Dec 21

Karen Benedict Named No. 1 Top Director of Mid-Size Financial Institution Investment Services Firms

HERNDON, Va. — Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting (Kehrer Bielan), an award-winning provider of research and consulting for the financial advice industry, selected Karen Benedict, senior vice president of Northwest Financial Advisors (NWFA), No. 1 on its 2022 Top Directors Awards list for mid-size financial institutions.1 The annual list recognizes the five most successful investment services directors among the nation's mid-sized bank and credit union investment programs, defined as programs employing between 7 and 24 advisors.  

Northwest Financial Advisors is a subsidiary of Northwest Federal Credit Union (Northwest Federal) offering credit union members and the general public a comprehensive range of wealth management services. Kehrer Bielan assessed the performance of 557 investment firms of all sizes to produce a list of 48 finalists, from which five directors in each category were chosen. The company used 13 data-driven criteria and a weighted, average score that acknowledge the importance of revenue, assets, advisors and clients to the success of the financial institution's investment services business. 

The winners were announced at Kehrer Bielan’s 2022 Top Directors Awards ceremony in Chapel Hill, NC on December 7. Benedict’s award follows her prior 2022 Kehrer Bielan award as the year’s No. 4 Top Director among credit unions nationwide.  

Kevin Fisher, NWFA's president and CEO said, “We trust and respect Kehrer Bielan for their actionable industry data and insight, so to have them name Karen a top director — not only among credit unions but among credit unions and banks across the nation — is remarkable. I congratulate Karen and her team on their continued exceptionalism in the industry.” 

“From all of us at Kehrer Bielan, and on behalf of the sponsors of the 2022 Top Directors Awards, congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and winners,” said Tim Kehrer, director of research. “We stand in awe of your accomplishments, and we can’t wait to see what you do in 2023 and beyond.” 

Benedict has led the firm for more than eight years. Her team of 12 advisors serves clients virtually, from its Herndon headquarters and at several Northwest Federal branch locations in Virginia and Maryland. Under her leadership, the firm surpassed $2 billion in total assets under management (AUM) in 2021, doubling AUM in six years. 

For more information about the awards, please see Kehrer Bielan’s news release


About Northwest Financial Advisors 

Serving individuals and businesses across the nation for over a quarter century, Northwest Financial Advisors (NWFA) is owned by NW Capital Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwest Federal Credit Union. The firm offers a comprehensive range of personalized, unbiased wealth management advice and solutions to help individuals and business owners work toward creating, growing and preserving their assets. LPL Financial, the nation's leading independent broker-dealer2 and NWFA's securities custodian, ranked NWFA the No. 1 investment program among its credit union programs and the No. 7 investment program among its bank and credit union programs combined in 2022.3 Visit for more information. 


About Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting 

Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting (KBR&C) provides the financial advice industry with insights based on a melding of research and experience in managing the delivery of investment, insurance and wealth management services. The firm provides performance assessment and benchmarking, human resource management and development, due diligence, consumer insights and interpretation of industry trends through its original research, unbiased consulting and peer study groups. Please visit or email for more information. 


Recipients of the annual Kehrer Bielan Top Directors Award were selected based on a transparent, data-driven evaluation process comprised of 13 criteria and a weighted average score. 
Based on total revenues, as reported by Financial Planning magazine, 1996-2022.
Rankings based on total production among all LPL Financial Institution Services (FIS) advisors through September 30, 2022.

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