DIVERSE EXPERIENCE YIELDS BROADER INSIGHTS
We’re on our way to the New York Stock Exchange, undisputed financial heart of the world, to meet Merrie Frankel. More than just a trading floor, the iconic building on Wall Street represents a rich heritage, celebrates the will to achieve and pursue opportunities.
The location couldn’t be more fitting: Merrie’s financial expertise spans six careers: she has worked as a tax attorney, investment banker and REIT analyst for companies ranging from Salomon Brothers to Moody’s. She now serves as a board director for Agree Realty. Quite an impressive line-up, testimony to her unique approach not only in the financial sector, but the business arena in general.
We decide to get some coffee first, so that we can learn more about her, and how she came to be where she is today.
” You should never stop learning: all the knowledge you acquire is valuable, you just have to learn to use it correctly and apply it to each situation. ”
She has vast experience in a wide range of fields, having been involved in many projects and industries. Merrie explains: “Everything I’ve done has brought me new insights, new expertise. So when I’m faced with a new issue or project, I move from the general to the specific. I sort through what I know, filter what I need for the specific task at hand, and find solutions that are prompted by a diverse background. I get things into the funnel and make them work.”
She speaks with enthusiasm and fire, expresses herself easily but thoughtfully.
“I’m eager to learn, but I’m also eager to share. This is a connected world, one of intertwining circles. Many people have the tendency to silo themselves off, but I’m thoroughly convinced that communication is key. Interaction enriches.”
With Merrie, it doesn’t seem to be a matter of either/or: her approach is direct and goal-oriented, but she also takes the time to gather information and form a balanced opinion. She gathers information and shares it, but also integrates it into a fact pattern.
“It’s like a puzzle – ultimately it’s about putting the pieces together. Professionally, it’s no different. You have to enjoy what you do, be good at what you do, combine the pieces, and bring things to a resolution.”
As we walk to the steps, she smiles and says, “I just thought of something. You asked me about the beginning of my career. When I was a kid, I had an ice-cream business by the Atlantic City shore with three carts, selling ice-cream sandwiches and other goodies for a quarter each. I think that sparked the flame.”
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