Former Managing Director, Institutional Banking,
Now: Director, Corporate Strategy
What makes you stay with KeyBank?
I love my former KeyBanc Capital Markets® (KBCM) team. We compete with most investment banks on the street, but I like that we are smaller. Our size allowed me to grow my career faster through exposure to clients and taking a more active role in the deal process very early in my career.
There are also cultural aspects of Key that I appreciate. It’s a midwest-based bank with a very collegial environment. We are non-hierarchical and have good lines of communication across our diverse experience levels. When we solve problems, we solicit input from everyone equally.
What do you enjoy about the work you do?
With KBCM, I was given a lot of latitude to take an entrepreneurial approach to my work. I enjoy meeting clients and interacting with decision-makers. I learned a lot about how different organizations go about their business.
What do you say to Analysts/Associates when they question you about working for a middle market bank?
Some say our size is a disadvantage. The reality is, we operate in the same sphere of clients as everyone else—but your career can progress faster at a smaller bank. First, you won’t have to wait years to meet your Managing Director, and you’ll work in an elevated capacity with clients even as an Analyst. I also believe it’s easier to get buy-in and access to leaders at a middle market bank like Key. One sector can have a good idea at a big bank, but it’s so complicated to get buy-in across the bank. We’ve done a good job of knocking down those walls.
What is one bit of advice you would tell your younger self that you know now?
From my experience, the most successful people learn to be successful without requiring a super structured environment. The ability to deal with multiple deliverables and concepts and operate with ambiguity is so critical. There’s not always a perfect answer and crystal-clear direction at every turn. Sometimes you must work towards a good answer and have patience and work with partners to sort out the details.
What excites you about your new role with Corporate Strategy?
Starting a new position during a pandemic isn't easy, but I'm excited about the opportunity to further my career with Key. I will manage the central strategy and corporate development function and work closely with the Executive Leadership Team and line of business finance teams to coordinate strategy, acquisition and investment activities across the organization.