The financial services firm Edward Jones has hired Katie Schonaerts as a new financial advisor for the Union branch office located at 507-A S. Lincoln Ave.

Schonaerts, who has been a branch office administrator in a Washington Edward Jones branch office for 10 years, recently made a career move to financial advisor.

Financial Advisor Phill Leathers, with whom Schonaerts has been working, said he’s excited and proud of Schonaerts’ decision.

“Katie has been responsible for the daily operation of this branch office and has done well providing top-notch client service, supporting my marketing activities and staying updated on technological advances,” he said.

“We’re very proud to have Katie represent us in Union,” said Jim Weddle, the firm’s managing partner. “The people of this community have grown to rely on our firm for their investment needs, and I am confident Katie will continue our outstanding tradition by providing one-on-one service.”

Schonaerts is enthusiastic about taking over the office.

“I joined this firm because I was impressed with its commitment to individual investors,” she said. “Now I’m looking forward to meeting with the individuals here to help them meet their financial goals.”

Schonaerts has 17 years of experience in the financial services industry. She received a bachelor’s degree from Webster University. She previously served in a role at the firm’s headquarters in St. Louis.

“Edward Jones values the individual investor and understands that people still want to do business with someone they know and trust,”  Schonaerts said. “I’ve chosen to pursue this path to help individual investors define their financial goals and work toward meeting them.”

Before a new Edward Jones financial advisor can even open an office, he or she is required to spend several months making face-to-face visits with the residents and business people in the community.

Schonaerts also completed one of the most rigorous training programs in the financial services industry. She is well-versed in the technical aspects of investments, the training isn’t over.

Edward Jones places a lot of emphasis on continuing education, and its financial advisors train literally throughout their entire careers.

“I believe in Edward Jones’ philosophy of building one-on-one, long-term relationships with clients, and I know that the firm’s investment style and buy-and-hold philosophy are proven investment strategies,” Schonaerts said.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada.

Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work.

The firm’s 15,000-plus financial advisors work directly with more than 7 million clients.

Edward Jones, which ranked No. 5 on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, is headquartered in St. Louis.