When did you start working at Mesirow?
What drew you to Mesirow?
Prior to Mesirow, I was a relationship manager for a retirement provider. I had a few mutual clients with the Retirement Advisory Services (RAS) team. I received a phone call from Dave Dermenjian (President, RAS) regarding an opportunity on the team and here I am today!
When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in retirement planning?
The funny thing is, I didn’t. During college, I did know I wanted to pursue the financial planning profession. I was uncertain which specific path to follow. During my senior year, I met with a recruiter from one of the largest insurance/financial employers in the area – their core business being retirement plans. They offered me a client service role and that’s how I got my start in the retirement industry.
Tell us about your role:
I help manage client operations. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to successfully servicing clients and their employer-sponsored retirement plans. I support the advisory team and act as a liaison between plan sponsors, recordkeepers and fund managers. A typical day may include matters pertaining to plan design consultation, overseeing investment changes, pricing comparison analysis and compliance-related discussions.
What inspires you to come to work each day?
The team. Although it’s a fast-paced work environment, the entire RAS team is great to work with and very easy-going.
What excites you about the retirement advisory space?
I’ve been in the industry for 15 years and it doesn’t get monotonous. Changes in regulations, technology, and employee demographics have continuously transformed our way of doing things. Those new challenges keep me on my toes. On top of that, everyone strives to retire. It is rewarding to know that the work we put in does make an impact on our clients and the financial future of their employees.
What advice would you give someone who is considering a career in this area?
Opportunities are not limited. You can continue to grow, develop and explore different paths. I’m a prime example. I’ve had roles in client administration, accounting, consulting, relationship management and now service operations on the advisory side.
What skills are important for someone working in the Retirement Advisory Services space and within your role?
Organization, communication, and relationship building, to name a few. Clients wear so many hats today. Managing their retirement program in this ever-changing industry is just one sleeve of their everyday fiduciary responsibilities. It is vital we continue to deliver the highest level of service and take, what we can, off their plate as their trusted advisory team.
Can you share a success with us?
I've partnered with IT and Marketing on implementing Salesforce to create efficiencies for our operations. Collaborating with other departments has been a great experience. I’m excited to see not only the outcomes of our Phase 1 roll-out, but also evaluating the successes and identifying the improvements for future enhancements.
Tell us about something that is unique to Mesirow:
I have appreciated Mesirow’s focus on employee culture. Many organizations may talk the talk, but Mesirow truly walks the walk. From the enhancements to the Employee Value Program to the extensive volunteer and charitable efforts, to various business development groups, Mesirow takes pride in their employees and their commitment to giving back and improving the community.
Tell us a bit about yourself outside of work:
I love food. I enjoy experimenting with recipes and trying new restaurants. I do try to balance the food intake with some physical activity! I participate in volleyball leagues throughout the year – both indoor and outdoor.
What's your mantra?
Don’t stress. Be patient. Eat bacon.