How long have you been involved with ISITC and what positions have you held/do you sit on any committees?
Over 10 years ago, one of my co-workers at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH) invited me to tag along to some ISITC Corporate Actions working group sessions. She held a leadership position within the ISITC organization at the time and I was interested in the ways businesses connect. She explained to me the process of researching existing practices, engaging with peers, and collaborating on business cases in support of evolving market practices. I was fascinated by the whole experience and spent a number of months participating in the working group. In 2016, after having spent some time in different parts of the BBH organization, I returned to an operational role and engaged in ISITC again. In 2017, I had the honor of becoming a co-chair for the Settlements working group, a position I still hold. To my pleasant surprise, a number of the individuals I met at the beginning of my ISITC involvement are still active members. This exemplifies the dedication folks at ISITC have to the organization, as well as ISITC’s ability to retain volunteer participation.
What's one of your favorite memories from your time at ISITC?
Well, I have a number of great memories but the one that I always gravitate toward is the journey to implementing the market practice for the UMBS, Single Security Initiative. The outcome wholly encapsulates the essence of ISITC. The topic was presented and reviewed at multiple conferences. Different ISITC working groups and conference sessions were held, in partnership with the member firms, to discuss the impact to the industry. Ideas were shared and a plan formulated. After a number of working drafts, the financial services community collaborated to implement a new market practice resulting in an optimal solution for the members! I am excited to see how ISITC can have a similar impact with the challenges presented by CSDR.
What’s the most impactful lesson you've gained from ISITC that you were able to bring back to your firm?
At a recent conference, there was an interactive group session focused on innovation. In this industry, change happens quickly, as an organization we have to be prepared and able to react.
There were two key lessons I took from this session. First is the importance of fostering an open and creative environment to encourage innovation. The second, which was most impactful, is the importance of truly assessing and understanding a problem. The idea sounds simple, but there is a natural tendency for people to immediately work toward solutions! Before working toward solutions it is critical to fully delve into and understand your problem statement: tackle it, explore it, challenge your view of it. If you really dig, and question the problem from different angles, you will always be moving in the direction of solving the true problem.
If you weren't working in financial services, what would you want to do for work?
A high school teacher, without hesitation. We all had one of those teachers who changed our trajectory as people, mine was my high school accounting teacher. Her passion resonated with so many students. She embodied the saying that “the essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.” I looked forward to her class every day, we never knew what was going to unfold and what we were going to learn about, and it was accounting! As part of my career I have the privilege of managing people, I gravitate toward opportunities to teach and coach my teams. One of the greatest joys is watching someone I managed grow and succeed.
What is the next item on your bucket list?
A road trip across the country with my family. I would pack up an RV with my husband John, daughter Lily (5) and son Jack (2)! We would hit the open road and head west (I live in Boston, so east would be a short trip) with no plans, just a map and great music. I always enjoy experiencing the natural beauty of a country by taking time to explore beyond the tourist locations, enjoy the local food, meet people, and create memories.