Investing In Integrity
By Scholars of Finance
Investing In IntegrityMay 25, 2023
#50 - Redefining Finance: Ross’ Vision for the Future (with Nishant Singhal, Chief of Staff at Scholars of Finance)
The 50th episode of "Investing in Integrity" is the second part of our special Chairman & CEO series with host Nishant Singhal, SOF’s Chief of Staff, and Ross Overline as featured guest. Through their enlightening conversation, they discuss why we need to be more optimistic about the future of the financial industry and how to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Ross' unyielding commitment to societal betterment is what inspired him to co-found Scholars of Finance. He talks in detail about why finance must be transformed, especially within the academic world. Ross argues that our current definition of finance is essentially a construct that we’ve designed and passed on intergenerationally for centuries. As such, he emphasizes the need to reconceptualize it for humanity to thrive.
On a personal level, Ross also explores the impact of the pivotal influences in his life. Discover how his mother, a pioneering figure in Minneapolis back in 1981, has been a compelling figure throughout the years. Learn how his stepfather’s encouragement sparked his passion for data and graphics. Lastly, delve into the challenging journey that led to the creation of SOF.
Whether you're interested in reforming finance, gaining actionable advice, or simply hearing inspiring stories, this episode has something for everyone. So tune in for an enlightening installment that serves as a fitting and poignant conclusion to our podcast’s two-part special.
#49 - Ross Overline and the SOF Revolution (with Nishant Singhal, Chief of Staff at Scholars of Finance)
The 49th episode of "Investing in Integrity" offers a unique twist: Ross Overline, your usual host, steps into the guest seat for his first of two episodes with host Nishant Singhal, Chief of Staff at Scholars of Finance. Through their conversation, Ross dives deep into his unique journey from a modest farm town upbringing to becoming the champion for ethical finance he is today.
Listen as Ross pulls back the curtain on his life before Scholars of Finance. He candidly speaks about his mental health struggles and the invaluable support he received from family and friends on his path to recovery. Remarkably, he relates how he channeled these personal trials into his professional calling, using them to inform and inspire the future leaders of finance.
Ross' unyielding commitment to societal betterment is what inspired him to co-found Scholars of Finance, an organization poised to revolutionize ethical practices within the financial sector. By instilling values-based leadership in today’s students, he aims to transform the panorama of the finance industry and effect a positive societal impact.
Join Ross as he offers us a rare blend of personal growth stories, mentorship insights, and professional development tips that are as impactful as they are inspirational. He even commemorates the memory of a late student member, adding a layer of depth and community spirit to his powerful message.
Whether you're a seasoned professional in the finance realm or just embarking on your career, this is a must-listen episode that packs a powerful punch of wisdom and actionable insights. Get ready to be both enlightened and empowered!
#48 - Best of Integrity: Must-Listen Highlights from the First 45 Episodes
Prepare to be immersed in a wealth of knowledge as we present our 'Best Of' compilation, distilled from the first 45 episodes of Investing in Integrity. This special edition is custom-made to elevate your financial expertise and turbocharge your personal and professional growth. Segmented into overarching themes of Personal Development, Leadership, and Finance, we have distilled the top talking points of the past 2 years into one blockbuster podcast. Listen from start to finish - you wouldn't want to miss this one!
- Personal Development: Your journey begins with insights from industry titans like Richard Davis, former Executive Chairman and President at U.S. Bancorp; Mandel Crowley, Chief Human Resources Officer at Morgan Stanley; and Chris Larsen, Executive Chairman and Co-founder at Ripple. They'll guide you on harnessing the power of humility and curiosity - not just as virtues, but as tools to supercharge your personal growth.
- Leadership: It's not just about knowing the numbers; it's about leading with vision and impact. Tune in as we delve deep into leadership essentials with Michelle Seitz, Founder and CEO at MeydenVest Partners; Arielle Patrick, Chief Communications Officer at Ariel Investments LLC; Peter Akwaboah, COO - Operations, Technology and Firm Resilience at Morgan Stanley; and the ever-insightful Richard Davis. Discover the true essence of exceptional leadership.
- Finance: We round off the episode with financial luminaries Mandell Crawley; John Taft, Vice Chairman at Baird; Chris Larsen; and Robin John, CEO at Eventide. They'll unveil the immense potential of the finance sector in addressing global issues and unveil the critical changes needed for a more compassionate and inclusive world of finance.
But here's the kicker - this episode isn't just about collecting information. It's about lighting a fire within you. We're here to equip you with actionable insights that can inspire, guide, and equip you with actionable insights for meaningful transformation in your career, business, and life.
#47 - Timeless Horizons: Unraveling the New Age Landscape (feat. Anne Ackerley, Managing Director & Head of Blackrock’s Retirement Group)
In this episode of Investing in Integrity, we engage in an enlightening conversation with Anne Ackerley, an esteemed executive at BlackRock. As the overseer of the US Retirement Group, Anne is responsible for over $1 trillion in assets, serving the retirement needs of millions of Americans.
With keen insights and unmatched expertise, Anne takes us on a captivating journey through her life and career in finance, starting from her roots as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and eventually finding her way to BlackRock. She then discusses the secrets behind BlackRock's phenomenal growth and success; these being a relentless client-focused approach, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a steadfast commitment to risk management through their exclusive proprietary system.
Anne also delves into the sweeping trends shaping the finance industry, such as the burgeoning impact of AI, the urgent need for environmentally conscious investments, and personalized finance solutions. This leads her to address the shifting landscape of the retirement age, as people live longer and redefine the traditional notion of elderliness. By shedding light on the challenges of retirement planning, Anne highlights the significance of understanding and monitoring risks in the face of global uncertainty.
Join us for a valuable journey with Anne, where beyond sharing her wisdom, she encourages the young finance leaders of today to toil diligently, maintain a curious spirit, and exhibit compassion. We are sure that you’ll enjoy this great conversation!
#46 - “The Life of The Long Odds, The Life of Making It Happen” (feat. Daniel Kimerling, Founder of Deciens Capital)
In this episode of Investing in Integrity, we spoke with Daniel Kimerling, Managing Partner of Deciens Capital, an early-stage investment fund. Along with being an experienced startup operator, Daniel is also the Co-Founder of Standard Treasury, a Y-Combinator backed startup.
Daniel makes an impassioned case for the role of finance & technology (specifically venture capital) in creating opportunity and driving positive innovation – telling stories about how the financing of Genentech enabled the synthesis of insulin, or how fintechs like True Link and Chipper Cash have introduced much-needed financial products to underserved populations.
Much of this conversation is also a meditation on the value of liberal arts learning and insatiable curiosity in solving problems. “Investing is the ultimate liberal art,” Daniel says, “because the amount of learning knows no bounds.” Daniel delves into his personal obsession, as he calls it, with, “understanding why people stick with projects that end up being massively successful, even though statistically the odds are massively against them.
Daniel and Ross tie together observational insights drawn from Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, to Charlie Munger’s idea of “natural drift,” to Rick Rubin’s work with Dr. Dre and Johnny Cash. We hope you enjoy this wide-ranging conversation on venture capital, technology, and timeless values like curiosity and perseverance!
#45 - Curiosity and Deal-Making (feat. Jonathan Cary, Senior MD at Guggenheim Securities)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we spoke with Jonathan Cary, a Senior Managing Director at Guggenheim Securities, one of the leading investment banks on Wall Street. In this episode, Jonathan discusses everything from navigating the financial landscape after the 2008 recession, to unleashing the power of authentic leadership.
Jonathan shares several anecdotes of how he steered Guggenheim Securities through the challenging period of the last financial crisis, shaping the organization's path forward while uplifting more junior members. A central theme in Jonathan's approach to leadership is empowering others to succeed. He shares his philosophy on providing effective feedback, emphasizing the importance of genuine support and a selfless mindset.
Like previous guests in senior leadership roles, Jonathan encourages listeners to show humility and curiosity in working with others. For anyone struggling with solving a problem, he advises others to be transparent about just “needing some help," which will go a long way. “Like, who's not gonna respond well to that?” he says.
As Jonathan puts it, “There'll always be a reason why something won't work, but what are you gonna do to make it work? And when you become an advocate of trying to push it forward and leading an organization, you will be successful.”
00:00 - Introduction
03:13 - Personal Background
06:57 - 2008 Financial Crisis & Guggenheim
16:55 - Leadership Approach
23:48 - Continuous Learning
28:38 - Successful Deal Making
32:32 - Rapid Fires
#44 - Realizations about Risk (feat. Armel Roméo Kouassi, Global Head of Asset Liability Management for Northern Trust Corporation)
In this episode of Investing in Integrity, we had an in-depth conversation about risk management and modeling with Armel Roméo Kouassi, Global Head of Asset Liability Management for Northern Trust Corporation.
From dissecting the downfall of Silicon Valley Bank to comparative historical analysis of how firms managed and modeled risk in the 1980s, Armel argues throughout the conversation how the complexity and uncertainty of working in finance necessitates strong, principled leadership.
He also unpacks how having close peer networks (for Armel, his inner circle of other risk leaders) is instrumental to professional success – especially in difficult environments.
An accomplished leader both in and beyond finance, Armel also shares a few stories from his experience as part of the Executive Leadership Program in the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program – through which he met former Presidents Bush and Clinton.
#43 - Sustainable Finance (feat. Kara Succoso Mangone, Head of the Sustainable Finance Group at Goldman Sachs)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we talked with one of sustainable finance’s most innovative and impactful leaders, Kara Succoso Mangone. Kara is a Managing Director and Head of the Sustainable Finance Group at Goldman Sachs where she drives Goldman’s $750B firmwide commitment to providing sustainable finance solutions to clients and investors.This conversation dives into Kara’s perspectives on issues from the pragmatics of global decarbonization, to purchasing nature offsets in emerging markets, to the successes of public-private partnerships to scale sustainable development.
Kara layers in many helpful examples from her work at Goldman Sachs, including the firm’s recent partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Asian Development Bank to accelerate climate finance in lagging developed markets; and also the firm’s progress financing the first fleet of electric buses in Vietnam. Kara also digs into trends and changes in metrics and reporting, drawing on her expertise in investor relations.
And of course, the episode includes career advice and Kara’s own recollections of her journey – such as her perspective on how taking maternity leave three times helped her improve how she reflects and re-prioritizes in her life.
We hope you enjoy this episode and share in Kara’s excitement for innovations in sustainable finance!
#42 - Human Flourishing through ‘Investing that Makes the World Rejoice’ (feat. Robin John, Co-Founder and CEO, Eventide)
Citing Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory,” Robin John, CEO of Eventide Asset Management, traces his inspiring, Christ-driven journey in building an investment firm that “makes the world rejoice” by allocating capital to promote “human flourishing.” In this one-of-a-kind episode of Investing In Integrity, Robin John explains how Eventide’s investment philosophy goes beyond, “avoiding the worst examples” of exploitation, to actively “keep moving towards companies promoting human flourishing and the global common good.”
“If a company's killing a person through their product and service, to us, they don't belong in our portfolio,” Robin explains, citing how focusing only on ESG criteria – without considering the specific effects of the actual product or service – isn’t necessarily sufficient to make values-based investment decisions.
Additionally, Robin unpacks his philosophy in leading a faith-inspired investment firm which includes “a huge amount of diversity – people from Hindu backgrounds, Jewish backgrounds, and atheists.” Reflecting on the importance of integrity, Robin says that, “if I have to sacrifice growth in order to maintain a strong culture at Eventide, I would: culture is number one.”
For anyone interested in learning from one of the most values-based, purpose-driven leaders in finance, this is sure to be an unforgettable episode.
00:00 - Intro/Career
05:15 - Founding of Eventide
10:36 - Faith & Values
18:28 - Navigating Pushbacks
26:48 - Religious Inclusion
29:56 - Leadership & Culture
37:31 - Rapid Fire
#41 - Be Transparent; Assume Positive Intentions (feat. Arvind Purushotham, Head of Citi Ventures)
“Life’s too short to play games,” says Arvind Purushotham, Head of Citi Ventures, our guest in our latest episode of Investing in Integrity. Arvind traces an impressive career arc from engineering leadership at Intel to making high-stakes investment decisions and advising founders & business leaders at Citi, unpacking how strong technical and product knowledge can equip future investors to make smarter decisions.
For those curious about different approaches to venture capital (e.g. the differences between Citi Ventures and firms like Sequoia), and the role finance can play in driving innovation, Arvind offers a first-hand perspective comparing and contrasting how different firms operate.
Throughout the conversation, he emphasizes the importance of transparency, ethics, and integrity in leadership positions, and doing right by the company, investors, and clients.
And tempered with wisdom from working through the Dot-com Bubble, Arvind contextualizes present macroeconomic concerns and unpacks timeless qualities that investors should look for–from operational discipline to principled-decision making.
Tune into this episode for advice on how to “face the music and be out there,” as Arvind muses, in making difficult decisions and navigating uncertainty, whether as a student, operator or investor.
00:00 - Intro/Career
06:11 - Values
08:43 - Keys to Success
11:19 - VC vs. CVC
16:13 - Value Proposition
23:31 - Principled Leadership
26:10 - Rapid Fire
#40 - Life & Work in Balance (feat. Stephen Sorenson, COO at Scholars of Finance)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we spoke with Stephen Sorenson, COO at Scholars of Finance. This conversation is all about balance and leadership.
Stephen defines work-life balance as “being healthy on all fronts - mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual,” and shares several stories about his early days in building SOF – and how being focused and present in the task at hand, whether it is work or spending time with family, benefited him.
Stephen also talks openly about how work-life balance is often overlooked until mental health is affected negatively. “I see a therapist every week, I'm not ashamed to say it,” Stephen says, because “everyone should be able to talk to someone professionally about what's happening and how they can learn and grow.”
Relatedly, Stephen talks at length about being an effective manager and his path into management. Giving feedback, he reflects, is about “helping others succeed with no other intentions aside from helping them succeed.”
“If that's my mentality heading into a feedback conversation, there's no loser, there's just winners,” he concludes.
There are only winners in this conversation, too, thanks to Stephen’s compassionate, wise advice on timeless themes like personal well-being, family values, work-life balance, and leadership.
00:00 - Intro
10:11- Work-Life Balance
14:30 - Mental Health
18:26 - Feedback and Growth
22:22 - Managing Others
26:00 - Rapid Fire
#39 - Recruiting Advice & Investment Banking in Healthcare (feat. Yassaman Salas, Partner at Goldman Sachs in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we spoke with Yassaman Salas, Partner at Goldman Sachs in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group.
At Goldman Sachs, Yassaman leads their Medical Technology Banking division, where she’s been involved in some of the biggest Healthcare and MedTech industry deals of the last decade. Yassaman digs into how the pandemic impacted the space, and also discusses several predictions for the industry in the coming years.
Yassaman also co-leads the undergraduate and MBA recruiting efforts at Goldman Sachs for her alma mater, Georgetown, so she offers lots of advice and insight in the episode into how the firm recruits, and how students can better stand out and navigate the process.
Finally, Yassaman touches on her passion for helping women to succeed in finance, recounting her own inspiring career path and offering tips for anyone looking to make an impact through finance. Don’t miss this conversation filled with relatable, practical advice from Yassaman!
You can listen to Investing In Integrity on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to your favorite podcasts.
00:00 - Intro
15:44 - Healthcare Investment Banking
28:26 - Recruiting
35:21 - Rapid Fire
#38 - ‘Active Patience’ & Communicating with Integrity (feat. Arielle Patrick, Chief Communications Officer of Ariel Investments)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we spoke with Arielle Patrick, Chief Communications Officer of Ariel Investments.
Arielle leads an integrated team responsible for all communications for the $16.2 billion global asset management firm and its private equity arm.
This episode is a masterclass on essential communication skills for all finance professionals. Arielle also explains the recent rebranding of Ariel Investments, which introduced the tagline, ‘Active Patience.’ She emphasizes the importance of the brand reflecting specific changes in the firm’s asset management strategy and client service approach and speaks more broadly about the changing role and reputation of financial services in the public understanding.
Additionally, she discusses the ethical obligations of communications leaders and how to handle situations when professional duty conflicts with personal values. Whether you’re keen on improving your communications skills or learning about another leader’s real-world perspective on ethical dilemmas, this episode is for you.
00:00 - Intro
11:08 - Communications Leadership & Role at Ariel Investments
33:08 - Rapid Fire
#37 - Finance as Safeguarding (feat. Gunjan Kedia, Vice Chair of Wealth Management and Investment Services at U.S. Bank)
Working in finance is essentially “safeguarding people’s lives and dreams,” according to Gunjan Kedia, Vice Chair of Wealth Management and Investment Services at U.S. Bank.
“The most successful leaders and firms in finance,” Gunjan argues, are those who carry this obligation “close to heart, and never let people become just a statistic.”
U.S. Bank, Gunjan explains, follows this principle through efforts to bring equal access to wealth management and robo-advisory technology in serving clients
In the episode, Gunjan shares her journey in the financial services industry, including her experience as a management consultant at McKinsey, and the values and principles that have contributed to her ascent through the ranks of banking leadership.
She also describes the difficulties in balancing raising a family and keeping a personal life with building a professional career, and emphasizes the importance of honesty and courage in the workplace to navigate difficult situations.
We hope you enjoy the conversation!
Disclaimer: Automated Investor is offered by U.S. Bank affiliate, U.S. Bancorp Investments.
00:00 - Intro
16:32 - US Bank
34:04 - Doing Good in Finance
42:36 - Rapid Fire
#36 - Options and Ethics (feat. Rory Gwozdz, SOF Alum)
In this episode of Investing in Integrity, Ross had the pleasure of speaking with Rory Gwozdz in our first ever alumni interview. Rory was one of the Co-Founders of our UC Berkeley chapter and is currently a trader at the hedge fund The Voleon Group.
Rory shares his experience of charting his initial path in finance. As a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, he offers relatable insights into choosing your professional careers from a student perspective. He candidly takes us through his journey and passion in finance through his academic years, and discusses how he realized he could follow his passion for options trading by building his own trading firm post-grad.
Rory was an incredible student member of SOF and we are so grateful for his commitment to the next generations of SOF students as a professional member and donor. This is a great podcast touching on values of entrepreneurship, dedication, and ethical finance from one of our very own alumni. We hope you tune in!
00:00 - Intro
09:10 - Perception of Finance
15:34 - Ethical Design and Regulation
36:34 - Involvement in SOF
42:28 - Impactful, Ethical Finance
#35 - The Third Winter of Crypto (feat. Michael Sonnenshein, CEO at Grayscale Investments)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, Ross Overline spoke with Michael Sonnenshein, CEO at Grayscale Investments. For context, Grayscale is the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, and its flagship product, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, or GBTC for short, has had major ups & downs in the last couple years – just like Bitcoin. Ross & Michael dig into some of the major controversies and flashpoints in crypto, from the recent collapse of FTX, to Grayscale’s clash with the SEC over launching a Bitcoin spot ETF.
A decade-long crypto veteran, Michael describes the present moment as a “third winter” in the backdrop of a possible recession, but argues there is ample reason to be bullish. With measured optimism, Michael answers some of the core existential questions about crypto, from its viability as an asset class, to whether NFTs and memecoins are useful innovations.
Michael also shares some thoughts on leadership, gained from working at one of the most dynamic and unpredictable edges of finance.
We hope you enjoy this timely conversation on some of the hottest issues in crypto!
00:00 - Intro
18:04 - SEC Lawsuit, Regulation
31:23 - Crypto as an Asset Class, Recession Context
36:06 - Rapid Fire
#34 - Help People Achieve Their Goals (feat. Tim Welsh, Vice Chair, Consumer and Business Banking at U.S. Bank)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, Ross Overline spoke with Tim Welsh, Vice Chair of Consumer and Business Banking at U.S. Bank. This conversation is all about helping other people to achieve their goals, and how a mindset grounded in humility, compassion, and integrity should be at the center of banking.
Tim’s career started in management consulting, spanning over two decades at McKinsey. He discusses in-depth how a leadership foundation in solving problems and helping clients has informed his decision-making as the head of over 25,000 people in the consumer and business banking divisions of U.S. Bank.
“Job titles are irrelevant if you’re not making a difference in people’s lives,” Tim says. This conversation has a timeless quality to it, as Tim touches on inflection points in his own career and U.S. Bank’s journey, and explains how leadership principles and values have helped him and his countless employees and clients to prosper.
We hope you enjoy this evergreen conversation on the importance of serving others and staying true to principles in leadership!
00:00 - Intro
11:40 - Leadership
34:35 - Consumer Banking
38:01 - Philanthropy
39:16 - Rapid Fire
#33 - Integrity from Vulnerability: On Entrepreneurship & Startup Investing (feat. Techstars Managing Director, Vijay Tirathrai)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, Ross chatted with Vijay Tirathrai, Managing Director of Techstars, a juggernaut startup accelerator which has had 2,900 companies go through its accelerator programs, adding up to a combined market capitalization of over $70 billion.
Vijay’s journey spans founding, failing, building, scaling, and exiting as a serial startup founder – and then investing, advising, and mentoring as a venture investor at Techstars. Vijay emphasizes the role of integrity in startup leadership, especially through vulnerability and tenacity as a team-member in his own companies. “The quicker we can get to openness, the faster we build trust,” Vijay says, explaining how it’s important for leaders to be forthcoming about challenges, setbacks, and the failures they face.
A prolific and successful entrepreneur, Vijay explains how getting “agitated” about unsolved problems in his life inspired him to start several companies, including a cycling helmet manufacturer, an association and events management platform, and a corporate venture capital firm.
And as a seasoned investor and advisor, Vijay also unpacks how Techstars operates, highlighting how they “don’t have a timeline for when investors need to exit” as a firm that believes in “patient capital.” He emphasizes the role of a curated, talent-dense network in facilitating growth and collaboration. “Start a company because you’re passionate about solving a problem, start today,” Vijay says. “If you fail, even better – stop procrastinating and get it done!”
We hope you enjoy this conversation on entrepreneurship, integrity, vulnerability, and the principles underpinning great leadership in the startup space!
00:00 - Intro
15:06 - Entrepreneurship
29:49 - Techstars Role
36:03 - Rapid Fire
#32 - Reflection and Resilience (feat. Peter Akwaboah, COO for Technology & Head of Innovation at Morgan Stanley)
In this year-end episode of Investing In Integrity, we’re joined by Peter Akwaboah, the Chief Operating Officer for Technology and Head of Innovation at Morgan Stanley.
It’s alright to “slow down,” Peter says. “The pandemic taught us we can take time out and calibrate; things will survive and still run.” As we wrap up a year marked by so much uncertainty and kick off 2023, Peter reminds us that “it doesn’t matter what we do – taking care of yourself is the only way we continue to have mileage for the marathon.”
Peter’s career proves that reflection and self-care aren’t just compatible with professional excellence, they’re conducive to it. He delves into his work spearheading innovation at Morgan Stanley, stressing the importance of clear principles, strong interpersonal relationships, and thought leadership in making a difference. He also explains how Morgan Stanley builds firm-wide resilience to weather global issues such as geopolitical challenges from China, mounting cybersecurity threats, and Russia’s War on Ukraine.
First an IBM engineer, Peter talks about pivoting from technology to finance and the changing landscape of FinTech, and also explains how the Great Recession of 2007-2009 changed his perspective not only about finance’s impact, but his own values and principles. He also digs into diversity, equity, and inclusion, highlighting the differences he saw between firms making statements versus taking actions in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
This conversation managed to be both eerily timeless and unmistakably present, packed with wisdom spanning decades applicable to some of the biggest issues in finance and society today. We hope you enjoy our final episode of 2022 – Happy New Year!
0:00: Episode Introduction
3:10: Peter’s Background
4:40: Triple Jump & Academic Excellence
6:45: Two Inflection Points in Peter’s Career
9:50: Peter’s Three Leadership ‘House’ Principles
14:20: Peter’s Innovation Role at Morgan Stanley
16:20: How Morgan Stanley Innovates
18:30: Morgan Stanley’s Global Growth in India
20:45: FinTech ‘Eating The World’ & Future of Big Banks
24:55: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion - Transparency & Taking Action
29:05: Macroeconomic Uncertainty and Cultural Nimbleness
32:40: Lessons from the Financial Crisis of ‘07-09
36:10: How to Balance Reflection & Execution
38:30: Rapid Fire Questions
#31 - Finance, Law and Life Lessons (feat. Jack Pitts, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we’re joined by Jack Pitts, Senior Managing Director in the Legal & Compliance Group, where he serves as General Counsel of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM).
“I’m only as good as the people around me,” Jack said, praising his colleagues at Blackstone. “I can’t do anything without an offensive line in front of me or a receiver to throw to,” the former quarterback added.
Educated at Howard University School of Law, Jack explains the rewarding, intellectually challenging problems he solves day-to-day by applying his legal training to important parts of finance, from structuring portfolios to negotiating investment opportunities. Jack also delves into his work Co-Chairing the Blackstone Diverse Professionals Network Task Force.
Throughout the episode, Jack offers candid bits of wisdom drawn from his own childhood, education, and professional trajectory. He highlights the transformative role of education in instilling confidence and the value of great mentors whose feedback is “not always going to be peaches and cream.”
And like other guests from top firms like Blackstone, Jack offers first-hand advice into what the firm looks for in recruiting and hiring, and the values and principles it takes to succeed. We hope you enjoy this conversation!
#30 - Illuminating Impact in Finance (feat. Aaron Yeo, Founder of Purposeful Finance)
“Impact is the next big shift in finance,” says Aaron Yeo, SOF UCLA member and Founder of Purposeful Finance, a purpose-driven media initiative to illuminate and amplify stories of finance making an impact, showcasing how rapidly-expanding disciplines like Impact Investing & Sustainable Development are changing the world for the better.
A UCLA student interested in pursuing a career in finance who started his adult life in Singapore’s armed forces, Aaron reflects on how he founded Purposeful Finance to fill a niche that he and his friends noticed: a lack of high-quality, curated content, speakers, and internship opportunities specifically for students interested in impact-oriented finance.
For first-time founders or anyone considering launching their own project, Aaron offers tons of advice from his experience, from the importance of simply getting started to which criteria to weigh in picking strategic partners and collaborators.
Speaking of partners and collaborators, Purposeful Finance is now a Scholars Of Finance organization! Ross & Aaron dig into our integration and how it’ll benefit thousands of purpose-driven finance students and professionals. We hope you enjoy this conversation with Aaron about Purposeful Finance!
00:00 - Intro
7:06 - Purposeful Finance
18:25 - Integration
25:25 - Rapid Fire
#29 - From Their Campuses (feat. SOF Students: Amirta (USC), Drake (UPenn), Serena (UVA))
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we were joined by three student members of SOF: Amirta (USC), Drake (UPenn) and Serena (UVA). This conversation was all about culture and community–not only how each student has experienced SOF on their campus, but how their broader experiences in college and interactions with the industry–from networking conversations to recent internships–have shaped their pursuits of a career in finance.
With recruiting and networking top-of-mind for many students, our panelists shared first-hand perspectives on what they’ve looked for in internships and jobs, including how they compare and contrast considerations like business focus, people, and firm reputation when evaluating opportunities. They touch on some common challenges they’ve faced in addition to tips for standing out in the recruitment process.
Additionally, our students offer tons of practical advice for any student considering a career in finance, from choosing a career pathway, to making the most out of networking conversations, to developing stronger technical skills and knowledge. They also describe the impact SOF has had on their finance journeys, especially their own leadership roles and how they’ve specifically made an impact in their own campus chapters.
We hope you enjoy this conversation with some of our own stellar student members!
00:00 - Intro
12:08 - Finance Culture on Campus
27:02 - Impressions of Finance Industry
37:29 - Rapid Fire
#28 - Making The Most of SOF’s Programs (feat. Miranda Jenkins, Chief Program Officer at Scholars of Finance)
In our latest episode of Investing In Integrity, we unpacked the changes & growth happening in our programs with our own Miranda Jenkins, Chief Program Officer at Scholars of Finance.
This conversation offers a behind-the-scenes perspective, connecting the dots between our student members’ experiences; the involvement of professionals as speakers and mentors; and the support of corporate partners and donors.
A decade-long leader in financial services, including a stint at Goldman Sachs, Miranda talks about her own career path, highlighting the role of last-minute opportunities, and how being both open to new experiences and assertive in stepping up helped her to stand out.
Miranda also digs into some of the major cultural and strategic shifts in finance, including greater focus on DE&I and prioritization of ESG.
For anyone wondering how they can make the most out of their involvement with Scholars of Finance, this episode might be like discovering the Secret Menu at In-N-Out or discovering new features in an iOS update: surprising and useful! We hope you enjoy this insightful conversation and that it helps you to find more connection and value as part of our organization.
00:00 - Intro
2:26 - Career / Background
15:26 - SOF Role
24:23 - 2022 Programs Changes
35:59 - Get Involved and Wrap Up
#27 - Leadership Masterclass (feat. Richard Davis, former CEO & Chairman of U.S. Bank)
“Don’t you dare sell anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to have,” says Richard Davis. “Get it off the shelf!” This ‘Grandmother Quotient’ is one of many leadership principles that the former CEO of U.S. Bank and now President & CEO of Make a Wish America shares in this episode.
It’s no secret that U.S. Bank during Richard’s (nearly two-decade) tenure set a standard of excellence, frequently being cited as one of the best places to work in America; racking up prestigious international awards for ethical business practice; and generating industry-leading returns to shareholders.
In this masterclass on principled, servant-leadership, Richard unpacks that elusive success. He recounts his rise from humble bank teller to CEO of one of the biggest banks in America, touching on key inflection points in his career such as leading U.S. Bank through the Great Recession and supporting employees and customers through social unrest in the 2010s.
“In our lives, we need to look around and see people with potential,” Richard says, reflecting on a bank manager named Cindy, who mentored him early in his career and set him on his path of leadership in banking. “Financial services,” he says, is all about the “word services–what you do for others and what you give back.”
His insightful, pointed commentary on why “we shouldn’t set goals, but directions,” or why we should always be the person to “take the next hardest assignment, not promotion,” is relevant to students and professionals alike. One of our first and foremost supporters at Scholars of Finance, Richard offers timeless wisdom through sincere stories. We hope this episode makes you a little wiser, just as it did for us.
00:00 - Background & Introduction
02:52 - Richard’s Early Career as a Bank Teller
08:50 - Becoming CEO of U.S. Bank
10:38 - Leadership Paradigms & Values
14:28 - Compassionate Servant Leadership
18:30 - Ethics at U.S. Bank & Financial Performance
24:30 - Characteristics of World-Class CEOs
31:20 - Organizational Culture & Employee Wellness
35:00 - Non-Profits as a ‘Patchwork Quilt’
39:10 - Richard’s Backstory with SOF
#26 - The Cutting Edges of Private Equity (feat. Daniel Pietrzak, Partner and Co-Head of Private Credit at KKR)
This episode of Investing In Integrity features a highly respected leader in Private Equity, Daniel Pietrzak. Daniel is a Partner at KKR where he co-leads the firm's private credit funds with about $72B in assets under management.
Daniel recently launched a $2.1B asset-based finance fund, which is the firm’s first fund which finances assets secured against collateral-based cash flows, like consumer mortgages and commercial leases.
Daniel not only takes us through the backstory of launching a new fund and building a team; he explains how his fund operates at the cutting edge of Private Equity, which he says is about “financing the real-world economy,” more than the traditional buy-and-flip model.
Throughout the episode, Daniel offers insightful, first-hand advice for anyone interested in a career in PE or a top-tier firm like KKR. He explains how KKR looks for “dynamic athletes” and talks about the importance of being both well-read and speaking up to share points of view.
A seasoned leader, and Advisor to Scholars of Finance, Daniel shares wisdom into the leadership principles and practices which have helped him to succeed, from the importance of education to the necessity of humility. The first in his family to attend college, Daniel shares an inspiring story–both of his own career journey and of the rapidly-evolving landscape of PE in finance.
We hope you enjoy this conversation!
00:00 - Intro
2:42 - Daniel’s Story
14:25 - KKR and Daniel’s Role
19:47 - Private Equity
31:00 - Rapid Fire
#25 - Growth: Careers, Relationships, and SOF’s Future (feat. Jody Holden, Chief Growth Officer of Scholars of Finance)
It’s another first on Investing In Integrity: a conversation with one of our team-members! We’re joined by Jody Holden, our new Chief Growth Officer at Scholars of Finance. Prior to joining SOF in the spring, Jody spent 25+ years in financial services, including stints at Prudential, Citigroup & Bank of America where she specialized in Equity Research and Institutional Sales.
In this conversation, Jody takes us back to the beginning of her career working as an analyst. She recounts how her early research roles gave her both broad industry exposure and a strong foundation of transferable soft skills, which she then leveraged to rise the ranks to become a Managing Director of Institutional Sales.
“My job,” Jody says, “is to make sure we’re here for as long as we can possibly be here, to make sure we get bigger & stronger.” Jody takes us behind the scenes into growing a non-profit membership organization like SOF, sharing her perspective on our mission, vision, and values–and unpacking her optimism for the future of our organization and our growth strategy. Ross & Jody also discuss the importance of building and sustaining high-trust, high-integrity relationships in collaborative leadership.
Whether you’re thinking about your first role in finance, curious about the future growth of our organization, or envisioning your own career ascent, we hope you’ll enjoy this first conversation with one of our own team-members!
00:00 - Intro / SOF Role
8:52 - Early Career
13:40 - Sales and Client Relationships
19:19 - Mentorship and Women’s Initiatives
26:24 - Wrap Up
#24 - The CFPB, Student Debt & Crypto (feat. Kathy Kraninger, former CFPB Director & Crypto Regulatory Leader)
In this episode of Investing In Integrity, we’re joined by Kathy Kraninger, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Solidus Labs & the former Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). A Republican Trump-appointee confirmed along party lines, Kathy covers several hot-button issues from her tenure leading the CFPB, from the $2T+ student loan debt crisis to the record-high level of consumer complaints filed in 2020.
“Many Republicans stated their opposition to the CFPB,” says Kathy, but “I’m a ‘good government person’ and the CFPB’s mission is important,” she adds. Kathy emphasizes the influential role of public service in finance, tracing her own career path through government, from the Department of Transportation in the early 2000s, to the Department of Homeland Security, to leading the CFPB from 2018-2021.
Additionally, Kathy digs into cryptocurrency & digital assets, ranging from her thoughts on the Digital Commodity Consumer Protection Act to the recent backlash spurred by Bitcoin’s price collapse. She discusses her transition into the private sector, leading regulatory affairs at Solidus Labs, including her recent experience building the Crypto Market Integrity Coalition (CMIC).
We hope you enjoy this in-depth conversation as we did.
00:00 - Intro
14:26 - Consumer Protection
23:46 - Crypto and Crypto Regulation
36:32 - Rapid Fire
#23 - “Crypto Mom”, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, on Crypto, Regulation, and ESG Critiques
In this episode, we dig into cryptocurrency regulation, the societal role of corporations, and ESG requirements with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce.
Both a leading conservative advocate of cryptocurrency innovation and a vocal critic of ESG, Commissioner Peirce brings incisive perspective to complicated current topics including:
- Her path into financial regulation and her experience engaging in principled, civic discourse as the lone Republican of the SEC.
- The appropriate roles for Congress and regulatory agencies to play in controlling the risks of cryptocurrency, while incentivizing innovation.
- The free market forces which she believes incentivize corporations to behave in the public interest, and how finance can be a high-leverage sector for positive change.
- Her critique of ESG as a “scarlet letter phenomenon” and why she believes ESG currently fails to achieve its stated goals.
- Difficulties in ESG reporting and disclosures and how she believes investors can receive better information from companies.
For future and current finance leaders alike, we hope this conversation proves both highly informative thanks to its substantive depth, and also thought-provoking as Commissioner Peirce shares her unique perspectives on some of the most important topics in finance today.
*Note: at the time of this recording a few weeks ago, the SEC only had four commissioners. Since then, Commissioner Mark Uyeda and Jaime Lizarraga were sworn in.
00:00 - Intro
9:00 - Crypto Regulations
17:33 - Role of Corporations in the Public Interest
26:22 - ESG
39:53 - Rapid Fire
#22 - Michelle Seitz, CEO @ Russell Investments: Being “Authentically You” – Solving Bigger Problems, Asking Better Questions, and Leading with Great Teams in Finance
In this week’s episode of Investing In Integrity, our CEO, Ross Overline, interviewed Michelle Seitz, the Chairman & CEO of Russell Investments, a leading global investment firm that ended 2021 with over $340 billion in assets under management and $1.2 trillion under advisement for clients in 32 countries.
Michelle digs into her 35+ year career arc, speaking candidly about the importance of bringing her authentic self to work, tracing back to 1987 when she was a first-time female portfolio manager with an undergraduate degree from Indiana University, among a sea of men with Ivy League MBAs.
“Human connection can never be understated, and it is core to being a high-performing executive.” Michelle says, in discussing her tenure leading Russell Investments. She reflects on building and sustaining strong culture and how she self-selected her role based on her own values tracing to her upbringing.
Michelle also offers timely insight on investors’ mindsets, contrasting her focus on fiduciary responsibility and long-termist discipline with bull-market speculation. For future finance leaders, Michelle charts a course for building “inclusive, sustainable, long-term” growth – and also explores challenges & opportunities for young women, in particular, in becoming leaders in finance.
00:00 - Intro
1:44 - Michelle’s Career and Story
26:55 - Developing client relationships, culture, and purpose
36:31 - Empowering more women to become leaders in finance
43:58 - Rapid Fire Questions
#21 - Purpose-Driven Pioneer: John W. Rogers, Jr. on Founding The First Black-Owned Investment Management Firm in America, Closing The Racial Wealth Gap, and Civic Engagement
At the dinner table with his father, a Tuskegee airman, John Rogers began reading Kiplinger’s Letters and the annual reports of companies. Soon after, Rogers began being mentored by Stacy Adams, a pioneering African-American stockbroker in Chicago.
In just 30 minutes, John traces in remarkable detail his own pioneering, history-making career. John discusses how Ariel Investments, the first Black-owned investment management firm in America, weathered financial crises by sticking to a values-driven approach, both in investment decisions and in leadership.
He also explains how financial services firms and their leaders can help close the racial wealth & opportunity gaps, from diversifying management, to supporting financial literacy, to collaborating with other progressive and minority-owned institutions.
“Optimistic about the future,” John highlights the roles of political engagement, educational leadership, and non-profit involvement in his own life as crucial ways that financial services employees & executives can make a difference.
“I felt the challenge to do something special and make a difference,” John says. We think you’ll agree that his clarity of perspective and generosity of advice in this episode are yet another example of something special and difference-making added to John’s impressive list.
00:00 - Intro
2:59 - John’s Career and Story
13:53 - Racial Inequalities in Wealth and Corporate Finance
23:47 - Rapid Fire questions
#20 - SOF Student Panel #1: From Stigma & Stereotype to Purpose & Passion – 4 Student Perspectives on Pursuing Careers in Finance
In our first-ever student panel, our CEO Ross Overline spoke with several Scholars of Finance members from the Princeton, MIT, and UC Berkeley chapters.
“One finance club I joined had a party culture – it was toxic and snaky, and instead of encouraging community, it made me feel alone,” said one panelist. “It made me reconsider and almost give up on the finance industry because I wasn’t comfortable. The culture turned good people away.”
“But the truth about finance,” another student said in this episode, “is that you can be ethical, hold your values close to your heart, reach the top and use your position to do good and be admired for it.”
Throughout the conversation, our panelists attested to the impact SOF has had on their pursuit of positive, values-driven, inclusive finance cultures. “The people I’m around in SOF help me have more hope,” said one student. “This community encourages and motivates us to stay true to our values.”
This episode is packed with first-hand student stories and perspectives covering:
1. the diverse finance cultures at their universities, and how they found like-minded, mission-driven peers and avoided toxicity through SOF
2. the finance industry and its reputation at their campuses, and how they have been navigating the recruiting process to find values-driven opportunities
3. the intersections between pursuing finance and social impact, ranging from helping their extended families overseas to driving inclusive change within the industry
As another student panelist said, “I’m most looking forward to starting a domino effect to help others achieve the best versions of themselves, because it takes a village to achieve what we want to do.”
We hope this conversation – packed with authentic insights from SOF student members – tips a domino for you in your own pursuit of a purpose & passion-driven career.
00:00 - Intro
02:09 - Background on student panelists
10:16 - Finance culture at different schools
27:15 - Student perspectives on finance industry and recruiting
34:28 - The impact our members hope to make in finance
41:21 - How SOF has impacted our members
#19 - Inclusive Capitalism (feat. Mandell Crawley, CHRO @ Morgan Stanley)
Mandell began his career at Morgan Stanley and has been with the firm for 30 years. Prior to his role as CHRO, he served as the Head of Private Wealth Management, as the Chief Marketing Officer, and in a variety of roles in Sales, Trading, and Business Development. Throughout his time at Morgan Stanley Mandell has led the organization across revenue and asset growth, fielded leadership talent, and spearheaded the creation of a more equitable firm culture.
We discussed many topics today, including Mandell’s unique story of entering and rising the ranks at one of the top investment banks in the world, the role capital and capitalism plays in driving societal change, the ESG movement, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry. Mandell was a fun and insightful guest and the conversation was amazing - all thanks to him of course. Our team really does hope you enjoy it and find it as valuable as we did.
- 00:00 - Intro
- 01:33 - Mandell’s career and story
- 8:50 - Thinking through major career moves
- 12:37 - What’s the distinction between learning and growing?
- 15:00 - Conscious capitalism and the role of capital in society
- 23:15 - How is Morgan Stanley employing capital to improve society?
- 29:41 - The importance of ESG investing
- 32:52 - The role of income inequality in shaping the world of finance
- 36:50 - What is driving the lack of diversity inside of financial firms today?
- 41:38 - How diversity has evolved at Morgan Stanley
- 44:30 - Rapid fire questions
#18 - Macroeconomics and Finance (feat. Chris Campbell, Chief Strategist at Kroll)
In episode #18, Ross converses with Chris Campbell, the Chief Strategist at Kroll.
Chris has an incredibly interesting story and provides unique insight on the financial system with his deep experience in both the public and private sectors. Chris discussed many topics including, working in the United States government, tackling tough objectives through policy, early career trajectory and advice, the role of finance in the current day, the current macroeconomic environment in the US, and the advice he would give to young finance professionals.
Prior to his role at Kroll, Chris was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions serving from 2017 to 2018. Prior to this role he served as the Staff Director of the Senate Finance Committee and Judiciary Committee. He designed, managed and coordinated the U.S. Senate Republican agenda in the areas of international and domestic taxation, international trade, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the U.S. National Debt. As a part of his government leadership roles, Chris helped spearhead some of the most impactful financial legislation and international negotiations of the last decade.
We are pleased to have Chris Campbell on today’s podcast!
#17 - Private Equity and Technology (feat. Chris Varelas, Founding Partner at Riverwood Capital Partners)
Chris Varelas is the Founding Partner at Riverwood Capital Partners. Riverwood Capital Partners is a world-leading Private Equity firm that invests in high growth technology. With over 3 billion dollars in capital commitments Riverwood enables tech-related business scale into world-class organizations.
If that isn't enough, Chris is a board member for The Aspen Institute - an organization that works to build diverse and creative thought leaders who are designed to address the world’s most complex issues.
Prior to his work with Riverwood and The Aspen Institute, Chris worked at Citi as the Global Head of Technology, Media & Telecom Investment Banking, Head of Citi’s National Investment Bank, and a member of Citi’s Global Operating Committee.
#16 - The Evolving Reputation of Finance (feat. Christine Anderson, Global Head of External Relations, Blackstone)
Our CEO, Ross Overline, talks with Christine Anderson about how the reputation of finance and corporate governance have evolved over the years, her experience in the Clinton Administration press room, and the duties of her current role at Blackstone.
Christine Anderson leads Blackstone’s efforts related to Environmental, Social and Governance issues and she serves as the primary spokesperson for the firm, advising Blackstone’s senior leaders and business groups as well as companies across Blackstone’s portfolio on ESG matters.
#15 - Academia in Finance (Jonathan Knee, Senior Advisor @ Evercore)
This week on the podcast we had Jonathan Knee, a Senior Advisor at Evercore in the firm’s Corporate Advisory Business and Co-Director of the Media and Technology Program at Columbia Business School.
Before joining Evercore as a Senior Managing Director in 2003, Professor Knee was a Managing Director and Co-head of Morgan Stanley's Media Group. He was previously Publishing Sector Head in the Communications, Media and Entertainment Group at Goldman Sachs. Prior to becoming an investment banker, he was Director of International Affairs at United Airlines and served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern University. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Atlantic, and Jonathan is the author of The Accidental Investment Banker, The Curse of the Mogul, and The Platform Delusion.
00:00 - Intro
06:20 - Jonathan’s Journey to Finance
09:10 - “What I liked about Banking”
10:20 - Jonathan’s role at Morgan Stanley
12:15 - Role at Columbia University
14:20 - Work with CEO of United Airlines
17:51 - What led to be being an “accidental banker”
22:57 - How to build transparent relationships
31:50 - What Teaching is really about in finance
33:56 - Platform business delusions
40:00 - Rapid Fire Questions
#14 - Innovation in Finance (feat. Stephanie Cohen, Global Co-Head of Consumer and Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs)
In episode #14, Ross converses with Stephanie Cohen, Global Co-Head of Consumer and Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs.
Stephanie discusses the importance of giving everyone a voice, and how staying curious and embracing failure can lead a company to rapidly innovate - even an investment bank as large as Goldman Sachs.
Prior to assuming her current role, Ms. Cohen was the firm’s Chief Strategy Officer, where she drove strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), strategic investing and partnerships for the firm. She led Launch With GS, Goldman Sachs’ $1 billion investment strategy which aims to increase access to capital and facilitate connections for women, Black, Latinx, and other diverse entrepreneurs and investors, as well as GS Accelerate, the firm’s in-house innovation engine. She is also a member of the Global Inclusion and Diversity Committee, serving as a Global Executive Sponsor of the Women’s Network.
#13 - Venture Capital (feat. Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz)
Scott Kupor is a Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). A16z is a leading venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California, with more than $18B AUM, focusing on early stage tech companies.
Scott Kupor is the Managing Partner of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), one of the world’s top venture capital firms. He has overseen the firm's rapid growth to more than 300 employees and more than $18 billion in assets under management. Prior to joining a16z, Scott worked for 8 years in a variety of roles at Opsware, an early SaaS company, before its sale to Hewlett Packard. Besides his role at a16z, Scott is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller, Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It. He serves on numerous corporate, nonprofit, and education boards.
In today’s episode, Ross and Scott discuss Scott’s early journey from finance into the world of start-ups, venture capital, his role growing a16z from the founding with Marc Andreesen and Ben Horowitz, and his advice for anyone looking to be successful as early stage investors.
#12 - FDIC and the Financial Crisis (feat. Sheila Bair, Former Chair of FDIC)
Sheila Bair, named the 2nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2008 and 2009, is a former Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). She oversaw the organization from 2006-2011, notably during the Financial Crisis and its aftermath.
The FDIC, founded in 1933 as a part of the New Deal to restore confidence in the banking system, is one of two government agencies that supply deposit insurance to those who bank with American financial institutions. Prior to this role, Sheila had myriad roles in academia and a brief stint running for Congress. After retiring from the FDIC, Sheila re-entered academia and became the first female President of Washington College and today serves on a number of boards and governance committees.
In today’s episode, Ross and Sheila discuss Sheila’s early career, her interest in economics, and what led her to her job at the FDIC. They then continue into a conversation about her tenure as Chair of the FDIC in the backdrop of the monolith Financial Crisis and the FDIC’s role in that crisis. Finally, they discuss Sheila’s post-FDIC career, including her stint as President of Washington College as well as her interest and involvement in Scholars of Finance.
#11 - Stewardship (feat. Ray Cameron, Head of the Strategic Partner Program & Head of Corporate Client Strategy - The Americas at BlackRock)
Ray Cameron is the Head of the Strategic Partner Program - The Americas, and the Head of Corporate Client Strategy - The Americas at BlackRock. Prior to this, Ray had been Head of Investment Stewardship for 3 years. Before joining BlackRock in 2018, Ray worked in a variety of roles across Wall Street for over 20 years, including firms such as Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays.
Ray holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Texas, Austin and a Masters of Business Administration from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
In today’s episode, Ross and Ray kick off their conversation with a discussion of Ray’s career and his appointment to leading roles at BlackRock. They then segue into a conversation about Ray’s core values and key lessons he’s learned throughout his career. Finally, they spend the remainder of the episode chatting about stewardship and steps that BlackRock, the leading asset manager by AUM globally, is taking to address current trends.
#10 - Principled Leadership (feat. Tony Paquette, CFO at Point72)
Tony Paquette is the Chief Financial Officer at Point72, a leading hedge fund with over $22bn in assets under management. Prior to joining the firm in 2020, Tony was at SoFi, a publicly traded FinTech company in Silicon Valley, as a Business Unit Leader overseeing International, New Business, Treasury, Regulatory Operations, and the firm's application for their bank charter - to name a few.
Before SoFi, Tony was at J.P. Morgan, where he was a Managing Director and the Global Head of Funding & Liability Management. Further, he held portfolio management roles in the Chief Investment Office at J.P. Morgan, and in Treasury & Corporate Investments at Bank of America - all after beginning his career as a research analyst covering the Technology sector at Goldman Sachs.
Tony and Ross worked together at SoFi and have since become close friends. In addition, Tony is on the Advisory Board at SOF.
Tony holds a bachelor's degree in Business Economics and Organizational Behavior and Management from Brown University. In addition, Tony was on the varsity football team at Brown.
In today’s episode, Ross and Tony kick off the conversation with a discussion of mentorship and cultivating rewarding mentor/mentee relationships. Further, Tony discusses the intersection of sports and leadership as well as some of his principles on being an effective leader. Finally, they shift the conversation to discuss Tony’s involvement in SOF.
#9 - Authentic Leadership (feat. Kofi Bruce, CFO at General Mills)
Kofi Bruce is the Chief Financial Officer at General Mills where he has worked for over 12 years in various roles at the firm. Prior to joining General Mills in 2009, Kofi worked at EcoLab and at the Ford Motor Company in various financial positions.
Kofi holds an undergraduate degree in international relations from Stanford and a masters in business administration from the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan.
In today’s episode, Ross and Kofi discuss Kofi’s early career arc and what eventually led him to General Mills. Further, they spend the bulk of the time discussing values and people based leadership as well as diversity in the finance industry. Finally, they pivot the conversation and discuss Kofi’s work outside of General Mills and his involvement in SOF.
#8 - ESG Investing (feat. Scott Mather, CIO at PIMCO)
Scott Mather is the CIO of U.S. Core and Sustainable Investing at PIMCO where he helps oversee over $2.2 trillion in AUM.
He is a member of the Investment Committee and a portfolio manager. Scott also oversees the firm’s global ESG portfolio integration and sustainable investment activities and previously, he was head of global portfolio management.
Prior to joining PIMCO in 1998, he was a fixed income trader specializing in mortgage-backed securities at Goldman Sachs in New York.
Scott has 26 years of investment experience and holds a master's degree in engineering, as well as undergraduate degrees, from the University of Pennsylvania.
In today’s episode, Ross and Scott spend the majority of the conversation focused on ESG investing, some of its benefits, some of its trade offs, and what you all can be doing right now to invest in a sustainable way.
#7 - Paving Your Path in Finance (feat. Elizabeth Sandler, Former MD & COO at Blackstone)
In today’s episode, we were joined by Elizabeth Sandler, the Founder and CEO of Echo Juliette and a former Managing Director at The Blackstone Group, to discuss mentorship with a focus on helping people chart their path in finance.
Prior to founding her consultancy, Elizabeth served as a Managing Director at The Blackstone Group and Chief Operating Officer of Blackstone’s Real Estate Debt Strategies business from September 2016 to August 2018. Prior to that, she was at Deutsche Bank for 15 years as an MD and division COO as well.
Elizabeth is a dynamo and we think you’ll love hearing from her. In our conversation we covered the importance of setting and accomplishing long-term goals, what we all can do to empower women in finance, what it takes to be a good mentor AND mentee, and so much more.
As always, a special thank you to all of our students who submitted questions for today’s interview.
#6 - Our Story (feat. Ryan Quinlivan, VP of Institutional Equity Sales at Piper Sandler & SOF Co-Founder)
Today’s episode is a special one for many of us at Scholars of Finance as we had the opportunity to sit down with our Co-Founder, Ryan Quinlivan, to discuss the founding story of SOF.
Ryan is a VP of institutional equity sales at Piper Sandler in their New York office. Beyond having a very successful early career thus far, Ryan has helped us build and grow SOF every step of the way on nights and weekends… investing a lot of time in our team, students, and community to help us achieve our mission of inspiring character and integrity in the finance leaders of tomorrow.
Ross and Ryan start with how they both met and got involved in finance, and ultimately, how they started Scholars of Finance. We dive into our vision for finance and SOF as well. Ryan is an amazing person, leader, and deeply knowledgeable about markets - so we can’t wait for you to listen to this episode.
A special thank you to all of our students who submitted questions for today’s interview.
#5 - Crypto and the Future of Finance (feat. Chris Larsen, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Ripple)
Chris Larsen is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Ripple and happens to be a crypto billionaire.
Chris is active in working to advance pro-consumer regulation in the financial sector and is an incredibly impressive leader, founder, and change-maker.
In today's episode of Investing In Integrity, we delve into the regulation of cryptocurrencies, transparency in the financial system, socioeconomic impacts of crypto, their climate impact, and the future of crypto in America and across the globe.
Here’s an overview of some of the segments:
00:00 - Intro
04:00 - What value crypto brings into the world
08:55 - The impact crypto has on globalization
12:30 - How crypto and blockchain technology can make finance more accessible
22:50 - Ripple’s lawsuit with the SEC and its regulatory implications
28:00 - Chris’s definition of cryptocurrency
32:00 - Crypto’s climate impact and how it can be dramatically reduced
57:00 - Career advice from Chris
#4 - Seeking Virtue in Finance (feat. JC de Swaan, Lecturer at Princeton University)
JC de Swaan is a Lecturer at Princeton University on the topic of Ethics in Finance. He also teaches at Cambridge University and is a partner at Cornwall Capital, a New York-based investment fund.
In today's episode of Investing In Integrity, we talk with JC about his new book, Seeking Virtue in Finance: Contributing to Society in a Conflicted Industry.
We unpacked each of the four pillars in his framework for virtuous financial leadership and discussed some of his thoughts on ethical fading and values-based leadership, among other topics.
Segments from the episode:
00:00 - Intro
05:44 - Seeking Virtue in Finance at a glance
09:25 - The Four Pillars
13:31 - Pillar #1 (Customer Mandate. Serving Customers Interests Faithfully.)
25:14 - Pillar #2 (Social Wealth Creation. Contributing to Society Beyond the Customer Mandate.)
40:35 - Pillar #3 (Humanistic Leadership - Treating Colleagues with Dignity, Empowering Them, and Fostering a Responsible Culture.)
51:16 - Pillar #4 (Engaged Citizenship)
01:09:25 - The core virtues to adhere to as a finance leader
#3 - FinTech and the Economic System (feat. Joe Martinetto, COO @ Charles Schwab)
Joseph R. Martinetto is the Chief Operating Officer of Charles Schwab where he is responsible for operations, infrastructure, and products. This includes Charles Schwab Investment Management, Legal Services, Client Solutions, Community Services, Schwab's registered investment advisor affiliates and market strategists, and the Schwab Center for Financial Research. In addition, he leads Technology Services, Digital Services, Operational Services, and the Schwab Affiliated Banks.
In today's episode, Ross and Joe shared a conversation covering the broader economic system with a large percentage of that time being spent focused on financial technology including DeFi, cryptocurrency, and his leadership of the acquisition of TD Ameritrade.
Segments from the episode:
00:00 - Intro
5:54 - Where young professionals should focus to maximize their potential
7:27 - Joe's early career and how to find the right career strategy for yourself
10:47 - How to be a good team player
14:02 - How to be a strong leader
17:26 - Trade-offs within the context of work-life balance
23:57 - Charles Schwab's strategy against The Great Recession
29:01 - Assessing the risk profiles of different assets
36:25 - Why large finance companies are staying away from cryptocurrencies
40:05 - Does DeFi have a future in the financial sphere?
42:30 - How Schwab leverages new technology
46:15 - Schwab's Acquisition of TD Ameritrade
#2 - Building Confidence and Relationships (feat. Teri List, Board Director @ Microsoft)
Today is our second episode of Investing In Integrity and we were joined by Teri List, a Board Director at Microsoft.
Teri was the CFO of three Fortune 500 companies, including Gap Inc., Kraft Foods, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, after working for P&G for almost 20 years and Deloitte for 10 years prior to that.
In our conversation with Teri, we covered some of the biggest lessons she learned throughout her career including how to build confidence, investing in relationships, managing machiavellian colleagues, diversity in finance, the role philanthropy plays in our economy, and her experience being on the Board of one of the largest companies in the world.
Segments from the episode:
00:00 - Intro
04:00 - The one thing that had an exponential impact on Teri's success
7:15 - How you can develop confidence
9:25 - The biggest lessons from Teri's career
13:09 - How to manage machiavellian colleagues
17:35 - The importance of building relationships
22:20 - How Teri got involved with Microsoft's Board of Directors
27:00 - What it's like to be on the Board of Microsoft
31:00 - Best practices in board leadership
37:00 - The importance of diversity in finance
42:20 - What we can do to help women succeed in finance
46:45 - The importance of philanthropy
#1 - Using Finance as a Force for Good (feat. John Taft, Vice Chairman @ Baird)
John Taft is Vice Chairman at Baird and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Prior to joining Baird, he served as CEO of RBC Wealth Management, a full-service brokerage firm with nearly 2,000 financial advisors and over $280 billion in assets, for more than 10 years (2005-2016). He is a past chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), where he advocated for responsible financial reform.
His book "Stewardship" is read by all of our students during the Leadership Development Program and covers the importance of core principles on a personal, professional, and societal level.
Throughout this interview, Ross and John unpack the concept of stewardship and what everyone can do to use finance as a force for good.
Segments from the episode:
00:00 - Intro
06:45 - John's book "Stewardship"
15:30 - What we can do to make finance a force for good
24:30 - The role of finance in making a positive impact
29:20 - Vehicles that generate value vs. those that extract value
39:30 - To what extent is the financial services industry extractive?
42:00 - Combating inequality and inequity through finance
53:00 - Advice for investors to maximize personal impact
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