Member Focus



Marc Ross
Marc Ross
LPL
Branch Examiner



December 2021

Career Path:

My academic background was in natural language. I was pursuing a PhD in Slavic Linguistics at Yale. At a tender age, I had thought my life's trajectory to be set. I was wrong. Having completed, applied for and received my M.A. while working on my MPhil, I recognized that it was time for me to move on to something else. That something else was a more rigorous exposure to finance and markets than a securities registration can provide. Not to knock FINRA registrations- I have five, three of which are supervisory - but they provided a basic foundation upon which I chose to build.

As I had no plans to pursue an MBA, the charter in my view was and remains something of more than sufficient rigor and that's an understatement. It has, for want of a less hackneyed expression, enlightened my thinking. My career trajectory has taken me from the consultative design and sale of ERISA qualified plans at SSgA (my first job), to offering what is now referred to as digital advice, in the 401(k) realm, to third party manager and fund research and due diligence with a fiduciary emphasis, to compliance, both in the field and, currently, as an auditor. It has been a rewarding journey.

Career Position & Responsibilities:

At present, I am a branch examiner with LPL. I meet (virtually, for now, of course) with advisors to evaluate their adherence to best practices of compliance. Consultative in nature, the process entails a review of books and records at the advisor's place of business as well as a discussion of their practice and the challenges that they face. When I actually traveled, the audit cadence would be week-on-week-off where I would prepare for the next week's audit while concluding outstanding items from the last. In the virtual realm, the process is a bit less linear as I like to be flexible with the branch's schedule. A good deal of the preparation occurs prior to the exam, during which there is a an interview and inquiry of items that need to be identified and rectified. The use of a conferencing application, while wonky to some, gets the job done nicely.

Favorite CFA Society Boston Memory:

Many are fond memories, but one stands out in particular and for good reason. It was the recognition reception for new charter holders that occurred in the autumn of the year that I received my charter, 1997. Then the parent organization was known as the Association for Investment Management and Research. I and the other attendees were elated as we were freed from the rigor of the study schedule that had held us hostage, self-imposed, but well worth the effort. The venue was the rooftop lounge at the Ritz Carlton, a sadly departed Boston institution. The ceremony was an intronization of sorts. We became the made men and women of finance. Okay, so that's a bit hyperbolic, but the feeling, the elation were undeniable.

Comments, Words of Wisdom or Favorite Quote:

To those reading this who are in the midst of pursuing their CFA charter, please do NOT give up. The charter is not a mere destination, but, rather, more of a journey. Only sixteen percent of matriculants to the program complete it. Be part of a select few and swell their ranks. The grounding that it provides is something upon which you can build during your career. Finally, never stop learning. To quote that classic film of college life, "Knowledge is good." That's no joke. And as you continue to acquire and build upon that knowledge, do avail yourself of the many resources at CFA Society Boston and The CFA Institute. Having volunteered in numerous capacities since 2006, I can attest to their value. Along the way, you will meet a rich and diverse group of professionals part of a global organization that will broaden your perspective. Bon voyage!

Email address to contact: marclross60@gmail.com



Jon Katz
Jon Katz
IBM
M&A / Business Development- Global Services



August 2021

Career Path:

Most of my career has been spent working in technology and consulting. However, I was always interested in the stock market and decided to consider a career move toward finance and investing. I took a pause working in my mid-30's and attended Boston University full-time for my MBA, while also pursuing the CFA charter. Unfortunately, I graduated in 2009 when jobs were hard to find given the market meltdown. So, I leveraged my previous experience and went back to tech consulting. Subsequently, one of the firms I worked for was acquired by IBM, and after a bit of time post-acquisition, I applied for an M&A specialist position. Like many big tech firms, IBM is a serial acquirer and needs people with specific skill sets to help source, execute and integrate its many transactions.

Career Position & Responsibilities:

I’m currently one of the financial leads for IBM’s M&A group, working in GBS, IBM’s $16 billion consulting practice. My responsibilities include meeting with companies to assess strategic fit, gain an understanding of their financial projections including underlying business dynamics, rationale for selling and shareholder ownership. In addition, overseeing development of an internal business case and associated financial analysis, performing due diligence with the target including identification of risks and mitigation actions and assisting with the overall transaction management for deals I work on.

Favorite CFA Society Boston Memory:

While I enjoy the lunch & learns, I'll always go back to the memories of the CFA exam classes at the MCLE on Winter Place. I made a lot of fast friends as we muddled through the exam topics and questions. I also appreciated the people who volunteered to teach the material, each with a different perspective.

Comments, Words of Wisdom or Favorite Quote:

"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth", a boxing quote from Mike Tyson, but I think all of us have had a disruption or crisis that required improvisation.



Kristopher Frank

Kristopher Frank
Eaton Vance
Associate Strategy Specialist - Wealth Strategies Group



July 2021

Career Path:

When finishing undergrad, one of my first career goals was to become a CFA charterholder. I had heard so much about the time, hard work and effort required to pass the exams as well as the recognition and appreciation of the CFA charter by our industry that it was at the top of my list. I have always been eager to learn more and feel challenged, and I knew this was a perfect opportunity to put my career growth and learning capabilities to the test. Working with high-net-worth clients and their financial advisors, the CFA charter has helped me increase my investment knowledge while helping signal to my colleagues and clients that I am dedicated to fostering investor trust and being there to help clients as best as we can.

Career Position & Responsibilities:

I am currently an Associate Strategy Specialist with Eaton Vance's Wealth Strategies Group which is our High-Net-Worth Solutions team. My everyday responsibilities involve working with the largest private wealth and private banking teams in the country as they help navigate their high-net-worth clients investments, taxes, and estate planning discussions. My role is to step in with a very agnostic viewpoint and work alongside advisory teams to better understand their clients investment policy statements. Once I better understand the big picture and the client's risks and objectives, my role is to explain in a clear and concise manner how our investment solutions may best fit within their client's asset allocation. The high-net-worth solutions I support as an investment specialist at Eaton Vance include customized direct indexing SMAs, alternative investments, and option overlay programs.

Favorite CFA Society Boston Memory:

I have just joined the CFA Society Boston in the early months of the pandemic, so I have not had a chance to experience many events, activities, etc. besides the virtual discussions.

Comments, Words of Wisdom or Favorite Quote:

As a "newer" member, I look forward to connecting with more individuals within CFA Society Boston and I am eager to get back to a more normal state of life. Stay safe and take care.


Email address to contact:

krisfrank95@outlook.com



Wang, Xinxin

Xinxin Wang
MSCI Inc.
Executive Director


June 2021

Career Path:

I started pursuing the charter in 2003 after receiving my master degree and started working. It helped me tremendously in the early part of my career to expand my horizon, solidify my knowledge foundation, and expand my professional network.

Career Position & Responsibilities:

I am currently an Executive Director at MSCI where I have multiple roles. I lead a team of consultants that are trusted advisors to our institution clients on MSCI research and applications, such as asset allocation, optimization, portfolio management, ESG integration, macro risk, market risk, counterparty credit risk, liquidity risk, and regulatory requirements. I am also the Office Head of MSCI Boston office that serves the MSCI Boston office by connecting employees, driving engagement, encouraging and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, developing leadership and succession, and fostering a positive and productive environment that is essential to MSCI's success. Since 2019, I have become a member of the MSCI Executive Diversity Council where I champion a diverse and inclusive MSCI culture by providing counsel on corporate initiatives and facilitating collaboration across the company. Last but not least, I am a founding member of the MSCI Asian Support Network, an employee resource group that supports our Asian colleagues by affirming Asian identities and experiences, promoting educational, cultural and social awareness, empowering leadership and facilitating professional opportunities for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

Favorite CFA Society Boston Memory:

I miss the in-person events, especially the annual dinner. One of the most memorable ones was the annual dinner with Bernanke.

Comments, Words of Wisdom or Favorite Quote:

One of my favorite quotes is from Alexander Bell. "When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." 

Email address to contact:
xinxin.wang@msci.com


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