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“Women started arriving in large numbers and excelling at their work. That’s hard to ignore.” with Loretta McCarthy and Tyler Gallagher

Women started arriving in large numbers and excelling at their work. That’s hard to ignore. They were educated and armed with the training to succeed at their jobs, therefore working to end the “all white boys club” of Wall Street. Women are also excellent managers, analysts and leaders. It hasn’t been easy for women in […]


Women started arriving in large numbers and excelling at their work. That’s hard to ignore. They were educated and armed with the training to succeed at their jobs, therefore working to end the “all white boys club” of Wall Street. Women are also excellent managers, analysts and leaders. It hasn’t been easy for women in many fields, but more and more, corporations and many other fields are seeing the value in gender-diverse teams. In fact, research shows that their financial performance improves when women are represented at the highest levels of an organization.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Loretta McCarthy, a Managing Partner, responsible for the Golden Seeds angel network nationwide, including member cultivation, orientation and engagement. Prior to Golden Seeds, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Oppenheimer Funds, as well as Vice President of Marketing at American Express. She brings to this role deep experience in marketing, product development, public affairs and corporate communications. She has extensive experience serving on boards of directors of corporations and non-profit organizations. Ms. McCarthy holds an MBA from the University of Colorado and a BA from the University of Arizona.


Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the banking/finance field?

I have always been interested in the economy — what makes things work, why certain companies or countries succeed while others fail. Also, my father was an entrepreneur who spoke frequently about his business. I admired him greatly, so naturally I listened to what he had to say and learned from him.

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

Early in my career, I received a phone call from a headhunter. At that time, I barely knew what a headhunter even was, much less what it would mean for my future. But I must have been open to the idea of changing careers or moving to another city. At that time, I had worked for a few years at Dayton’s, a large department store in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was working there when, in 1980, American Express, started signing up retail stores to accept American Express credit cards. As a company, they didn’t have retail industry expertise, but they were wise enough to know they needed to find someone who did, so they hired me to build that business.

There were so many people in the retail sector with that level of expertise that I’ve often reflected back on that phone call that changed my life and why the headhunter called me. You never know who is paying attention to your work ethic, who’s noticed your attitude and who recognizes your potential. I moved to New York a month after that phone call and have been here ever since.

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

In 2005, I became a founding member of Golden Seeds, which invests in women-led startups. By the time Golden Seeds came to fruition, I had spent more than 20 years on Wall Street and was familiar with capital markets. But when I learned that women-led startups were receiving less than 3% of the capital that was going into all startups, I was motivated to get involved. Stephanie Newby, the founder of Golden Seeds, convinced me to join this movement of investing in and supporting women entrepreneurs.

We are now in our 15th year, and we are incredibly proud that we have led the progress and the advocacy of the many remarkable women entrepreneurs we have met and funded. Through these years, we have become a nationwide organization, with members in 20 states and Puerto Rico, and six active chapters. We wanted to find the best women entrepreneurs wherever they are, so we needed a national footprint. Since 2005, we have invested over $120 million more than 150 companies.

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

The past 15 years have been a remarkable journey filled with determination, grit and vision, so there are so many great stories. We are very proud of our endurance and leadership. We have now seen thousands of companies, trained hundreds of investors and have had over 800 investors join us in this incredibly important work.

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?

Women started arriving in large numbers and excelling at their work. That’s hard to ignore. They were educated and armed with the training to succeed at their jobs, therefore working to end the “all white boys club” of Wall Street. Women are also excellent managers, analysts and leaders. It hasn’t been easy for women in many fields, but more and more, corporations and many other fields are seeing the value in gender-diverse teams. In fact, research shows that their financial performance improves when women are represented at the highest levels of an organization.

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?

1. Be intentional about hiring women in all disciplines and at all levels of your organization. Women are available, armed with outstanding credentials, and can forever change a company’s culture for the better.

2. Once the women are there, carefully sponsor their success. That means more than mentorship. Relentlessly sponsor them and pay attention to the critical need to give them the opportunity to show their talents.

3. Pay close attention to those barriers that could stand in the way of success. Remove those barriers. This might come about by improving a company culture, introducing flexible schedules or by calling out those who resist the mandate of gender-diversity at all levels.

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.

1. Invest early. The most powerful way to accumulate wealth is to do so when you have time on your side.

2. Understand “compounding” and how it applies to your everyday life and spending habits. Think about things you spend money on each month that may not be totally necessary. For instance, instead of the amounts your spend on wine or Starbucks, consider putting just $100 of that amount each month into an investment. $100 per month, if invested at a modest 4% annual return, would produce a future value of more than $50,000 in 25 years.

3. Live modestly. Spend wisely. Develop the lifelong habit of being aware of what value you are getting when you part with your hard-earned money. Don’t overreach. Overspending rarely gives long-term satisfaction beyond the initial high.

4. Always participate in retirement plans at work — to the fullest. For many people, their retirement plans are their single biggest asset later in their lives.

5. The gender pay gap is real and stubbornly persistent. Recent studies show women are paid 79 cents on the dollar compared to men who have the same jobs. Do what you can to ensure that you are being paid fairly. Figure out how to have those tough conversations.

6. In your household, do not allow another person to manage the finances for the entire family. It should be equally shared. Financial advisors should have a relationship with both parties.

7. Always be aware of exactly how much debt you have, why, and determine how to resolve it. Know your credit score. You don’t want to be surprised one day if/when someone else tells you your credit score.

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

I will always be grateful to Delores Defore, who promoted me early in my career well before I was really ready for the greater responsibility. I know that’s a female thing to say that “I wasn’t really ready,” but in this case it was true. I worked tirelessly to prove I could do the job and would not fail. And it worked. But it also helped me become perceived as someone who was recognized, on the move, and in fact, it led to the eventual phone call from the American Express headhunter.

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

Maya Angelou once wrote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I am inspired by this quote because it is a reminder that the greatest result of our interactions is how we affect others, inspire them, motivate them, or support them — and in turn benefit from the result.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest amount of people, what would that be?

Although we have spent the past 15 years focusing on gender diversity at Golden Seeds, I strongly feel that the next movement must be diversity of all types. Multicultural entrepreneurs have so much to offer and face critical funding challenges — even more than women. Similarly, multicultural investors are underrepresented in the investment community. Morgan Stanley has called this “The Trillion Dollar Blind Spot.” We agree. This is a report worth reading.

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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 Dubai 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. In addition to his role with Regal Assets, Tyler is a regular contributor to Forbes, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and Authority Magazine. Tyler has also been featured in many news publications and has been a guest expert on “The News with Ed Shultz”. Tyler is a proud member of the Forbes Finance Council a private invite only-group of hand-selected industry leaders.

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