Meet the Internationals:
Two women helping Schwab clients around the globe
March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate we’re sharing select stories of women at Schwab who are rising and leading efforts to improve the lives of our clients all year round and all around the globe. This is the first installment of a four-part series.
March 6, 2020
By Kelly Cook, Director, Communications
In recognition of International Women’s Day, we spoke to two Schwabbies working internationally. Katie and Monica both joined Schwab just a year ago, one in London – 5,351 miles from the firm’s San Francisco headquarters, and one in Hong Kong – 6,890 miles from the U.S. home base.
Their stories are different, but they have one thing in common: their passion for serving Schwab’s International clients.
Katie and Monica - teaser
Katie McCarthy joined Schwab 13 months ago as an associate financial consultant in the firm’s London office after spending three years with a financial research firm. Katie, just a handful of years out of college, already plays a big role in the London branch.
Katie is the first person new clients see when they walk through the doors. She sits down with them for a chat to find out exactly what they need, and explores how Schwab can best serve them. She also manages online client applications, calling each applicant and having the same conversation she has with clients in person. Whether in person or online, Katie’s onboarding goal is consistent: ensuring clients get what they need to become long-term clients of Schwab.
Half-South African, half-Canadian, Katie grew up in Canada. Like many in her generation, she took a gap year following high school and spent it in South Africa. Scholarship in hand, she returned to Canada to study general topics before choosing social psychology as her major. “I was intrigued by the fact that as humans we have free will, but how our environment influences so many of the decisions we make in our lives,” she says. In what might seem like a twist of fate, Katie took a tour of Lloyd’s of London while on vacation, and discovered to her surprise that she found finance interesting. She changed her major to finance and ultimately wrote a thesis examining the decisions people made during the financial crisis of 2008.
Katie is the first person new clients see when they walk through the doors of the firm's London office. She enjoys having a chat with them, discovering how Schwab can best serve them and ensuring they have what they need to become long-term clients.
Katie profile (con't)
Recently, Katie volunteered to help Schwab’s Stock Plan Services team with a domestic corporate client that has a European office in Dublin. She went to their office and walked the employees through their restricted stock units. “There was one couple there who’d been dreaming about buying a home someday,” she recalled. “And after meeting with me, they began to realize their dream of home ownership was about to come true. Helping people like that is one of the best parts of my job.”
Schwab’s senior manager for broker service and operations for Hong Kong, Monica Chan oversees the team serving all of Schwab’s clients in Asia Pacific. As big as the role is, Monica is still new to it, having joined Schwab less than 14 months ago after a 12-year career in asset management.
There are big differences between the brokerage and asset-management worlds, but Monica has embraced her new role and the challenges that come with it.
And her new role at Schwab was coupled with another important role: new mom! “My baby Nicolas was just a month old when I interviewed for the job,” she says. “I knew if I got the job, I’d be learning first-hand what being a working mom really means as I would have to balance caring for my son and learning a new role.”
Soon after, Monica got a big surprise when she was pregnant with her second child. Leo was born four months ago, and yes that math is correct: two babies in 15 months!
Since joining Schwab, Monica has learned that her favorite thing is working with her team, which is made up of about 20 professionals in Hong Kong to deliver for clients.
Monica profile (con't)
Over the past year, Monica has learned that her favorite thing is working with her team, which is made up of about 20 professionals in Hong Kong to deliver for clients.
Monica and her team know their own roles inside and out, but also understand each other’s jobs at a level Monica hasn’t experienced before. And that’s pretty important, when you have a busy job at home, too!
Recently, Monica’s team has been navigating through business in the throes of the Coronavirus. They’re staying vigilant and working hard to take care of clients and each other. It hasn’t been easy, but Monica loves how the team has come together.
“I love working for a U.S. company,” she says. “I’ve been impressed that Schwab’s culture so easily transfers across the globe. I’m very excited about what’s to come, for Schwab’s International clients and for my career.”
Part 2 of the Women’s History Month series: Learning not to see the obstacles