I believe everyone has a gift. Something they do well so naturally they almost can’t help but do it. As a financial services professional and a psychologist, I have created a distinctive career based on helping people identify their own distinctive talent. I call people who have discovered their innate gift “the naturals.” The naturals operate closest to what they are best at doing and who they really are.
It took me a long time to discover my own natural abilities. At first, like many people, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. At the age of 12, I wanted to be a race car driver. Later, after earning a BA in economics from Lafayette College and an MBA from New York University, I successfully pursued careers in transactional, client-driven businesses such as leveraged finance (Chase Manhattan Bank), talent development in investment banking (Goldman Sachs), investment management (launching four funds of funds for a family office) and management consulting (Keilty, Goldsmith & Co., now Leadership Research Institute). After earning a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida, I built my own consulting practice focused on leadership, talent management, career development and succession planning.
Psychology is a slow-paced enterprise (too slow for the race car driver in me), while Wall Street and business are filled with aggressive people who quickly need to glean the “so what?” from any situation (my perfect world). At the intersection of psychology and business, I have found where I can be a natural. And what I am naturally good at is this: seeing swiftly what is working or not working, what needs to be done and who the best people are to do it. My work often centers on clarity of identity: discovering where individuals excel and creating the conditions in which they can do their best work.
For many years, I thrived in my own consulting practice. But something was missing. As a consultant, one is never on the hook for long-term results. Even in multi-year engagements, the relationship is purely contractual: one gives advice, collects a fee and moves on to the next assignment. My work with Daruma started as a consulting engagement and eventually, happily, morphed into my current role.
I immediately gravitated toward Daruma, Mariko and her team, and the firm’s focus on managing high-conviction portfolios. Managing money this way requires heightened efficiency, intensity of focus and constant vigilance. At Daruma, I am responsible for business strategy, talent development and day-to-day operations ― and a proud member of a team of people who do what they do well so naturally they almost can’t help themselves.