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News & Press: President's Message

President's Message - November 1

Friday, November 8, 2019   (0 Comments)
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"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

Dear FWA Members, Sponsors and Friends,


Simone VinocourSimone Vinocour
FWA President 2019-2020

For those of us living in the US, and especially in New York, November is full of contrasting celebrations. On November 3rd, we will all turn our clocks back one hour – ushering in shorter days. Before the sun sets, however, New York City will cheer on the runners of the 49th NYC Marathon – always an inspiring event. November 11th is Veteran’s Day, in which we honor and remember not only those who have served, but also the end of World War 1 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year.

Which brings me to the truly iconic American holiday (and the theme for this month) – Thanksgiving. No matter your background, profession or circumstances, there is room for a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. I have always loved this holiday; perhaps it’s my Massachusetts roots and love of cranberries!

Of course, I am personally thankful for the FWA and the opportunities and sisterhood I have found within this dynamic organization. I hope you are, too, and will include the FWA in your charitable contributions on Giving Tuesday – December 3rd.

In the meantime, I want to thank our excellent office, our Board of Directors, Committee and Division chairs, corporate sponsors and the many tireless volunteers who dedicate so much of their time, talent and treasure to furthering our mission of advancing women in finance. I wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends!

1) The World

For the first time since the U.S. launched a man into space in 1961, we witnessed an all-female spacewalk on October 18th. No glass ceiling – or ANY ceiling – could hold astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir down!

A little closer to home, Jane Fraser has been appointed Citigroup’s new President and CEO of Global Consumer Banking. This puts her in line for possibly being the first-ever female CEO of a major bank. Truly a ground-breaking achievement.

Finally, already a groundbreaker, Christine Legarde will become the first female President of the European Central Bank “ECB” as of November 1st. She takes up the role after having been the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund “IMF”. What are these institutions?

The IMF is a global organization founded in 1944 as part of the post World War II economic settlement, including the Bretton-Woods exchange rate system. With 189 member countries, its mandate is to foster global monetary cooperation, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty. While the IMF takes a more macroeconomic view, it provides short and medium-term loans (think of the Greek bailout), but also works closely with the World Bank, which is focused on long-term economic growth by providing financial and technical expertise.

The ECB, on the other hand, has a single mandate: to ensure the Euro’s purchasing power within the eurozone is fixed and stable. The Euro floats freely on the foreign exchange markets, but the value of the Euro within in the 19 member countries remains fixed, analogous to the US dollar having the same value in New York as it does in Texas, but subject to changing exchange rate values outside the US. The ECB accomplishes this by setting key interest rates and controlling money supply.

It will be exciting to watch Jane and Christine make their marks on their respective institutions!

2) The FWA

This month, there are some terrific events which will expand your understanding of leadership and enrich your professional life.

November 8th: “Leadership Through Service: a Conversation with 4-Star General Maryanne Miller”. A perfect way to mark the upcoming Veterans’ Day. Come for this inspirational lunchtime meeting and learn how service can be a pathway to leadership from the highest ranking woman in the US Military! This will be especially powerful for those active in their firm’s veterans initiatives.

November 22nd: Deadline for submitting your resume for the FWA’s resume book.

December 3rd: Giving Tuesday!! Help support the FWA in its education, mentoring and scholarships initiatives on this day dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations.

Help us further our mission of advancing women in finance. No donation is too large (or small)!

December 11th: The FWA’s 2019 Holiday Benefit! Join us as we “Eat, Celebrate, Give” at Green Fig. The Benefit is an annual tradition of fun and philanthropy – this year, with an Israeli twist.

December 12th: Join the FWA’s New Jersey chapter as it delves into what makes for a powerful negotiation strategy – an ideal topic during this “appraisal season”.

3) YOU

In an industry categorized by competition, hard work, and an almost Darwinian drive to excellence, it’s sometimes difficult to focus on gratitude. In our “it’s never enough” work culture, I encourage you this month to take time out and say “thank you” to those in your life that have made a difference – to your manager for the opportunities he/she did give you to advance your skill set, to your product partners who work along side you to win mandates, and especially to your junior colleagues and support staff. Likely, you have family and friends who also give you tremendous support. No one one attains success alone, and often we take for granted the part that others play in our own achievement. Not this month! Give a word of thanks (or perhaps a pumpkin spice latte) in gratitude!

I look forward to seeing you at these terrific events in the coming weeks. In the meantime, THANK YOU for your continued interest and support of the FWA!


Simone Vinocour
FWA President 2019-20

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