I grew up in northern New Jersey, the youngest of five, which made me independent. At 15, I started working behind the counter at a deli making sandwiches and filling orders. I loved it. I thought I might open my own deli and offer catering one day. I developed a rapport with the customers and would have their usual orders ready when they walked in. People value that type of service. It was a good lesson in how developing relationships leads to getting more business. I stayed through my freshman year at the University of Delaware.

In 1994, I graduated with a degree in consumer economics. My sister knew someone in human resources at Chemical Bank and got me a job there training tellers. Then the bank announced it was merging with Chase, and my boss warned me she didn't know how this would affect us. A headhunter suggested I talk to Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, and I clicked with the person who interviewed me. He was starting a recruiting program at DLJ to attract MBAs as advisors. In 1996, he hired me to recruit for the program and to help run it. He had started with 12 new hires, and during my tenure I formalized the process and we increased that number to 50. Four years later, Credit Suisse bought DLJ. At the time, Credit Suisse didn't have a large private banking practice in the U.S. so Credit Suisse could leverage an already existing private banking practice, and we recognized early that we could leverage the global presence of Credit Suisse.

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