Wall Street Women 2012: Mentor Profiles
Traders Magazine Online News, November 26, 2012
Today, we spolight the winners of our Mentor of the Year award.
Mentor of the Year is given to women who have shown dedication to the cause of mentoring other women in financial services.
Traders Magazine proudly salutes Renee DeGagne, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets LLC and Amy Ellis-Simon, Global Head of Specialist Sales and Americas Head of Corporate Access, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Firm: RBC Capital Markets
Years in industry: 24
Previous Firms: RBC-related companies
Status: Managing Director, Global Trading Client Management
Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them - an ear to bounce an idea off of or someone to offer guidance or even just say, "It's going to be OK."
That's what a mentor does, Renee DeGagne said. Whether it's a woman or a man, her door is always open to a colleague who needs a place of refuge. And that is what makes a successful mentor.
"Sometimes people need a little support," she said. "They are looking for someone who will just listen to them."
While life on the trading desk can be frenetic and consuming, DeGagne always makes time to assist staff who are in need of counsel. With almost a quarter century of experience behind her, she can speak to almost any subject someone might approach her on: professional, personal or emotional. Chances are she has probably lived it and has something to offer. She can relate.
She began her career at RBC began in 1988 as a management trainee working on Brady Bond refinancings in the chief accounting office. DeGagne credits her mentors - Michael Harvie, Mark Hughes and Stephen Walker, all of whom shared their unique blend of experience and lessons. Harvie, her mentor for the first 12 years of her career, holds a special place.
"He taught me important things, one of which was about making tough decisions and how that relates to people," she said. "Our decisions have a human cost in our sphere - for those we know and those we don't know."
She added that Harvie's working relationships with partners across the firm have helped in her career journey.
Now it's about paying it forward to the nearly 30 people she counsels regularly and the 300 people in the firm's Women's Resource Group, an RBC program she help create and establish. Helping these junior colleagues is not only satisfying to her, but also a necessity in today's trading world.
Firm: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Years in Industry: 18 (see next page)
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