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Meet The Female Leaders Of Finance: “Diversity must be part of a company’s strategic plan. It begins with that.” with Josephine Moran of Provident Bank and Tyler Gallagher

Diversity must be part of a company’s strategic plan. It begins with that. The attitude and influence begins with the executive leadership team. Everyone at that level must buy-in and understand why this is important and be ready to execute within this realm. There must be well-run and very defined programs to promote diversity including […]


Diversity must be part of a company’s strategic plan. It begins with that. The attitude and influence begins with the executive leadership team. Everyone at that level must buy-in and understand why this is important and be ready to execute within this realm. There must be well-run and very defined programs to promote diversity including leadership development programs, mentoring programs and a women’s council within the organization that supports and fosters the growth of women. Women in senior positions must be role models for women in the organization and be available for coaching, mentoring and “sharing” their career story. Finally, women need to take ownership of their own careers and be overt about their plans. It takes an entire village and everyone within the organization must be on board to move this forward. One more thought — we have to reach out to young women early to ensure they are aware of the opportunities in the financial world and the benefits of considering a career in finance.

As a part of my series about strong female finance leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Josephine Moran. Josephine Moran joined Provident Bank as Executive Vice President and Director of Retail Banking in August of 2018. In this role, she is responsible for leading and directing the bank’s retail branch network, sales administration, sales training, residential and consumer lending, small business and investment services. She also develops and manages the retail banking group’s overall strategy. She has exceptional knowledge of financial services, extensive experience in retail delivery, sales management and training, investment services, and customer experience, with the ability to provide innovative, best-in-class financial services. With twenty years of experience in the financial services industry as well as twenty-five years of leadership experience, she has substantial expertise in community banking, investment services, consumer lending, small business, business banking, customer experience, P&L management, change leadership and operational soundness. She has a proven track record of developing and leading high performing teams with the ability to initiate change, influence outcomes and develop and execute strategic plans. Moran’s community involvement and professional memberships include: Chairperson, College of Business Advisory Board, University of New Haven; Member, Board of Governor’s, University of New Haven; Member, Women in Leadership Committee, University of New Haven; Board of Directors, EverWonder Museum, Newtown; President, PTSA, Newtown High School. Josephine has been featured in several issues of Independent Banker Magazine as well as Banking MidAtlantic. She has been a featured panelist at the LPL Leadership Conference as well as the Women’s Advisory Leadership Summit. In 2018, she had the privilege to have been recognized as BGS Chapter Honoree for University of New Haven COB as well as the keynote speaker. Josephine was awarded one of the Top Women in Business in Staten Island in 2015. Moran holds a B.S. in marketing and management from The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, N.Y., and earned an M.S. in finance and financial services from the University of New Haven, Orange, Conn. In addition, she holds Series 7 and 63 licenses, and has a CFP certification from Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn. She is currently attending University of New Haven to obtain her Executive MBA. Moran is a resident of Newtown, CT where she resides with her three children.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Banking/Finance field?

I graduated from the fashion Institute of Technology and had a career in the fashion industry for about 10 years. After I had my first child, I became very interested in planning for his future and read many books about finance and financial planning. I then read “Buy Term, Invest the Difference” by Robert P. Murphy and it completely changed my mind set. I knew after reading that book, I wanted to become licensed and change my career to one in the financial industry. I began researching universities for a master’s degree in Finance and found one that included a customer facing agenda. I signed up and began taking classes. I landed a job with a unique lender, obtained my life and health license on my own and began selling long term care insurance as a second job. Finally, I found a job posting with First Union for a Financial Specialist that I was very interested in. It read, “If you have credit experience and are great in sales, we are looking for you.” I immediately applied and was called for an interview. Two hours later, I was offered the job. My career in banking had begun…

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occured to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

I was working for Wachovia Bank in a mid-senior level position and a new executive leader for our region was announced. Our area had a very good reputation with the former executive, but we had no experience with this individual. She attended two separate events with our entire leadership team, neither of which went well for various reasons. My direct supervisor who directly reported to this leader was very concerned as the region was not being presented in a great light early in the relationship. I approached him and suggested that he ask the new executive to do field visits in my region. I had just been promoted to a director but was working in two roles because my replacement had not yet been found. I was confident that if this executive spent time with my team and saw the talent, commitment and excellent execution of the processes that I knew my team demonstrated, the image of our region would be altered. After agreeing to the field visit, we scheduled a date for my leader and me to spend the day with this executive. By the end of the visit, the executive hugged both of us and raved about how everything we had spoken about was evident in that visit. We both became a resource for this leader, my supervisor’s image was elevated and honestly, my career flourished from that moment.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Enhancing the customer experience is the overall theme of my strategic plan this year and in order to accomplish this, I am working on a number of projects that all relate. We want to define what the customer experience is when they walk into a Provident branch. This includes the rollout of Universal Banker, further developing the skill set of our bankers, enhancing the account opening process, creating and upgrading our entire product set, renovating our branches to create a first-class experience and providing omni-channel options, so a customer can bank the way they want to. Not only will this assist our customers, but it also creates employee engagement, which further enhances the customer experience.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

2019 is Provident Bank’s 180th anniversary and we are the most seasoned bank in NJ. Our brand promise, “commitment you can count on” is not one we take lightly, as our reputation is one of an established, trustworthy institution that will always be there for your financial needs. We have very deep rooted relationships within each of our communities and we have long serving employees that our clients trust. We continue to build our client base through these relationships and have prospered in this manner. When I first joined the organization, I spent a lot of time with employees and clients and was so impressed with the engagement and love of the company, team members and the customers.

Wall Street and Finance used to be an “all white boys club”. This has changed a lot recently. In your opinion, what caused this change?

As a woman, throughout my entire financial career and especially as my career progressed, I have often been the only woman in the room. Fortunately, it is not the case as often and I have witnessed a growing movement in terms of awareness. Companies are much more conscious of their employee mix and diversity and have made a conscious effort to identify high potential women and create opportunities to promote women. Companies and society have also grown to realize the impact a woman can have on an organization’s growth and the importance of having more women in leadership roles. In addition, 48% of the workforce is comprised of women.

Of course, despite the progress, we still have a lot more work to do to achieve parity. According to this report in CNBC, less than 17 percent of senior positions in investment banks are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support this movement going forward?

Diversity must be part of a company’s strategic plan. It begins with that. The attitude and influence begins with the executive leadership team. Everyone at that level must buy-in and understand why this is important and be ready to execute within this realm. There must be well-run and very defined programs to promote diversity including leadership development programs, mentoring programs and a women’s council within the organization that supports and fosters the growth of women. Women in senior positions must be role models for women in the organization and be available for coaching, mentoring and “sharing” their career story. Finally, women need to take ownership of their own careers and be overt about their plans. It takes an entire village and everyone within the organization must be on board to move this forward. One more thought — we have to reach out to young women early to ensure they are aware of the opportunities in the financial world and the benefits of considering a career in finance.

You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive things one should do to become more financially literate, what would you say? Can you please give a story or example for each.

I have first-hand experience with this, having 3 children ranging from ages 16 to 25. The following suggestions are based on how I am teaching my third child — as I have learned many lessons from my first two!

Start them early — provide an allowance (that they must earn) when they are old enough to truly understand and teach them the value of saving versus spending.

Open an account with them before they attend college so you can assist with managing the account properly. Make sure they have a debit card and teach them the difference between “available” and “current!”

Teach them about credit — this isn’t easy until they have experienced it, but obtaining a credit card with a very low balance and assisting them with establishing credit as well as managing and paying the account really does make a difference. There are hard lessons here.

Have them attend some type of literacy class — whether in high school or offered elsewhere. This is not a class most teens would consider taking unless they absolutely have to. My middle son and daughter had to attend a financial literacy class that was mandatory to graduate high school and it made a difference. However, you must be involved with them to really make the most of it.

If they want something, they need to save part of the money to obtain it. This is so important because if they have responsibility in the purchase, they truly learn the value of money.

When I was in 7th grade, I made my confirmation. There were three events that the church was planning that required a certain dress code. I told my mother that I was going to need 3 outfits. At the time, we were of humble means. My mother told me she would be able to buy one outfit, but if I wanted the other two, I would have to find a way to buy them. I started working as a paper girl in the early morning and late evenings — for two different local papers. After working through the entire winter into spring, I had earned enough to pay for all three outfits. I felt proud that I had also saved my parents money in the process. This is a story I think of often as I learned very young the value of money and living within your means.

My lessons for my children:

· Start saving early — first with your allowance, then with your job. Saving one-third of what you earn is the goal.

· If you ask for something that is “a want” but not “a need”, you must contribute half of the cost — this means you have to save your allowance or earnings from your job.

· Don’t spend money that you don’t have — that means using credit. Understand how much something costs and how long it will take to save the money to buy the item.

· Create a budget and stick to it.

· It’s never too early to save for retirement. As soon as you have earned income, you can open an IRA.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

One of my leaders that I worked with in my early years of banking was absolutely instrumental in my career success. As a newly promoted leader earlier in my banking tenure, he was transferred to our region and became our new supervisor. I had been comfortable with my previous leader and he had been the person who promoted me, so I was very concerned. However, our new leader took time getting to know all of us, our strengths and areas of opportunity. He identified me as having high potential and really took me under his wing, creating a development plan and exposing me to other areas of the bank as well as senior leaders. He provided excellent coaching and feedback and was both constructive and complimentary, depending on the situation. He provided many opportunities for growth and gave me additional responsibilities. The bank introduced an emerging leaders program and because of the support of my direct supervisor, I was one of 20 chosen in the entire nation to attend this program. This provided tremendous exposure, skill enhancement and confidence building. The program as well as my supervisor, brought me to the next level in my career and I will always be grateful for his guidance and leadership.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I actually have two that truly speak to me:

“Taking personal accountability is a beautiful thing because it gives us complete control of our destinies.”

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

Both pertain to taking ownership and accountability, admitting mistakes and learning from them. This is so powerful and once someone truly understands the importance of this, it transforms lives. My parents were great role models and examples of this, as they always accepted their decisions and if they did not work out as expected, they knew they made the decisions and they were accountable for their outcome. As a leader, this has great impact on your direct reports as it shows you as a sincere person as well as vulnerable. In my opinion, that earns respect. In addition, owning your decisions assists you in taking risks and truly living your life. It is a life lesson that is extremely applicable for both personal life and career.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

A movement regarding the safety of children is something I am very passionate about. The movement would incorporate the protection of children around the world and would address such issues as bullying, child pornography, gun violence, child molestation, physical abuse, hunger, etc. Children are the future and it is imperative that children are able to grow, thrive and prosper in a world where they feel safe.

Thank you for joining us!

About the Author:

Tyler Gallagher is the CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, a “Bitcoin IRA” company. Regal Assets is an international alternative assets firm with offices in the United States, Canada, London and United Arab Emirates focused on helping private and institutional wealth procure alternative assets for their investment portfolios. Regal Assets is an Inc. 500 company and has been featured in many publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Market Watch and Reuters. With offices in multiple countries, Regal Assets is uniquely positioned as an international leader in the alternative assets industry and was awarded the first ever crypto-commodities license by the DMCC in late 2017. Regal Assets is currently the only firm in the world that holds a license to legally buy and sell cryptos within the Middle East and works closely with the DMCC to help evolve and grow the understanding and application of blockchain technology. Prior to founding Regal Assets, Tyler worked for a Microsoft startup led by legendary tech giant Karl Jacob who was an executive at Microsoft, and an original Facebook board member. Feel free to reach out to Tyler on Linkedin HERE .

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