their parents’ trade than pursue a college education. However, I was lucky to have great mentors through my parents and grandparents who 100% supported my love of learning and computers. They always had time to listen, even when I carried on about how I was teaching myself coding on my Commodore 64. With their support, I was able to be the first member of my family to graduate from college, charting a new path and giving hope to my family who never thought a college education was attainable. Education has opened doors that my parents and grandparents would have never thought possible. Similarly, I want others to have this same opportunity.
Since arriving at LPL, I’ve partnered closely with our LPL Foundation and its quest to “Lift People Locally” through our local summer college internship program, high school mentorship program, and job shadowing initiative. For the past three years, the technology team has sponsored more than 25% of LPL’s interns—who are all underserved students in our local communities—to give them workplace experience. My team and I also support LPL’s “Explore Your Future” job shadowing program, where we connect with Title 1 students and share our thoughts on technology and opportunities that are out there. Some of these students never considered a career in technology before walking through the doors of LPL, but many have changed course once they saw the possibilities that a STEM career could offer. It is truly an honor to be able to help shape these bright minds.
I am also a supporter of bringing technology education into the schools through programs such as code.org and was excited to have my two younger children participate in that curriculum. This love of STEM must be cultivated from an early age, as our nation’s ability to drive innovation and be competitive long term in this global economy is being threatened. No longer does a college degree equate to a golden ticket, as nearly half of recent college grads work in jobs that do not require a degree. We need to excel in these crucial areas, as the market for these jobs are in high demand and low supply. For example, by 2020 projections show 1,000,000 more job openings than computer science students. Many schools still have a blind eye toward this shifting need, as 25 states still do not count computer science as a requirement for high school graduation.
Let’s give our students the best opportunity to live out the American dream and perhaps even be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. Companies, including LPL, can always benefit from more STEM talent. In fact, nearly 30% of LPL’s open requisitions have a major technology component. And, we can expect that number to continue to grow as we work toward creating technology solutions that are smarter, simpler, and more personal to enable advisors and institutions to help more Americans achieve their financial goals and continue to make LPL a great place to work.
LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), is a leader in the financial advice market and serves $485 billion in retail assets. The Company provides proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 14,000 independent financial advisors and more than 700 banks and credit unions. LPL Financial is the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer since 1996 (based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2015), is one of the fastest growing RIA custodians with $105 billion in retail assets served, and acts as an independent consultant to over an estimated 40,000 retirement plans with an estimated $120 billion in retirement plan assets served, as of March 31, 2015. In addition, LPL Financial supports approximately 4,300 financial advisors licensed with insurance companies by providing customized clearing, advisory platforms, and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have 3,352 employees with primary offices in Boston, Charlotte, and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.