• We work with financial services firms that want to redefine the status quo.
  • Our approach uncovers ways to create new value.
  • We bring greater clarity, authenticity, and creativity to solving business problems.
  • A compelling vision is a great start. Getting teams aligned and activated is the real work of transformation.


We partner with leaders who have a vision for doing things differently

J Rudman & Associates (JRA) is a strategic consulting firm that partners with leaders and teams of financial services organizations in the midst of change — from launching a new offering, redefining a business model, or re-positioning the firm to telling a company’s story in ways that align strategy and action.

Since 1998, our work has been to help clients shape a bold vision for what is possible, and articulate the strategies that will make it real. Throughout, we are continually engaging our clients in a conversation about how they can see new ways to create value and act in new ways to bring that value to life. Our work begins with strategy, and then looks internally at the leadership and culture required to deliver on the strategy and externally at messaging and brand experiences required to create believers.

What we do

Our work is to define and activate the strategies that will help companies engage their clients and prospects in new ways.

Vision and Strategy

We partner with leadership teams to define a vision and build the strategy that will help them pursue their ambitions — in ways that set them apart.

Leadership and Culture

Our work is designed to help leadership teams see possibilities in new ways, challenge current assumptions, unleash new thinking, and act in unison. The optimal result is a set of initiatives and behaviors that will provide the group with a foundation on which to build a culture of creativity and accountability.

Identity and Branding

We help companies understand the unique ways they can stand out, and then we design the products, services, messages, websites, and interactive experiences that bring a brand to life.


We work with marketing teams to craft stories that simplify and amplify the qualities that make your offering unique. The goal is to create authentic messages that resonate both internally and externally.


We work with sales, service, and investment teams to help them both increase the effectiveness of how they tell their story and make more powerful connections with the people who matter to their business.

Client Insights and Surveys

We tailor each client survey, focus group, and interview to the specific needs of the project. This customized approach helps us quickly uncover the insights and unvarnished truths that will help our clients gain a better perspective on what they need to change, and how quickly it needs to change.

How we work

We think big. We speak clearly. We challenge convention. We ask the hard questions. We help clients spot their weaknesses (and fix them). And we help them build on their strengths.

Our process begins with gaining a meaningful understanding of your business strategy, and then moves on to how the different parts of your organization bring it to life. We know how to look at your business the way a prospective client would, identify the touchpoints and interactions that represent the critical moments that make an impact, and define the strategies that will align your entire organization with the activities that make you stand apart from the crowd.

The JRA Advantage

We don’t just help our clients through transformation. We believe transformation applies to us.

When we started in 1998, all of the professionals at J Rudman & Associates had worked in the financial services industry prior to joining the firm, which meant that our clients benefited from our deep industry expertise. Over the last five years, we have introduced talent from outside of our industry to help challenge and stretch our thinking. Leveraging the expertise of strategists and writers who have worked with companies like Gap, Apple, HP, Starbucks, Nike, and other powerful brands has helped us to break free from the status quo of our industry.


We work with clients who want to begin a deeper dialogue about how they create new value.

We love working with companies who want to challenge themselves to do new things, and in the process lead the industry to think in new ways. Over the years, we’ve forged enduring partnerships based on helping our clients stand out in meaningful ways.

Accolade Partners

Branding / Business Strategy / Culture / Leadership

Affiliated Managers Group

Branding / Business Strategy / Identity / Training

Analytic Investors

Business Strategy / Client Survey / Culture / Leadership / Messaging / Training

Angeles Investment Advisors

Branding / Identity / Messaging

Aureus Asset Management

Branding / Business Strategy / Identity / Messaging

Bank of the West

Branding / Identity

Barclays Global Investors

Branding / Business Strategy / Identity

Charles Schwab Investment Management


First Pacific Advisors

Branding / Business Strategy / Identity / Messaging / Training

First Quadrant

Branding / Identity / Messaging

FIS Group

Branding / Identity


Branding / Business Strategy / Identity / Messaging / Training

Hirtle Callaghan


Invesco Mortgage Capital

Branding / Identity / Messaging

JP Morgan American Century

Business Strategy

Lattice Strategies

Branding / Identity / Messaging

MacKay Municipal Managers

Branding / Business Strategy / Identity

McMorgan & Company

Branding / Identity / Messaging

New York Life Investment Management

Business Strategy / Culture / Identity / Leadership / Training

Northern Trust

Branding / Identity / Messaging

OFI Institutional

Business Strategy / Training

Old Mutual Asset Management

Messaging / Training


Branding / Identity / Messaging

Principal Financial Group

Branding / Identity / Training

Russell Investment Group

Business Strategy / Client Focus Group

State Street Global Advisors

Culture / Leadership

Third Avenue Management

Branding / Business Strategy / Identity

Turner Investment Partners

Branding / Culture / Leadership / Messaging / Training

Wells Capital Management

Business Strategy

Wells Fargo

Client Survey / Training


The best ideas come from teams that bring different perspectives and experiences to the table. So that’s how we’ve built our team.

Our company is made up of people who know the industry well enough to know there’s always room for improvement. We bring highly experienced, senior-level talent to every engagement. By putting together teams of people with specific skills and capabilities specific to the engagement, we can meet a project’s challenges with the best combination of strengths.

For over 16 years, Jillian Rudman has been working with organizations to help them envision their futures in ways that can set them apart. Prior to launching JRA in 1998, Jillian managed the West Coast operation of State Street Global Advisors, focusing on marketing and new business development for SSgA’s institutional practice. She led the business development effort for SSgA in Sydney, Australia, where she introduced two new products to market, and was instrumental in growing assets from $6 billion to $11 billion in six months.

Before SSgA, Jillian developed the institutional business practice at Robertson Stephens Investment Management. Earlier in her career, she held marketing and sales positions at Investment Research Company, Massachusetts Financial Services, PanAgora Asset Management, and The Boston Company.

Jillian has been involved with The Professional Association for Investment Communications Resources in Washington, DC (former President of the Board, Advisory Board Member); The Center for Attitudinal Healing in Sausalito, CA (former Board Member); and The Institute for Private Investors in New York, NY.

Jillian has been providing executive coaching and leadership development workshops to individuals and corporations globally for over 16 years. In addition, she completed twelve months of extensive coursework in psychotherapy at Pacifica Graduate Institute and has facilitated weekly peer-to-peer support groups in Sausalito for over seven years. Recognizing the importance of fitness and its impact on clarity of mind and purpose, Jillian’s training work extends beyond the corporate realm: Jillian has been a group and individual fitness trainer since 1987, and currently runs Pilates Pro, Barre Pro and Bootcamp Pro classes at Pilates ProWorks in Mill Valley, CA.

Jillian graduated with honors from The University of Michigan with a BA in Political Science and History.

Jim Humes has been helping financial services and consumer products companies define, articulate, and communicate their brands and business strategies for the last 15 years. At JRA, Jim brings brand strategy and storytelling expertise to help firms better express who they are, what makes them different, and how they can frame their opportunities. Jim’s experience includes five years at SY Partners, where, as a Strategy Team Lead, he led clients such as Charles Schwab, eBay, Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, GE, Apple, and Nike through engagements that focused on brand innovation and business strategy. Prior to joining SYP, Jim held strategy and user-experience roles at Walmart.com, Sapient, and Studio Archetype.

Jim holds a BA in English Literature from Rice University and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

Rick Shaughnessy brings 30 years of practical experience to JRA. Rick’s role with JRA includes presentation training, business strategy, product development, and distribution-related initiatives. Prior to working with the JRA team and setting up his own consulting practice, Rick was Product Specialist and Director of Marketing for a $30 billion equity investment team at American Express Asset Management. He previously served as Director of Communications at Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management, where he acted as principal spokesman for the firm and oversaw development and production of communications programs for institutional, managed accounts, and offshore markets.

Rick holds a BA from Wayne State University.

Heather is a writer, communicator, and marketer with more than 20 years of experience. She has worked extensively in the financial services industry with a focus on corporate branding, content strategy, writing, and executive positioning.

Heather has a track record creating materials and campaigns to help organizations engage their clients to deepen relationships, drive sales, and improve retention. She has expertise converting financial concepts and data-rich information into marketing, social media, and sales support materials.

While working at BNP Paribas’ US subsidiary Bank of the West, Heather was head of client experience for the bank’s wealth management business, which included private banking, trust services, and brokerage. In that role, she gained a deep understanding of high and ultra high-net-worth client preferences through her team’s client insights research.

In addition to leading sales strategy and advisor training efforts as part of her Bank of the West role, Heather created a content marketing and client communications program for the wealth management business.

Heather has worked with a range of financial services companies while at marketing communications agencies in New York City and San Francisco. She earned her MBA degree in finance from NYU and her bachelor’s degree in economics from Denison University.

Shannon Coleman brings to JRA over 15 years of professional experience in sales, project, and event management. She managed all aspects of projects related to work with clients such as Velodyne LiDAR, Oracle, McKinsey & Company, KPMG, Barclays, and Royal Bank of Scotland. Responsibilities included developing project plans, setting and maintaining the sequence of work for the team and the client, and executing final work products. She also managed all aspects of large-scale events, from content development to print and event production.

Shannon graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Sociology. She attended Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia to gain her certificate in basic cuisine. Shannon has lived and worked internationally, and enjoys outdoor adventures and exploring with her family.

Eric Wilinski brings to JRA more than a decade of experience in defining and executing on branding strategies. His copywriting expertise spans print and online advertising, direct mail, branding and training videos, case studies and white papers, and product and company naming. Clients who’ve benefited from Eric’s work include Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Bank of America, as well non-financial services companies like Google, Intel, Starbucks, and Accenture.

Eric holds a BA in English Literature from Dartmouth College and an MA in Creative Writing and English Literature from New York University.

With over 15 years of experience in design and strategy, Nichole has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest brands, working to envision and activate change for their clients and employees. She has designed employee and customer experiences for companies such as Amgen, Charles Schwab, Facebook, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, Steelcase, Silicon Valley Bank, and United Technologies. Her work has appeared in Communication Arts, Graphis, How, I.D. Magazine, Print and Step Inside Design, and has been recognized by The Art Director’s Club and AIGA.

Nichole is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Kristin Glunt brings more than 20 years of experience as an HR and Learning & Development professional to JRA. Believing that transformation is essential for the modern workplace and key to business growth, Kristin is relentless in proposing innovative solutions and linking training and learning goals to long-term business strategy. Kristin has a bachelors in Communication from Santa Clara University, masters-level coursework in Organizational Development, multiple coaching and facilitation certifications. Prior to forming her own firm and partnering with JRA, Kristin held senior leadership positions at Wells Fargo & Co, Intraware and ExecuTrain.

Ryan Erving brings to JRA over two decades of experience in sales, business development, staffing, and recruiting.

Over the years Brian has leveraged his MBA and his BS in Organizational Development to guide dozens of startups and many Fortune 500 companies — including Wells Fargo, Capital One, ABN AMRO, Northern Trust, Bank of the West, Visa, Charles Schwab, Kaiser Permanente, Genentech, and Juniper Networks — through the process of building high-performing teams.

Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from Golden Gate University.


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495 Miller Ave, Suite 304, Mill Valley, CA 94941


Contact Us

Have a question? Want our take on a particular topic? Want to discuss the challenges you’re facing? Every project we take on begins with a more informal conversation that helps us understand what you’re up against, and allows you to get a sense of how we think.