is super successful, though she’s now in a very different arena.
And she did it with … her friendly smile and didn’t miss a beat.
What was your career path in financial servicesand technology? And what advice would you giveto others based on your experience?
NASH: When I was in school, I did not think I was goingto ever lead a technology organization, let alone even be ina financial services organization. I actually wanted to be aweather [reporter] on TV. So, this was not really my careerchoice, but I fell into it as so many people do. I got an internship opportunity, and I took it.
My dad knew a guy who ran a brokerage firm in Chicago,which [later] … got bought by Stifel Nicolaus back in the 1980s.The family who owned the brokerage firm decided to starttheir own technology company and help [other] brokeragefirms become more automated. Back then everything was stillmanual. They offered me a role in whatever I wanted to do.There were four people involved.
I grew up in this industry, literally, at the same company. Butit’s been bought three times, so I’ve had very different rolesall three times. Plus, I’ve probably played every role, besidesdevelopment or quality assurance. I was in and led client services. I was in and led product management.
My advice to others is to take every opportunity given toyou. Even if you don’t think you’re ready for a role, take thatrole because it does lead to bigger things. I had no idea, yearsago when I was a client service rep, that I would become CEOof the company that I was in. I took on a lot of things that Iwasn’t comfortable with, but I also had good sponsors andmentors along the way. That’s so important.
I would tell women, especially in technology today and in
financial services, to give it your all. Learn as much as you can.
Find a network that can help, with people … who can help you.
But don’t say “no” to opportunities.
There are so many times when I was given an opportunitythat I didn’t think I could do or didn’t think that was what Iwanted at that point in my career. I just did it, and it’s helpedme … to be well rounded.
Like April said, it’s been about knowing a lot of people. I didsit next to clients and then also helped lead clients throughstrategic initiatives at their firms. It’s been an amazing career,but it’s not something I set out to do.
I talk to college students all the time. I tell them that if youwant a career that’s enriching and that you can be successfulin, look at financial services and look at technology. There’s anurgency right now to get more women and people of color intothis industry. What a great opportunity for us to lift others up,get them in [the door] and help them grow. Nobody can reallydo it alone.
RUDIN: Sometimes I call myself the original millennial girl,
because I was hired by the president of Kelly Services, a [staff-
ing] services company. He asked me one question. “Do you
know about the Wang Word Processor and the IBM PC?”
I said, “Yes.” And he said, “You’re hired, because we don’t.
We have typewriters in our offices, and there’s also dictation.
All of this is changing in front of our very eyes.”
Who did they hire back then? The one who was young.
It was my job to go out and find the technology they used
to automate their offices. And it [involved] training, testing
and standards in an area that no one knew very much about
at the time.
Kelly ended up buying a company that was started by EricBecker’s brother Doug Becker. Eric is a founder of [RIA]Cresset. [The brothers also funded the private equity firmSterling Partners.] I’ve known them for more than 30 years.
Also, I met Bill Gates like 10 or 15 times in the 1980s. Wewere getting all this media [coverage] from publications like“Information Week,” and I was the immediate spokesperson. Itwas the first time I saw a staffing company become a technology company.
If you fast forward, I relocated to New York, had some different jobs, took some time off and had my kids. When I wasgoing back to work, New York had the garment center andfinancial services. I like to buy garments, but I didn’t think Iwanted to work in the garment industry.
I started working for a friend whose family was cred-
ited with inventing the multi-family office. I started looking
around and saw that this wealth transfer was happening. But
the brands in wealth management looked old, stale and tired.
They had a lighthouse, a yacht and accessories, or a picture of
a couple on a beach — like that’s really retirement. I thought to
myself, “I can do better. Someone can do better.”
I went to a friend of mine who was running a large bank and
The Rudin Group; founder and
Alpine CapitalBank; director
of business development,
Kelly Services; global office automation director,
Other activities: Independent director for LefterisAcquisition Corp.; board of advisors member forMirador LLC; contributing writer/blogger for Forbesand The Huffington Post; and co-author of “TheWealth TECH Book”
Alma mater: Wayne State University