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  • 09 Sep 2021 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    Boston Women in Finance (BWF) is thrilled to announce the launch of its inaugural BWF Inspire Scholarship. BWF is committed to providing minority women the opportunity to succeed in the business world. The goal of this scholarship is to inspire, motivate, support, and elevate these women in their pursuit of a career in the financial industry. We will be selecting three recipients for the scholarship in November 2021. Applications are due October 15, 2021. 

    Boston Women in Finance is a professional women's group dedicated to bringing together a diverse community of accomplished women with financial backgrounds, experience, and industry interests, to network, collaborate, and inspire. Our membership is a powerful community of women leaders, innovators, and influencers that include executives from PNC Bank, MindWise Innovations, Granite Telecommunications, Boston Partners Global Investors, and The CFO Leadership Council among other organizations.

    Sticking with our roots in the Boston community, we are offering this scholarship to eligible students enrolled in associates, bachelors and graduate degree programs at a Boston area college or university. Each scholarship recipient will be awarded a $500.00 check, receive a one-year paid membership to BWF and free attendance at all BWF events for one-year. The recipients will be connected to BWF member mentors who are finance professionals in the greater Boston area. The application and qualification details are posted on the Boston Women in Finance website.

    We look forward to announcing the three winners of the BWF Inspire Scholarship in November 2021 and bringing them in as a part of our BWF community.

  • 26 Aug 2021 4:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Hello from Boston Women in Finance! 

    We hope that all of you are having a wonderful Summer, enjoying time with family and friends, taking a fabulous vacation (or staycation), and are energized for the Fall.   

    The BWF Board has been working over the Summer to set up a slate of interesting monthly webinars and networking events for the 2021-2022 program year.  Boston’s recent return to the indoor mask mandate, however, means that the Fall is not shaping-up as we had all hoped.  Although we had high hopes to kick-off our program year with an in-person fun, food-based event for our members, last week we decided that we will continue holding remote events via ZOOM at least through November 2021 and most likely for the entire program year.  This means a quick change in our September program to a virtual event and, most likely, our December in-person networking event as well.  However, we will continue to keep you posted.

    As we head into the final weeks of Summer, we hope that you will take a moment to review the BWF Fall programming schedule.  We are finalizing the dates; however, our webinars are usually held on the second Tuesday of the month from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.   Our webinars will be on ZOOM and will remain free to members and non-members as we continue to navigate this uncertain time together.   However, we will continue some select programs for BWF members and welcome any non-members to transition to a BWF member status anytime.

    •  September 2021 - [TBD]: Members only event. Stay tuned! We are looking for an on-line alternative to the in-person September kick-off event.  This will most likely be an evening ZOOM event.
    • October 2021 - Midterm Elections (12:00 p.m. webinar)Instead of our usual financial year forecast talk in January, we will host a bi-partisan panel on the potential impact of the midterm elections on financial and business markets.  
    • November 2021 - Exit Stage Left (12:00 p.m. webinar): Women leaving the workforce. Reasons, Impact, Implications.  COVID has disproportionately affected women’s employment and careers but it’s also affected how they want to engage in and view their own lives, careers, and employment.
    • December 2021 - Joint Networking Program [TBD] Stay tuned! BWF has traditionally held a joint networking event with other women’s financial and business groups each December. At the beginning of the Summer, it appeared that it would more than safe to have a large indoor gathering by December. However, that milestone seems to be slipping into the future.  We will provide an update in November. 
    • September – December 2021 – Drop-in Member Discussion Groups [monthly, noon, dates TBD]: We are still developing ways to keep our members engaged with BWF and each other in a remote world.  As a replacement for the networking and discussion we enjoyed when gathered at our monthly lunch events, BWF held virtual discussion groups after our 2020-21 webinars.  Surprisingly, we rarely discussed the seminar topic!  Instead, we chatted about our careers and lives and most often our discussions turned into information gathering and coaching sessions for people starting businesses, refocusing their careers, rebalancing their lives, etc.  So, this year we will continue these drop-in discussion groups but leave the topic open and just enjoy the conversation and each other’s company.

    Thank you for your interest and participation in BWF and we welcome your ideas, comments and suggestions to continue to engage and strengthen this organization of great, women from various backgrounds and industries.

  • 04 May 2021 7:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Each month, we profile members of the BWF community in our "Member Spotlight" series.  This month, meet Macken Toussaint, an attorney and partner at Riemer & Braunstein LLP.  Macken is a BWF Board Member, past BWF President, and BWF Advisory Council member.  In addition to sharing her time BWF members, Macken is sharing her interest in crypto currency and its potential with us by organizing our May 12th webinar "Back to Basics with Crypto : What's it all About and How Does It Impact My Company". Get to know her a bit better and attend the webinar!

    Attorney | Partner, Riemer & Braunstein 

    BWF Board Member | Past BWF President |BWF Advisory Council Member

    • ·What is your favorite BWF program to date?  What were your memorable takeaways? 
    • I have enjoyed every BWF program over the years, whether it is about financial topic, personal development, or current event/ “hot topic”.  Going back to 2014, I really enjoyed “Getting to Yes: Persuasion, Negotiation and Collaboration.”  I was impressed with the quality of the panelists and they did such a great job sharing ideas and best practices which can be helpful for dealing with not only workplace issues but also in our personal lives. Also, BWF’s recent program about “Securing The Remote Workforce: Cyber Security in a Pandemic Word” was another great one. It was timely and relevant considering the new normal in our professional and everyday  lives. I have learned about a bunch of things I have been doing wrong!


    • What is your #1 work from home tool?  
    • Zoom or any of the other video conferencing platforms that I have used so far. Before the pandemic I didn’t use them much. Now I can attend all sorts of events and programs that I am interested in (even better I can do so off camera when needed).


    • Tell us about something you are most proud of in your career?
    • Whenever I have the chance to help a small business owner, whether through my work with social impact lenders or otherwise. Economic empowerment of others is a great way for lasting impact.  The ability to use my legal experience and my business degree to assist a small or struggling business always sounded good to me. 


    • Tell us about a new or existing hobby?
    • I am fascinated by the whole idea of cryptocurrency and digital currencies (and everything in between). I am not a tech-savvy person so it will take a lot of time to make sense of it all. 


    • What has been the biggest /most unexpected change or challenge in your personal/work life in the past year?

    I have naively expected work/ life balance to be less of a struggle when working from home. It can actually get worse since there is no cut off time at the end of the day to go home. Working on it!

  • 02 Mar 2021 5:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Each month, we profile members of the BWF community in our "Member Spotlight" series.  This month, meet Sharon Healey, Director Human Resources at Boston Partners Global Investors, LLC.  In addition to being a BWF Board Member, Sharon has shared her Human Resources expertise as a panelist for BWF Webinars. Get to know her a bit better!


    Sharon Healey | BWF Board Member | 

    Director Human Resources, Boston Partners Global Investors, Inc.

    · What is your favorite BWF program to date?  What were your memorable takeaways? 

    My favorite program to date was our webinar on Inspiring Leadership: Building an Effective Diversity and Inclusion Program. I really enjoyed working to build this event with Kathryn Burdett and Marques Benton. Their passion, knowledge and tireless efforts in this arena are inspiring and I have worked hard to incorporate some of their recommendations into my work. The most memorable piece of advice that has had a direct impact on me is, it doesn’t matter the size or resources your organization has, all of us have the ability to impact change. There are many some measures we can all take within our workplaces to make it more inclusive.  

    · What is your #1 work from home tool?  Are you still working from home, office, or hybrid? 

    Our organization is back working from our office at this time. In terms of tools I use in general, I am “old school” in that I still hand write my to do list. I think having a running written list in a notebook helps me to stay organized and on-task. I love the feeling of being able to physically cross items off the list upon completion. 

    · Tell us about something you are most proud of in your career?

    It is hard to pick one particular item, but I think getting my master’s degree is my proudest accomplishment. I became a mom for the first time while completing my capstone course and continuing to work modified duty so things were hectic to say the least but I completed my final course and now have an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. Aside from this, I would say working in the Human Resources field more generally has been something I’m also very proud of. I have enjoyed supporting my team members over the years.    

    · A "go to" for inspiration/motivation? Jam song, best read lately, guilty pleasure, binge watch, new hobby?  

    In my free time, I enjoy cuddling up with a good book and a glass of wine. Currently, I am reading a book called Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. I also enjoy cooking and baking. My first career was actually as a Pastry Chef and I graduated from Johnson and Wales. I began cooking with my grandmother and mother and I have always enjoyed preparing a home cooked meal for my friends and family to enjoy.   

    · What has been the biggest /most unexpected change or challenge in your personal/work life, company, or industry segment since the shut down last spring?  What do you foresee for 2021?

    The biggest challenge in 2020 has unfortunately become the same challenge in 2021 which is our collective inability to return to “normal.” The biggest challenge for me as I am sure many others share this as well was working from home and also taking care of my son. Working moms have truly become superheroes. The struggle to keep up with work while ensuring children are learning and keeping up with their schoolwork, has been stressful on many. I am happy to say we’ve at least turned the page on 2020 and I think we all look to 2021 with hope. 


  • 14 Jan 2021 7:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What does your client screening and onboarding process look like? Elizabeth McMorrowOwner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC and BWF board member explains the importance of PEP risk management.

    For those not familiar with the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, hearing the term Politically Exposed Person for the first time might conjure up recent headlines of a U.S. Congressman being seduced by a foreign agent or a former U.S. Senator working for a Chinese surveillance company. However, a Politically Exposed Person or PEP does not include U.S. public officials and can include completely ordinary people who happen to work in foreign governments.

    What is a PEP?

    A PEP can be an individual or an organization and generally includes the following:

    • Senior official in the executive, legislative, administrative, military, or judicial branches of a foreign government (whether elected or not).
    • Senior official of a major foreign political party.
    • Senior executive of a foreign government owned business.
    • A corporation, business, or other entity that has been formed by, or for the benefit of, any such individual.
    • An immediate family member of such individual (including spouses, parents, siblings, children, and a spouse’s parents and siblings).
    • A person who is widely and publicly known (or is actually known by your financial institution) to be a close associate of such individual.

    The fact that an individual is no longer a foreign government official does not automatically remove her from the PEP classification.

    Why Should I Care If My Client Is a PEP?

    There is a link between political corruption and the weakening of democracy and political rights. Those in government wield power that can adversely impact citizens’ lives. The U.S. financial system is attractive for a variety of reasons to foreigners including PEPs. The U.S. financial regulatory authorities do not want the U.S. financial system destabilized by the presence of corrupt funds and clients who engage in illicit acts such as terrorism, human rights abuses, extortion, corruption, human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, bribery, money laundering, and related crimes.

    Moreover, you do not want your financial institution associated with the discovery your client has obtained his funds through corruption or other illicit activities. To avoid penalties and reputational damage, it is imperative to implement effective risk management policies and procedures.

    While this post is targeted at PEP risk management, U.S. corruption should not be ignored. Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the U.S. only 23rd out of 198 jurisdictions reviewed. It seems like every month another U.S. publication issues a corruption ranking of the U.S. states. Just this week, the website bestlifeonline.com released its own corruption ranking of the 50 U.S. states highlighting state by state corruption issues. The key is to follow effective Know Your Customer (KYC) processes on all clients.

    Risk Management Practices

    In August 2020, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a joint statement clarifying a financial institution’s BSA due diligence requirements for clients who may be considered PEPs should be commensurate with the risks posed by the PEP relationship.  

    The joint statement explained there is no regulatory requirement in the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) rule or supervisory expectation for financial institutions to have specific due diligence steps for PEPs. The regulatory authorities emphasized the use of a risk-based approach which enables banks to:

    • Understand the nature and purpose of customer relationships for the purpose of developing a customer risk profile; and
    • Conduct ongoing monitoring to identify and report suspicious transactions and, on a risk basis, to maintain and update customer information.

    Such an approach includes maintaining written policies and procedures “reasonably designed to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers.”

    Many financial institutions have a policy to determine at onboarding whether a client is a PEP. I find this approach useful as part of developing the customer risk profile. The fact the client is a PEP is not a deal breaker. It is one factor in assessing the risk associated with the client. Other relevant factors are:

    • Type of products and services to be used.
    • Expected volume and nature of transactions.
    • Geographies associated with the customer’s domicile and anticipated activity. (Find the rank of these jurisdictions on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index).
    • Length of time since the PEP was in government employment.
    • Amount of political influence the PEP held/holds.
    • PEP’s access to significant government assets or funds.
    • PEP’s official government responsibilities and apparent influence.

    If your standard onboarding process results in the conclusion the PEP may pose a higher than accepted risk, it may be useful to engage in Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) before turning the potential client away.

    What Is Enhanced Due Diligence?

    As the name suggests, EDD involves a higher level of scrutiny to guard against onboarding a client engaged in illicit activities. Your EDD can include a review of such additional information as:

    • Detailed written explanation of the role the PEP played with respect to the government, political party, government-controlled entity or other organization that caused him to be classified as a PEP.
    • Purpose of the account.
    • Source of funds and wealth.
    • Individuals with ownership or control over the account, such as beneficial owners, signatories, or guarantors.
    • Current occupation or type of business (of customer or other individuals with ownership or control over the account).
    • Financial statements.
    • Banking references.

    The bottom line is the onboarding of a client is a fact-based assessment of the risk associated with your financial institution providing that particular client financial services. To ensure your team is able to exercise effective judgement in analyzing the facts, you must empower them with clearly written policies and procedures, periodic training, and a management contact matrix outlining the appropriate people who can answer the employee’s questions.

    For additional blog posts, please go to Elizabeth’s website: https://www.elizabethmcmorrowlaw.com/blog.

    Elizabeth McMorrow is an attorney with more than 25 years’ experience representing companies in diverse industries including financial, life-sciences, beverages and imaging technology on international-related legal issues as both in-house and outside counsel. She is Board Secretary for BWF and the owner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC. She can be reached at elizabeth@elizabethmcmorrowlaw.com.




    Boston Women in Finance is a professional women's group dedicated to bringing together a diverse community of accomplished women with financial backgrounds, experience, and industry interests, to network, collaborate, and inspire. 

    Our membership is a powerful community of women leaders, innovators, and influencers who meet monthly to delve into a wide range of topics including economic and financial trends, technological advancements, evolving leadership roles, professional development, and much more. 

    At Boston Women in Finance meetings and social events, you will always meet someone new and learn something too!

    Copyright © Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC.  All rights reserved.


  • 06 Jan 2021 7:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Happy New Year!  

    Each month, we profile BWF members of the community in our "Member Spotlight" series.  This month, meet Elizabeth McMorrow. In addition to being a BWF Board Member, Elizabeth is a frequent contributor to BWF News. Get to know her a bit better!

    Elizabeth McMorrow | Attorney-Owner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC | BWF Board Member

      • What is your favorite BWF program to date?  What were your memorable takeaways? 

      Inspiring Leadership: Building an Effective Diversity and Inclusion Program. My fellow board member Sharon Healey did such a great job interacting with the panel members Kathryn Burdett and Marques Benton. I came away with concrete ideas rather than fragments of an esoteric discussion. 

      • Tell us about something you are most proud of in your career?

      Being a mentor. My father was an international HR executive and discussed business at the dinner table with us even when we were in elementary school. He emphasized developing people which in turn helps not just them but their families. I have tried to do this throughout my career whether it was someone who reported to me or a random stranger reaching out through LinkedIn. I particularly enjoy talking through career options with students who might not even realize a particular type of job exists.

      • What has been the biggest /most unexpected change or challenge in your business since the shut down last spring?

      I provide legal advice on international related issues to a broad range of clients including the financial industry and life sciences. Restricted business travel has resulted in making it easier for me to connect with some clients who would otherwise be sitting on a plane. Additionally, some clients have had time to think through gaps in their compliance programs and have taken advantage of a slowdown in one area to get their policies and training updated. It has been important for people not to get stuck because the Y2020 plan was not possible – pivoting to achieve a revised game plan is critical in any crisis.

      • What is your #1 work from home tool?

      Having two screens is a must for me. I have a wide screen laptop with a wide screen monitor attached to it. I’m security conscious, so I have a separate lightweight laptop for business travel that I don’t store any client files on.

      •       What has been your COVID guilty pleasure?
    Leslie Jordan’s Instagram posts have been a Godsend! He is such a funny, optimistic guy. I also binge watched Escape to the Chateau which is about a quirky couple renovating a dilapidated French chateau. It’s a UK show but you can stream it on Peacock.
  • 22 Dec 2020 11:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The team at Boston Women in Finance wanted to take a moment and say thank you.

    Thank you for continuing to choose to be a part of this community. Thank you for showing up, even when the pressure of the year might have been a bit too great. And thank you for making this group the truly remarkable community that it is.

    Like anyone else, Boston Women in Finance saw its share of challenges this year. But thankfully, with the leadership of the best board members around, we were able to continue to serve this community to the best of our ability, including:

    We Took a Leap Into The Digital Age

    It took our team less than 30 days to transition to virtual-only events. While we missed seeing each and every one of you live, there was a silver lining – we could offer helpful content faster. Since March 2020, we’ve talked about Collaborating with Remote Teams, Navigating the CARES Act, Leading in COVID, How Career Progression is Changing, Managing Anxiety in the Workplace, Building Diversity & Inclusion Programs, and more.

    In 2021, we plan to continue this virtual series – you’ll see invitations shortly to join us for the State of the Economy, Cyber Security Concerns in a Remote Workforce, Master Classes in Entrepreneurship, and more.

    We Made Our Events Available To Anyone Who Needed Them

    We made a purposeful decision in early 2020 to open up our virtual events for members and non-members. The reasoning was simple – we’re all in this together. Critical and helpful content didn’t belong behind paywalls. It belonged in the hands of the people who could use it the most – you.

    Going into 2021, we will commit to continuing to keeping the doors open to our virtual events for members and non-members alike. Our mission is to empower, engage, and inspire this amazing community, and that means keeping the doors open to whomever needs them.

    We Found New Ways To Elevate Future Leadership

    We opened our very first scholarship in the late spring, The BWF Inspire Scholarship, committed to providing minority women the opportunity to succeed in the business world. Our goal – to inspire, motivate, and elevate these women in the pursuit of a career in the financial industry.

    While applications are now closed, we fully plan on re-opening this scholarship again in 2021, as well as expanding it to reach even more women throughout the Greater Boston area.

    We also shared dozens of new job postings on our website and through our social media accounts, and personally connected members of our community to the opportunities we saw coming.

    We Found New Ways to Come Together

    Going totally virtual in 2020 meant that the BWF team had to find new ways to connect with our members and friends. We launched our Member’s Only online portal, which includes recordings of our past programs, a members-only email group, a searchable member’s directory, and more.

    The BWF Board also undertook a new member mentorship program, personally outreaching to the dozens of new members that joined our community this year to ensure they were plugged into our network and community and received the resources they needed.

    And while they certainly don’t replace the joy of being live with others, we hosted members-only virtual events, which offer a chance to connect directly with other BWF members. In my opinion, these have truly been the best conversations that we’ve had this year. We celebrate new jobs, we advise those looking for resources, we have comforted those who are struggling, and more. It’s been that personal, supportive touch that’s been missing this year, and I can’t wait to continue them into 2021.

    We Grew Our Community and Welcomed New Friends

    On top of welcoming a host of new members to our community this year, our digital community expanded exponentially – we welcomed hundreds of new community followers on LinkedIn, on Twitter, and Instagram.

    We also welcomed our first annual sponsor, PNC Bank, to our community. PNC has been an extraordinary partner, and we look forward to more opportunities to connect their resources with you, and vice versa.

    Most Importantly, We Found Each Other

    Out of everything that’s happened to us and around us this year – the loss, the grief, the anxiety, and the pain – we’ve found a safe spot in one another. Our distance from one another has forced us to find and hold onto our tribe. To lean on those who understand us, who empower us to keep going, and who comfort us when we fall.

    More than anything else this year, I hope that we’ve helped you find your tribe, or find ways to celebrate and lift yours up for the gift that they are. Because the gift of laughter, of small moments of joy, of commiseration, and pep talks, are the gift that we need right now.

    Again, I thank you for being a part of this community, for giving when you can, and for showing up even when it seemed impossible to do so. The BWF team appreciates you, celebrates you, and hopes that we’ll be able to serve you more in 2021 and beyond.

    From our tribe to yours, we wish you a healthy, happy, and joyous holiday season.

    All the best,

    Becky Blackler
    President, Boston Women in Finance
    Email Us | Connect On LinkedIn


  • 11 Nov 2020 7:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here’s a few basic facts to provide context to the antiboycott compliance question. Elizabeth McMorrowOwner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC and BWF board member shares why it’s important for you to remain vigilant in document review. 

    How Has Improved Muslim-Israel Relations Impacted U.S. Antiboycott Compliance?

    In the midst of the U.S. Presidential campaign, came positive economic and diplomatic news as members of the Trump administration brokered deals this summer and fall between Israel, Serbia and Kosovo; Israel and Bahrain; Israel and UAE; and Israel and Sudan. One practical question arising from these arrangements is what is the impact on U.S. companies’ antiboycott compliance?

    While scholars will likely write lengthy articles if not books on this chapter of Middle East relations, my goal is to give a few basic facts to provide context to the antiboycott compliance question.

    Serbia & Kosovo

    Serbia and Kosovo were part of the former Yugoslavia. In 2008, majority ethnic Albanian and Muslim Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. While most Western countries have recognized Kosovo’s independence, Serbia has not. Additionally, Kosovo and Israel have not recognized each other.

    Results of the new arrangements include:

    • Serbia and Kosovo normalized economic ties but did not agree to mutual recognition.
    • Israel and Kosovo agreed to mutual recognition and will establish diplomatic relations.

    Bahrain

    Located in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain declared independence from the UK in 1971. Bahrain signed a “Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations” and several memoranda of understanding with Israel in September 2020. Through the declaration and MOUs, Bahrain and Israel established full diplomatic relations and expanded economic potential in trade, air services, telecommunications, finance, banking, and agriculture.

    United Arab Emirates

    The UAE is a federal elective constitutional monarchy formed from a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. In September 2020, the UAE and Israel signed an agreement normalizing relations between their two nations which opens the door to develop commercial, diplomatic and security ties.

    Sudan

    The Republic of the Sudan is located in Northeast Africa. In October 2020, the Sudan agreed to put $335 million in an escrow account for compensating U.S. victims of terror attacks. President Trump subsequently signed an executive order to remove Sudan from the terrorism list. Israel and the Sudan normalized relations and agreed to discuss cooperation in agriculture, trade, and other areas.

    U.S. Antiboycott Law

    Certain individuals and companies are required to report to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) boycott requests and operations in boycott countries.  Failure to report can result in administrative and/or criminal penalties.  The U.S. boycott reporting regime extends beyond U.S. borders and can include foreign organizations. The boycott of greatest concern to U.S. organizations is the Arab League Boycott of Israel which was established pre-Israel statehood in 1945 and continued when Israel was established in 1948.

    What Does the U.S. Mean by Boycott?

    A relevant boycott involves entering into an agreement as a condition of doing business in a country where the agreement requires a person to refrain from:

    • Doing business in or hiring employees from another country or
    • Doing business with other persons that do business in or hire employees from the other country.
    • Boycotts in this context do not include those boycotts sanctioned by the U.S.

    Boycott Levels

    The IRS reporting requirement extends to three levels of boycotting:

    • Primary:  This type of boycott is imposed by a country on individuals, entities, property, and transactions in the targeted country.
    • Secondary: This level of boycott extends the boycott beyond the targeted country to blacklisted persons (i.e., those doing business with the boycotted country’s government or one of its companies or nationals).
    • Tertiary:  This is the most attenuated boycott level.  It extends the boycott to countries or individuals doing business with the blacklisted persons affected by the secondary boycott.

    Examples of Boycott Agreement Requests

    Boycott requests can range from blatant to subtle.  There is no cookie cutter approach taken by those trying to get you and/or your company to agree to engage in a boycott.

    You should be alert to the below types of requests:

    • Agreements to refuse or actual refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.
    • Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about business relationships with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.
    • Agreements to discriminate or actual discrimination against other persons based on race, religion, sex, national origin, or nationality.
    • Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about the race, religion, sex, or national origin of another person.
    • Implementing letters of credit containing prohibited boycott terms or conditions.

    Who Is Covered by the U.S. Antiboycott Laws?

    It is necessary to review your structure to determine which individuals or organizations may be covered by the U.S. antiboycott laws.  Coverage includes U.S. corporations, individuals, partnerships, and trusts.  The antiboycott regime also includes certain foreign corporations, individuals, partnerships, and trusts.

    The reporting regime requires more than just the reporting of boycott requests.  It also includes reporting (among other things) the existence of operations in countries implementing an international boycott.

    Penalties

    Violations of the U.S. antiboycotting program can result in administrative and/or criminal penalties.

    If there is a criminal judgement then each knowing offense can result in a fine of up to $50,000 or five times the value of the exports involved, whichever is greater, and imprisonment of up to five years.

    Administrative penalties can result in:

    • a general denial of export privileges;
    • the imposition of fines of up to $11,000 per violation; and/or
    • denial of all or part of certain foreign tax benefits.

    Reporting

    Boycott requests must be reported quarterly.  Boycott requests and the existence of operations in boycott countries must be reported annually.

    If you believe you may have violated the antiboycott provisions, the Office of Antiboycott Compliance has a process of self-disclosure.

    Compliance Program

    The U.S. Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) released its quarterly List of Countries Requiring Cooperation with an International Boycott during October 2020:

    • Iraq
    • Kuwait
    • Lebanon
    • Libya
    • Qatar
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Syria
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Yemen

    While it has not yet removed the UAE from its list, Treasury noted it is “monitoring the situation of the United Arab Emirates, which has announced the issuance of a decree repealing its boycott law.”

    Once the UAE is removed from the list, you will no longer be required to report the existence of your operations located in the UAE. You can update your compliance manual at that point.

    Kosovo, Bahrain, and Sudan were not previously on Treasury’s list. As a result, there was no requirement to report operations located in these countries under U.S. antiboycott law.

    The agreements that Kosovo, Bahrain, UAE, and Sudan entered into with Israel are not universally welcomed by their citizens. And even if a company in one of these nations previously included boycott language in its documents in solidarity with the Arab League boycott but chooses to embrace the change, the company still faces the task of employees updating standardized contracts, etc. Thus, t is important for you to remain vigilant in document review.

    For additional blog posts, please go to my website: https://www.elizabethmcmorrowlaw.com/blog.

    Elizabeth McMorrow is an attorney with more than 25 years’ experience representing companies in diverse industries including financial, life-sciences, beverages and imaging technology on international-related legal issues as both in-house and outside counsel. She is Board Secretary for BWF and the owner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC. She can be reached at elizabeth@elizabethmcmorrowlaw.com.


    Boston Women in Finance is a professional women's group dedicated to bringing together a diverse community of accomplished women with financial backgrounds, experience, and industry interests, to network, collaborate, and inspire. 

    Our membership is a powerful community of women leaders, innovators, and influencers who meet monthly to delve into a wide range of topics including economic and financial trends, technological advancements, evolving leadership roles, professional development, and much more. 

    At Boston Women in Finance meetings and social events, you will always meet someone new and learn something too!

    Copyright © Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC.  All rights reserved.


  • 20 Oct 2020 8:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Each month, we profile BWF members of the community in our "Member Spotlight" series.  This month, meet Melissa Albonesi.  Get to know her a bit better!

    Melissa Albonesi
    Business Development Advisor
    BWF Board Member

    Your favorite BWF program to date?  What were your memorable takeaways?

    Work in the Time of COVID-19:  The Changing Future of Career Progression was my favorite BWF program to date. 

    My biggest takeway from this session was around the ecosystem of our careers.  I especially loved this comment from Meghan Beaupre, “It is important for us to remember that the ecosystem of our career is for us to decide.  Even when a bomb gets dropped into the middle of it, we still have the power to regroup and make our careers what we want them to be”.   I just found this comment to be so inspiring.  We are living in a time where so much feels out of our control.  I think it is so important for us to remember that we can still take control and be in the driver’s seat of our career progression. While it is critical that we continue to forge ahead, this is also a time when we need to give ourselves and others grace.  COVID-19 has dramatically altered how we all live and work.  This pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives and the careers of many.  Many people just want to talk or vent so it is important to be a good listener and help build people up and make them feel valued.  This quote from Maya Angelou is always timely….”People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

    What is your #1 WFH tool?

    I have not fully mastered these but I am working on implementing a few WFH tools. I am trying to make more of an effort to take small breaks throughout the day to step back, think strategically and prioritize what is most important on my to-do list.  Some days I feel like I am “running” from one meeting to the next.  For me, it takes a different level of energy to connect through a screen rather than meeting in person. You’d think that not traveling or commuting would make work a lot less tiring but I know I am not alone on Friday afternoon when I am grabbing a large coffee to keep going.  Zoom fatigue is real!  I am much more efficient and I am able to work at a higher level if I can give my brain a break from the screen.  There are days when it feels like you really don’t have the time to take a break but even ten minutes away from the home office does wonders for me.  There will always be days when you can’t take a break and step back. My goal is to not have those days dominate my week.  I always feel so much better when I have energy left at the end of my work day to be fully present for my family. 

    Something you are most proud of in your career?

    Bringing my two daughters to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on International Women’s Day was a definite highlight for me.  I have worked full-time since they were babies and I have spent a lot of time away from home on airplanes and in hotel rooms. My girls were so excited to go on a business trip with me to the Big Apple.  I felt lucky to have the opportunity to have my daughters see the floor of the NYSE full of powerful women! I have been so inspired by the many working moms that I have interacted with over the years.  It truly takes a village. Balancing it all is not easy and anyone who tells you that you can have it all is lying!!  As I have gotten older, I am slowly learning how to cut myself some slack and take things one day at a time.  I am grateful for the encouragement I have received over the years and I am working hard to pay it forward and be a source of encouragement for young women trying to navigate through their careers. 

     A "go to" for inspiration/motivation?   Jam song, best read lately, guilty pleasure, binge watch?  (pick one)

    My “go to” for inspiration and my new obsession is my Peloton!!  I know, I know, there is so much hype and I hear you, I was sick of hearing from people about this craze too!  Trust me on this though, it is awesome.  It is a great diversion and I really feel like I am in a hip, fun spin studio when I am actually in my basement.  I recently took a “Yacht Rock” ride.  Nothing like jamming to the tunes of Christopher Cross and Hall and Oates while imagining you are on a yacht in the Caribbean!!!  My family makes fun of me because I am typically singing along at the top of my lungs. Nothing like a good sweat and good music to give you some perspective and get you ready to face the day! 

    _____________________

    Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn!

    ABOUT BOSTON WOMEN IN FINANCE

    Boston Women in Finance is a professional women's group dedicated to bringing together a diverse community of accomplished women with financial backgrounds, experience, and industry interests, to network, collaborate, and inspire. 

    Our membership is a powerful community of women leaders, innovators, and influencers who meet monthly to delve into a wide range of topics including economic and financial trends, technological advancements, evolving leadership roles, professional development, and much more. 

    At Boston Women in Finance meetings and social events, you will always meet someone new and learn something too!

  • 20 Oct 2020 8:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    COVID-19 has dramatically changed how we all live and work.  Many of us are looking for new careers after being laid off or we are looking to make a change in a very uncertain environment.  While life can certainly feel a bit out of control these days, taking charge and building a career you love is still very much within your reach!   

    On October 14th, 2020, the BWF Community engaged in an hour-long discussion on the topic of  Work in the Time of COVID-19: The Changing Future of Career Progression.  Below is a brief recap of this program and the bios of our speakers.

    Overview

    This year has proven to be life-changing for many, whether it be child or elder care obligations, health challenges, or just looking for a sense of normalcy. How can we continue to proactively plan for steady career growth in unforeseen and turbulent times? Sometimes this seems impossible with everything else we are juggling right now. How can we remain positive when our energy is zapped from all of the other challenges that this pandemic has thrown at us?

    Tips, Perspectives and Advice

    When the pressure gets too great, it is important to take a step back.  Everyone you meet is facing different challenges.  Some are feeling the stress of unemployment while others are feeling the heavy burden of taking on additional work because of lay-offs and cutbacks.  When we combine this with home-schooling and hybrid schedules for our children, there is no wonder that our anxiety is through the roof!  It is important to give ourselves grace during this time and also be considerate and supportive of our friends and colleagues who are also struggling.

    It is important for us to remember that the ecosystem of our career is for us to decide.  Even when a bomb gets dropped into the middle of it, we still have the power to regroup and make our careers what we want them to be.   Set specifics for what you want and refuse to go back in your career progression.  Even if you are asked to take on tasks that are outside your typical responsibilities, continue to be transparent and honest about your career goals.  It is important to be able to demonstrate that you can pivot and help out when necessary but don’t let these pivots derail you from your ultimate career goals. 

    Communication / Staying Focused and Committed

    In our session we talked a lot about communication.  While it is important to adapt and take on more work because of these unprecedented times, we also need to continue to advocate for ourselves.  Now more than ever, we need to be purposeful and move forward with vision and confidence.  Opportunity is out there, regardless of circumstance.  It is important to continue to learn and grow during this time.  Maybe the job you are in really isn’t the best fit.  Perhaps the company doesn’t have the culture you are looking for.  Know that you have the power to still make changes.  They just might not happen overnight.

    Managing up and maintaining visibility is crucial during this time.  It is critical to have candid and open conversations with leadership.  It’s not easy to remain visible when your boss can’t see you in the office every day.   Continue to focus on your executive presence. Be an active participant on zoom calls and turn on your video so your colleagues can “see” your active engagement. 

    The Power of Humility 

    Humble and modest leaders are willing to put aside their ego and empower others.  This makes us better and more successful.  It is important to check in on colleagues and ask people if they need help.  Be mindful of what people are going through.  Everyone is facing something different and many of our colleagues are feely very isolated whether they live alone or not.  Many people just want to talk or vent so be a good listener and help build people up and make them feel valued. 

    This quote from Maya Angelou is always timely….”People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

    Suggested Links/Resources

    About Our Speakers

    Kayla Moncayo, Employee Relations Advocate

    Kayla Moncayo is an Austin, TX based HR professional with a specialty in Employee Relations. Kayla has worked in the government, non-profit, and private sectors around the globe and believes in a human centered, vulnerability-based HR practice. Kayla’s expertise is in crisis management, investigations, data analysis, and stakeholder relations. When Kayla isn’t practicing HR she’s enjoying her family and her dog Ezra, advocating for the Black Lives Matter Movement and the LGBTQ+ community, riding horses, and drinking lots of wine.


    Meghan Beaupre, Principal, Private Equity M&A, Mercer
    Moderator


    Meghan is a dynamic, vision-driven people leader with an extensive background in Total Rewards and HR Operations. 
    Formerly an HR executive at Unidine and United Site Services, Meghan has worked in highly transformative and acquisitive environments where she managed teams and organizations through significant change.  In her current role, she works with Private Equity firms on human capital strategy for platform and add-on deals to ensure there is a roadmap for the integration and professionalization of the HR function.  Meghan is a highly collaborative and inclusive facilitator with a focus on elevating people and creating high-performing teams, and a firm believer in emotional intelligence and leading with empathy and authenticity. 


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