Wall Street Women 2012: Crystal Ladder
Traders Magazine Online News, November 28, 2012
Today, we spotlight the winners of our Crystal Ladder award.
Crystal Ladder is given to women who began in an entry-level job in a financial firm and climbed steadily through the ranks to reach senior management.
Traders Magazine proudly salutes Kerry Byrne, Senior Vice President, First Eagle Investment Management and Jennifer Litwin, Senior Director, Greenwich Associates.
Firm: First Eagle Investment Management
Years in Industry: 25
Previous Firms: ASB, Nikko Securities
Status: Senior Vice President
Some people are lucky in a trading career. Others make their own luck. And some careers involve elements of both, which is the story of First Eagle Investment Management's Kerry Byrne.
Trading was in Byrne's blood, but she was always upbeat about the business and happily has taken on any job, no matter what it is.
That's because from an early age, Byrne, whose father was a Big Board specialist, knew what she wanted. She was looking to a trading industry career. So when she went to college, she studied economics and management. The trading bug bit hit her early.
"I was one of six kids, and I was always the one who asked him about the market," she said of her father. "I loved the business and used to visit him on the floor on breaks from college."
In the beginning, it might not have seemed like such a smart career move; She started at the bottom, working summers on records for First Eagle, then known as Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Inc.
But, she said, reviewing her early years in the back office, she was in a trading firm, and that was what mattered. She later learned to trade at Nikko Securities. It was trial by fire, since she came on board only month before the crash of October 1987.
By 1989, she had been hired by First Eagle for its U.S. equity desk, trading small hedge funds and institutional money. Six years later she was running it.
"First Eagle is different. It is a unique place. I found a home here, as a lot of people have. Management values the employees and what they can bring to the firm," Byrne said.
Her advice for young people?
Byrne said one key is to be enthusiastic about a job in a trading firm, no matter what it is.
"I would say have a positive attitude," she said. "Attitude brings everything to the job. People want to be around positive people."
Firm: Greenwich Associates
Years in Industry: 17
Previous Firms: RPC-Mitchell/Titus, AIG Financial Products, UBS Investment Bank. (see next page)
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