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  • 12 Aug 2020 7:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Is your team on the same page regarding industry acronyms and their key implications? Elizabeth McMorrow, Owner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC and BWF board member, breaks it down for us. 

     In the world of acronyms, nothing is more frustrating than the use of the same acronym for two completely different action items – especially when both requirements apply to the same industry. The acronym world implodes when one of your employee’s tells her manager the company received a SAR and the manager responds without further information, “We don’t receive a SAR, we file a SAR.”

    Not necessarily! For those in the finance arena, the appropriate response should be, “Are you talking about a subject access request or a suspicious activity report?”

    GDPR’s Subject Access Request

    As a result of the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR’s) extraterritorial reach, a U.S. business that controls or processes personal data of EU residents may be subject to the GDPR.  The GDPR came into effect on May 25, 2018 and is an EU regulation that requires businesses to protect EU residents’ privacy and personal data.  It also grants several rights to individuals with respect to their personal data:

    • Access
    • Update
    • Opt out
    • Erasure
    • Portability

    If your U.S. organization is subject to GDPR, a protected individual may contact you to find out whether you hold any personal data concerning her.  This Subject Access Request (SAR) is the means by which the individual exercises her right to know details about the information and your use of the information such as the purpose for which you are processing the data, where and how long you will store the data, who you have disclosed the data to, etc.

    • Appropriate GDPR SAR training for your staff should include:
    • How to identify a subject access request.
    • Awareness of the strict deadlines associated with the request.
    • Whether it is permissible to charge a fee to deal with the request.
    • How to identify and collect the relevant information.
    • What information may be legally withheld.
    • An appropriate written response to the individual.

    BSA’s Suspicious Activity Reporting

    The U.S. Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) established recordkeeping and reporting requirements for nationalbanks, federal savings associations, federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The BSA was amended to incorporate the provisions of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to  Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”).

    BSA requires financial institutions to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for transactions involving US$5,000.00 or more in funds and assets if the institution knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that:

    • The transaction involves funds derived from illegal activities or is intended or conducted in order to hide or disguise funds or assets derived from illegal activities (including, without limitation, the ownership, nature, source, location, or control of such funds or assets) as part of a plan to violate or evade any federal law or regulation or to avoid any transaction reporting requirement under federal law or regulation;
    • The transaction is designed to evade the BSA or its implementing regulations.; or
    • The transaction has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the type of transaction that the particular customer would normally be expected to engage in, and the company knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction.

    Appropriate BSA SAR training for your staff should include:

    • How to identify the client associated with the account/investment, the source of funding and the nature of the transaction.
    • What the internal notification process is to escalate the employee’s concern to the appropriate manager.
    • How to conduct an enhanced investigation to determine whether to file an SAR with FinCEN.
    • How to complete and file a SAR.
    • The need for strict confidentiality in filing the SAR.
    • What information should be documented from the decision process to file the SAR (and close the account if closed).

    Communication

    Whether it is SAR v SAR or any other acronym in your professional world, do not make assumptions. Do not assume you or your employee know what those letters mean. It is better to spell out the phrase, particularly if you are working with a new employee. Once you are all on the same page as to the meaning, a good manager will ensure that everyone in her department knows not just the words, but the requirements associated with those words.

    And now you know, you receive a GDPR SAR but file a BSA SAR.

    Elizabeth is a frequent contributor to BWF News.  Stay tuned for future insights.  For additional blog posts, go to Elizabeth's website: https://www.elizabethmcmorrowlaw.com/blog.

    ABOUT ELIZABETH MCMORROW

    Elizabeth McMorrow is an attorney with more than 25 years’ experience representing companies in diverse industries including financial, life-sciences, beverages, steel, 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.


    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!

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


  • 30 Jul 2020 7:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Boston Women in Finance (BWF) is honored to announce the launch of our first annual BWF Inspire Scholarship.  As part of our continued commitment to engage professional women, BWF is committed to providing minority women the opportunity to succeed in the business world. The goal of this scholarship is to inspire, motivate and elevate these women in their pursuit of a career in the financial industry.

    There is a lot of discussion in the country at present about discrimination so we at BWF asked ourselves, what can we do as an organization to make a difference? The BWF Inspire Scholarship is a small step in the grand scheme of things but we hope it will be a big step for the scholarship recipients.
    Elizabeth McMorrow
    Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law, LLC
    BWF Scholarship Chair

    Sticking with our Boston area roots, we are offering this scholarship to students at Bunker Hill Community College and University of Massachusetts Boston. Women comprise more than 50% of the student body at each of these public schools. Additionally, Bunker Hill is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts with approximately 24% African-American students and 24% Latino and greater than 50% female students. UMass Boston is the third most diverse university in the U.S.

    The recipients of this scholarship will be awarded a one-year membership in BWF, free attendance at BWF events during that school year and assigned mentors. The application and qualification details are posted on the Boston Women in Finance website.  Deadline for this year's application is September 30, 2020.

    We look forward to announcing the three recipients of the BWF Inspire Scholarship in October 2020.

    For details on the application & more info visit BWF Scholarship

    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 me



  • 15 Jul 2020 7:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Are you a file hoarder?  Elizabeth McMorrow, Owner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC and BWF board member reviews best practices for your organization's overall file retention. 

    You may have seen the television show Hoarders and thought, “How could anyone get to that point of hoarding? Why can’t they see the damage they are doing by keeping all of that stuff!?”  You may even be sitting on your couch watching as you “clean” out your work in-box by putting everything in Saved.

    It is time to look through that Saved box and (please say you are not still printing everything) your paper files and your organization’s overall file retention practices to avoid the risks of file hoarding.

    BUDGET BUSTER

    If you maintain paper files, you are either renting floor space in your office or at a third-party storage facility for file cabinets and/or boxes.  In addition to the rental piece of the third-party storage, there are service fees associated with file retrieval, refiling, and transport.

    When paper file boxes are loaded up to be moved offsite, it is easy to understand the cost associated with packing up, transporting and storing that pallet of boxes. There are also costs associated with electronic storage. The cloud is not a magical place: it is a bunch of energy consuming servers sitting in a building somewhere in the world being serviced by skilled experts.

    Companies allocate about 5% of their IT budget to storage and backup. Some studies show that companies’ data storage is increasing 35% per year. Are you willing to increase your CIO’s budget for hoarders?

    PRIVACY LAW VIOLATION

    Data hack! Our data is at risk every day from hackers. Why put even more data at risk? Moreover, why put even more data at risk that you were required under law to have destroyed?

    The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies to certain U.S. organizations does not have a set data destruction period. However, the GDPR does require that the organization document and justify the retention period it has established for retaining covered data.

    AUDIT EXAMINATION & LITIGATION DISCOVERY TROVE

    When your organization retains documents beyond the statutory or regulatory retention deadline, you are giving government regulators and plaintiffs an opportunity to find more potential problems in the organization. You may have corrected the historic problem or fired the offending employee but the 10-year old document still exists. It may have to be turned over during a regulatory examination or litigation discovery.

    RECORD RETENTION - HOW LONG?

    Because I am a lawyer, I will give the standard lawyer answer: It depends. The general answer is that you should look to the longest period of regulations relevant to your business or your customer’s business. Retention rules vary by regulatory agency, state and country.  One retention period that cuts across all industries is 6 years. This is the retention time required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    It is critical to have a communication plan in place for litigation. If your organization becomes subject to litigation, investigation or subpoena, you must notify relevant employees immediately to ensure documents are not destroyed even if a document has been saved beyond the normal retention period. There may be significant criminal or civil penalties even if the destruction of documents was inadvertent.

    POLICIES & PROCEDURES

    Document retention or destruction decisions cannot be convenient ones – a document purge the day before a regulatory examination may land someone in jail.  Organization-wide written policies and procedures must be put in place.

    Even if you are not in a large organization, you should educate yourself on these basic points as the first step to establishing document retention policies and procedures:

    Paper v electronic files

    • Scanning
    • Retrieval capability

    Security
    • Contingency planning for someone else to access files
    • Data breach incident response plan

     File disposal procedures
    • Documents and electronic media
    • Shred, permanently erase, or otherwise destroy so that the information cannot be reconstructed
      • Shred / purge at end of each year
      • Internal certification / log
    • Some devices may save electronic copies of documents
      • Scanners, photocopiers, fax machines
      • Ensure any stored information is erased before the device is removed from office
    Document management software

    For those in larger organizations, it may make sense to obtain outside assistance in establishing new or updating existing policies and procedures.

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


    ABOUT ELIZABETH MCMORROW

    Elizabeth McMorrow is an attorney with more than 25 years’ experience representing companies in diverse industries including financial, life-sciences, beverages, steel, 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.

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

    Elizabeth will be a frequent contributor to BWF News.  Stay tuned for future insights.  For additional blog posts, go to Elizabeth's website: https://www.elizabethmcmorrowlaw.com/blog.


    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!


  • 23 Jun 2020 6:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    How do you effectively lead your team back to the office? Recently the BWF Community was treated to an hour long discussion on work life amidst COVID with guest speakers Deb Kennedy & Sharon Healey.  Here's a recap. 

    Looking Back

    The last ten weeks have changed and shaped over lives in ways we could never have imagined. We’ve all become multi-tasking change masters. We have learned that adaptability is a skill we all possess, and patience and trust have also become more important as we’ve adapted to working remotely. The standard “workday” seems to never end, as there is no way to step away from “the office” and “head home” as all activities occur within the same place. On top of tackling the challenges of working remotely, we’ve all been dealing with the emotional issues and concerns COVID has generated; Fear to leave the house and afraid we may infect our loved ones. Thankfully, we seem to have successfully flatten the curve and now the focus has shifted to returning to the workplace.

    Considerations When Thinking About Re-entry Plans

    This topic can be divided into two broad categories, the emotional and personal elements to consider when designing re-entry plans and the regulations and guidelines that need be met and adhered to in order to safely return to the workplace.

    "Encourage team members to be open & honest.  It should be the cornerstone of your re-entry plan"
    Sharon Healey, Director of Human Resources, Boston Partners Global Investors

    Of the two categories, the regulations piece in some respects is easier to manage. The Governor’s office has done a phenomenal job in providing guidance. There were many topics on the call we discussed. Many organizations are considering whether employees will need to wear masks and/or gloves and how to reconfigure workspaces to ensure employees remain six feet apart at all times. Others are contemplating if temperatures should be taken daily and/or other screening methods such as daily health certifications. The configuration of kitchens, restrooms and pantries all need to be thought about when returning employees to the workplace. Some employers are even choosing to close some of these areas for now. Organizations that are housed in office buildings or multitenant spaces have another layer of complexity. It is important to understand what protocols building management are putting in place. Many larger buildings are now limiting the number of people in elevators and lobbies to make sure people are being socially distant. These measures are important and necessary, but they will impact how quickly employees can get into their offices. If possible, allowing those working from home to continue working from home seems to be the safest route at this time. I would also recommend if you are bringing team members back, allow for staggered departure and arrival times which may help to alleviate some concerns relative to public transit commutes.

    "Remain hopeful.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint - but it will end!"
    Deb Kennedy, Executive & Career Coach, Strategic Directions Consulting

    One the emotional side to thinking about our re-entry plans, our largest take away is everyone has different perceived threat levels when it comes to COVID-19 and not all problems can be solved at this time. It is important to acknowledge as leaders, we simply cannot eliminate all fears, but we can and should encourage people to be honest about how they are feeling. And we have to listen. We can then provide clear, transparent communication about what we know and what we don't know. Discussions around the work that has been done to help lower the risks within our workplaces is important. We need to be flexible and understand there are going to employees across your entire organization that have massively different opinions and comfort levels.

    Preparing For Re-entry

    If possible, try to encourage your teams to take time off to get away from work. Even though most people are not comfortable traveling anywhere right now, burn out is real and everyone has been juggling a lot of varying responsibilities so it will be important to make sure everyone is taking some time for themselves. This will help us to all to come back refreshed. Lastly and most importantly, do not forget to look for something that brings you joy every day.  

    Final Thoughts

    Our guest speakers offered these key takeaways:

    Deb Kennedy

    • Lower your expectations.  They are the food for disappointment
    • Think about how you want to re-enter as a leader
    • Remain hopeful.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint but it will end
    • Look for something that brings you joy daily!  

    Here's a TEDTalk Playlist to get your started

    Next Stretch New Normal/Work Life slide deck

    Sharon Healey

    • Acknowledge the fear that is still out there
    • Encourage team members to be open & honest.  It should be the cornerstone of your re-entry plan
    • Actively listen.  Big difference between passive & active listening
    • Be honest about not having all the answers.  Be clear about what you know & what you don’t know.
    • Organizations work best when they work together to find solutions
    • Take advantage of the opportunities you didn’t have before – perhaps getting home earlier, enjoying more family/personal time

    ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

    Sharon Healey
    Director of Human Resources

    Boston Partners Global Investors, Inc.
    LinkedIn

    Sharon is an experienced Human Resources Director with a demonstrated history of working in a variety of industries currently focusing on Asset Management, supporting the Boston Partners team. She is skilled in employee benefits design, recruitment, implementing performance management systems, developing employee welfare programs, identifying training needs, conducting trainings, employee grievance handling, developing and implementing disciplinary policies, terminations, conducting exit interviews and final settlement of employees.  

    Debra Kennedy
    Executive and Career Coach
    Strategic Directions Consulting

    LinkedIn

    Deb is  an executive coach and leadership development specialist working with individuals and teams to develop strategies for successful careers and balanced lives. She brings 25+ years of corporate and higher education leadership experience to help managers and executives optimize their professional presence and skillset to achieve positive and successful results.

    Prior to becoming an executive coach, Deb was the Director of Executive Education at Bentley University where she launched the business unit and excelled in designing innovative leadership development and business programs for corporations and small business partners as well as teaching Global Strategy.  Her depth of experience in strategy, finance, marketing and leadership development provides a broad and unique perspective to her coaching practice.  

    Debra welcomes the chance to continue the discussion.  Learn more at www.strategicdirectionscoaching.com.


    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!

    To learn more, send us an email at info@bostonwomeninfinance.org


  • 21 Jun 2020 6:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Our friends at ISITC are hosting a summer webinar series, and we're invited!

    The first of multiple webinars during ISITC's Summer Webinar Series will be held on Friday, June 26 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT focusing on Industry Sector Classifications - What is the Standard in Today's Market?

    Speakers include:

    • Moderator Tom Baldinger with Bloomberg LP Global Data
    • Paul D'Amico with the U.S. Department of the Treasury
    • Christopher Geddis with Bloomberg
    • Jason Koulouras with Bridgewater Associates
    • Shannon Nittler with S&P Global.

    Industry sector classification are a widely used element of reference data. It is used across financial services for both internal, external and regulatory purposes. However, there are multiple types of classification systems in today's market both proprietary and public, each with their own methodology.

    With the absence of a standard for Industry Sector Classifications, is there confusion in the market with so many different classification options available? And what would the cost be by adopting a standard? This panel of SMEs will offer their input on the benefits & challenges reference data market participants are facing today.

    Click here to register for this webinar!


    About ISITC:

    Comprised of leading executives, ISITC brings together broker/dealers, custodians, investment managers, vendors/utilities and other industry professionals to develop standards that are designed to enhance efficiencies in trade processing and related communications.

    Through collaboration, ISITC’s volunteer members reduce inefficiencies, lower risk and build shareholder value while developing and promoting the global securities industry. ISITC provides members with the means to revolutionize the securities-trading process.

    Learn more about this phenomenal organization at www.isitc.org!


  • 09 Jun 2020 7:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Selecting a site for a foreign office?  Elizabeth McMorrow, Owner of Elizabeth A. McMorrow Law LLC and BWF board member offers tips on how to navigate through the process.  

    ROLL THE DICE v. CORRUPTION RISK RESEARCH

    There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the site for a foreign office not least of which is researching the level of corruption.  Corruption can be a significant impediment to a company in obtaining government contracts, product licenses, business visas, etc.  The jurisdiction assessment process can be time consuming.  However, there are some resources that you can use to increase your understanding of target jurisdictions.

    PUBLIC PERCEPTION

    Information from people on the ground can be a significant tool to understand the impact corruption has on daily life in a jurisdiction.

    Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)

    TI issues an annual index which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.  The CPI pulls from TI’s presence in 100 countries and experts from companies, universities and other NGOs to create tools applicable to a variety of circumstances across different levels within a jurisdiction. The index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is “very clean.”

    https://www.transparency.org/cpi2018.

    MONEY LAUNDERING

    A jurisdiction that tolerates money laundering is waving a flag that screams corruption.

    FATF Jurisdictions with Strategic Deficiencies

    As part of its efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identifies jurisdictions with significant weaknesses in their AML/CFT regimes.  The FATF has named 2 “high risk” and 12 “other monitored jurisdictions”.

    https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/high-riskandnon-cooperativejurisdictions/more/more-on-high-risk-and-non-cooperative-jurisdictions.html?hf=10&b=0&s=desc(fatf_releasedate).

    TAX

    The following resources base their corruption indices on tax compliance.

    EU List of Non-cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes

    The European (EU) created its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions (known as the grey and black lists) to maximize efforts against tax fraud, evasion and avoidance.  The EU’s goal is to encourage transparency and fairer tax competition around the world through upholding international standards on information exchange, tackling harmful tax practices and dismantling artificial tax structures.  The grey and black lists include non-EU countries or territories that failed to make sufficient commitments in response to EU concerns.  

    https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/eu-list-of-non-cooperative-jurisdictions/#.

    U.S. Dept. of the Treasury Resource Center - FATCA

    The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires that Financial Institutions (FIs) establish a compliance program consistent with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) goal of detecting U.S. tax evaders who maintain certain financial accounts either directly in offshore accounts and investments or indirectly through ownership of foreign entities.  Over 100 jurisdictions are participating in FATCA through intergovernmental agreements.

    https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/pages/fatca.aspx.

    OECD Status of Commitments for Automatic Exchange of Information

    To ensure the effective implementation of tax transparency standards worldwide, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) developed the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (The Common Reporting Standard (CRS)).  Over 150 jurisdictions have made some level of commitment toward implementing CRS.

    http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/commitment-and-monitoring-process/.

    Tax Justice Network Financial Secrecy Index

    The Tax Justice Network’s index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities.  The purpose of the index is to provide an understanding of global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight which lead to fraud, tax cheating, escape from financial regulations, embezzlement, insider dealing, bribery, money laundering, and more.

    https://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/en/

    EMPLOYEE RISK

    The impact of corruption on your local and ex-pat personnel should not be overlooked.  Peers, former colleagues and industry associations can shed light on real life legal obstacles faced by personnel in a jurisdiction.

    A useful source of information to assess employee safety is the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs’ alerts and warnings.  This information provides, not just a short-term view of current travel conditions, but an indication of the longer term instability of a jurisdiction.

    https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html

    Research regarding the risk to an ex-pat through the local judicial system cannot be understated. It is amazing what chaos a single person can create for a company:

    • An ex-pat driving home along a European country road hits a telephone pole. The power is knocked out to the adjacent farm disrupting the sleep of the farmer’s cows and resulting in the farmer threatening to sue the ex-pat for the cow’s sleep deprivation.
    • An ex-pat assigned to a Central American country discovers (just before fleeing out the bedroom window) that his paramour is the wife of the local police chief.
    • Spanning the globe to Asia, a regional judge in need of cash is paid to issue a warrant for the arrest of an innocent ex-pat.

    The above anecdotes are all true.  In each situation, the company protected the employee but not without cost to the business because the local judicial system could not be trusted.

    The employee who disturbed the cow was promptly repatriated and the company paid the farmer a settlement to avoid the company losing any work visas.  The passionate manager was hurriedly whisked away on a company plane as the local police department hunted for him.  The regional manager was moved from hotel to hotel around the country until an order was obtained from a higher court nullifying the arrest warrant.

    LOCAL ADVICE

    It is critical to engage the services of a trusted local law firm prior to finalizing the choice of jurisdiction.  Local counsel will advise on laws that may directly impact the business as well as personal legal risk to an employee in her role as managing director of a subsidiary, country manager, etc.  Reliable counsel will also provide insight regarding the reliability of fair-handed treatment by the civil and criminal justice systems.

    SIMPLY A START

    The above resources can help you jump start your risk assessment but you must dig further to include a review of factors such as:

    • Trade embargoes / sanctions
    • Currency restrictions
    • Political instability
    • Enforcement of contracts
    • Restrictions on Ownership of Companies by Foreign Investors

    The first round of research may be tedious but it is an interesting learning curve on which to build as you become an active participant in the sustainable growth of your international business.

    ABOUT ELIZABETH MCMORROW

    Elizabeth McMorrow is an attorney with more than 25 years’ experience representing companies in diverse industries including financial, life-sciences, beverages, steel, 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.

    Elizabeth will be a frequent contributor to BWF News.  Stay tuned for future insights.  For additional blog posts, go to Elizabeth's website: https://www.elizabethmcmorrowlaw.com/blog.


    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!



  • 01 Jun 2020 10:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Each month, we profile a few BWF members of the community in our "Member Spotlight" series.  This month, meet Erica Fotta & Mary Ellen DeWinter.  Get to know them a bit better!

    Erica Fotta
    COO, ETF & Index Investment Management
    BNY Mellon Investment Investment
    BWF Member

    What was your favorite BWF program to date?  And key takeaways?

    As a relatively new BWF member (I joined in Q1), I have been impressed with the quality of the panelists for each program. Notably, last month's discussion on Navigating the CARES Act was not only timely, but the panelists presented a complicated topic in a very easy to understand manner.  

    What is your #1 WFH tool?

    I am a huge advocate of using video tools to connect with clients and colleagues. My experience is that virtual face-to-face meetings (1:1 or in small groups) help strengthen personal relationships. It also allows you to gauge reactions and be more aware when others are trying to contribute to the conversation. Add in the ability to share documents real-time and video can be very effective.  

    Something you are most proud of in your career?

    Watching the colleagues who I mentored over the years advance in their careers makes me incredibly proud. Their myriad accomplishments aside, it is those who have matured into humble, considerate leaders who I most admire and know will leave a similar legacy for others to follow.

    What’s your latest binge watch?

    One of my favorite binge watches was the BBC series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch. Most recently, with two sons unexpectedly home from college, our latest family binge watch has been Family Guy!

    Connect with Erica on LinkedIn!


    Mary Ellen DeWinter
    Advisor, Paragon Fund Services
    BWF Board Member

    Your most memorable BWF program to date?  And key takeaways?

    BWF’s recent program on Managing and Collaborating with Remote Teams was a timely and relevant topic given this time of our country’s pandemic.  This program reinforced the importance of trust, teamwork, communication and being flexible, both within and beyond one’s regular scope of responsibility, to successfully address dynamic business opportunities.   

    What is your #1 WFH tool?  

    Zoom has become a much more essential tool in addition to an updated process to better track the status of evolving client projects in a more effective manner.

    Something you are most proud of in your career? 

    I am proud of leveraging my diverse experience across different industries to help firms/organizations achieve their goals and objectives.

    Best read lately?

    Given our current times, two books that I have read recently and would recommend are as follows:

    “How Will You Measure Your Life”, by Clayton M. Christensen  and “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni.   They provide a great perspective for both personal and professional success.   

    Connect with Mary Ellen on LinkedIn 

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Special thanks to both Erica & Mary Ellen for participating in this monthly feature & of course for your continued support of the BWF community!

    If you'd like to be featured in an upcoming BWF Member Spotlight, please reach out info@bostonwomeninfinance.org.  


  • 13 May 2020 3:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you have a business survival kit during this pandemic? Those who attended Boston Women in Finance’s May webcast “Business Survival In Pandemic Times: Navigating The CARES Act & Other Relief” may have got some answers. Experts Lyn Kaplan, Macken Toussaint & Gabrielle Piaiso lead a 60-minute discussion, offering an overview of the small business relief package under the CARES Act. 

    Our speakers also gathered a list of helpful resources to help as you continue to lead and protect your business. 

    SMALL BUSINESS FUNDS, PROGRAMS, AND RESOURCES

    • The Federal Reserve System- Main Street Lending Program: The Federal Reserve to provide liquidity to lenders to support loans to eligible businesses (small and mid-sized businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic).  Eligibility (as of 4/30/20): (1) the business has 15,000 employees or fewer; or (2) the business had 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less. (Go here to view
    • Covid Relief Coalition: Launched in April 2020 in Massachusetts by a coalition of law firms, nonprofits and governmental agencies to help small businesses and nonprofits in the greater Boston area access emergency loans and other sources of relief. Providing pro bono legal support. Resources include: (i) list of sources of relief for small businesses; (ii) list of sources of relief for nonprofits; and (iii) list of other available funding sources. (Go here to view
    • Lawyers For Civil Right (Boston):  LCR is offering virtual free legal workshops to help small businesses during COVID-19. There is a Covid-19 help and support page, including small business resources. (Go here to view)
    • TSNE – MissionWorks: Covid-19 resources for nonprofits, including financial supports page. (Go here to view)
    • Center for Women & Enterprise: SBA Partner is providing free counseling and mentoring. The CWE has compiled a list of COVID-19 funding opportunities and resources that may be available to small businesses. (Go here to view)  
    • SCORE: Has Coronavirus small business resource hub, sharing SCORE partner and friend programs that are available for small business support. (Go here to view
    • Assistance from SBA Partners:  Free counseling and mentoring (including loan application assistance) from SBA partners, including Certified Development Companies (CDC), Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), and SCORE. (Go here to view
    • Bunker Labs (Go here) *Specifically for entrepreneurs who are U.S. Veterans
    • Forbes List of Small Business Resources (Go here)
    • CDC Guidance for Business and Workplaces (Go here)

    VIDEOS AND WEBINARS

    • The Insperity team has done a tremendous job in building a series of webinars addressing the challenges of business owners and operators in pandemic times. A few they recommend include: 
    • Greatness: Selfless Exceptionalism in the Face of Uncertainty, Adversity, and Chaos (Go here)
    • Greatness: Selfless Exceptionalism in the Face of Uncertainty, Practicing for Emergencies (Go here)
    • Greatness: Selfless Exceptionalism in the Face of Uncertainty, Painting a Masterpiece (Go here)  
    • Insperity Business Resiliency Series, Session 1: Rescue, Recover, Rebuild (Go here)
    • Insperity Business Resiliency Series, Session 2: The Paycheck Protection Program - What Do I Do Now? (Go here)
    • Insperity Business Resiliency Series, Session 3: Returning to the Workplace (Go here)
    • Insperity Presents: Pete Hinojosa & Key Ideas for Leadership (Go here)
    • Insperity & Upward Present- Pete Hinojosa & Key Ideas for Leadership (Go here)
    • Navigating the Waves of Uncertainty, Session 4: Cultivating Great Culture through the Crisis (Go here)
    • Taking Employees' Temperatures Webinar CDC recommendations (Go here)

    SPEAKER CONTACT INFORMATION

    If you'd like to get in touch with any of our speakers from today's session, you can reach them at the following:

    Lyn Kaplan, Business Performance Advisor, Insperity
    lyn.kaplan@insperity.com | https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynkaplan/

    Macken Toussaint, Attorney, Riemer | Braunstein LLP
    mtoussaint@riemerlaw.com |  https://www.linkedin.com/in/macken-toussaint-2059979/

    Gabrielle Piasio, Vice President, Commercial Lending Officer, The Provident Bank
    gpiasio@theprovidentbank.com | https://www.linkedin.com/in/gpiasio/

    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!


  • 01 May 2020 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Each month, we'll profile a few BWF members of the community in our "Member Spotlight" series.  This month, Becky Blackler &  Karen Hogle were kind enough to answer our questions.  Get to know them a bit more here!

    Becky Blackler, President, Boston Women in Finance

    What was your favorite BWF program to date?  And key takeaways?

    I've absolutely loved all of our programming, but if I had to choose one (or two!), they would be Hacking Stress or Shaping Your Personal Brand. Both programs shared the importance of truly knowing and appreciating oneself, and being emotionally intelligent as you move and interact throughout your career.

    What is your #1 WFH tool?

    Truly, just keeping an organized workspace, even if you only get a quarter of the dining room table. Keeping the paperwork, pens, and cord clutter to a minimum allows me the room to concentrate, even if it's chaos around me. And finally, packing it up when the day is done, and putting it away in a place that I can't see it as I'm going through the house. Maintaining some semblance of balance between work and home is key!

    Something you are most proud of in your career?

    I feel blessed to have so many to choose from, but, if I had to choose one, it would be the annual fundraisers I ran as part of The CFO Leadership Council. Together with my team, we raised tens of thousands of dollars for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts & Rhode Island, Birthday Wishes, Autism Speaks, and more. It was a monumental effort that gave joy to everyone involved, and most importantly, served a critical need for the families we supported. 

    What’s your latest “go to” jam song?

    Good as Hell by Lizzo. Boss Up and Change Your Life! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuq-VAiW9kw)


    Karen Hogle Vice President, Revenue Assurance & Benefits, Granite Telecommunications & BWF Board Member

    Your favorite BWF program to date?  And key takeaways?

    "Stay Fired Up at Work Without Burning Out" My memorable takeaways: 1) Make myself a priority 2) Find balance between work and family.  (Still struggling on both)

    What is your #1 WFH tool?  

    Lattice (For staff 1x1s, goal tracking, updates, etc)

    Something you are most proud of in your career? 

    The development of my staff. A number have become managers, supervisors in just a few years and are doing a wonderful job. 

    Best read lately?

    The book “Severance” by Ling Ma is a great read and strangely similar to what is going on in the world right now. 

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Special thanks to both Becky & Karen for participating in this inaugural feature & of course for your continued support of the BWF community!

    If you'd like to be featured in an upcoming BWF Member Spotlight, please reach out info@bostonwomeninfinance.org.  

  • 22 Apr 2020 5:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Professional presence and brand will always be an important determinant of career growth; however, it can be tricky to navigate the right presence to hold at various stages of careers. 

    Recently, Boston Women in Finance had the great fortune of hosting expert executive & career coach, Deb Kennedy as our luncheon keynote for "Shaping Up Your Personal and Professional Brand".  Deb Kennedy, helped attendees:

    • Identify the qualities that are basic to their authentic selves
    • Keep these qualities are front and center when others perceive you
    • Learn tips to shift those perceptions if you find your brand is off the mark

    Deb also shared an invaluable lists of resources.  Several BWF members have mentioned the tremendous value they've found from this list, so we thought we share it with the rest of our BWF community.  

    18 Resources To Shape Your Personal & Professional Brand

    PowerSkills                                                     

    James A Masciarelli

    Discover Your CEO Brand                              

    Suzanne Bates

    Flying Without a Net                                 

    Thomas DeLong

    The War of Art                                                

    Steven Pressfield

    What Got You Here Won’t Get You There    

    Marshall Goldsmith    

    The Success Principles                                 

    Jack Canfield

    The Tipping Point                                            

    Malcolm Gladwell

    Speak Like a CEO                                         

    Suzanne Bates

    Stop Saying You’re Fine                             

    Mel Robbins

    The First 90 Days                                        

    Michael Watkins

    Business Model Generation                     

    Alexander Osterwalder

    Being the Boss                                             

    Linda A. Hill & Kent Lineback

    Braving the Wilderness                        

    Brene´Brown

    Getting Naked                                          

    Patrick Lencioni

    The Networking Survival Guide              

    Diane Darling

    The Entrepreneurial Instinct              

    Monica Mehta

    Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team 

    Patrick Lencioni

    Entrepreneurial You                                    

    Dorrie Clark


    A Bit More About Debra Kennedy 

    Debra Kennedy, Executive and Career Coach
    Strategic Directions Consulting

    I am  an executive coach and leadership development specialist working with individuals and teams to develop strategies for successful careers and balanced lives. I bring 25+ years of corporate and higher education leadership experience to help managers and executives optimize their professional presence and skillset to achieve positive and successful results.

    As a coach, I partner with clients in a straightforward manner to enhance career potential and smooth transitions while considering the whole person and the passions that drive excellence in life and work.  My approach is grounded in experience in several industries and professional training in leadership and coaching.

    Prior to becoming an executive coach, I was the Director of Executive Education at Bentley University where I launched the business unit and excelled in designing innovative leadership development and business programs for corporations and small business partners as well as teaching Global Strategy.  As a former General Manager in the energy industry, I led finance and marketing business divisions through industry change and deregulation.   I am a seasoned leader with proven results in creatively launching new business units, redesigning existing processes within established operating units, and looking for new solutions.

    My depth of experience in strategy, finance, marketing and leadership development provide a broad and unique perspective to her coaching practice.  I bring  a tangible understanding of the challenges of leading organizations through change and shaping strategies to make progress. 

    Debra welcomes the chance to continue the discussion.  Learn more at www.strategicdirectionscoaching.com

    And thanks again Deb!

    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!  Check out our best-in-class programs; and the About Us tab for further information on our membership and leadership team.



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