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I have many happy memories of the time I spent with my scientist dad working on complicated math problems. Since I'm as interested in people as I am in numbers, I studied economics in college and enjoyed how it brings together math, human behavior, and politics.
After several years in Washington working on Economic Policy, I moved to New York City in the mid 1980s and started my financial career at Lehman Brothers. I was asked to start and lead the Asset Backed Securities Desk, at the time a completely new business (now a trillion dollar plus market). I led our team to a number one market ranking by developing and selling complex debt instruments, and was responsible for managing the risk associated with a large portfolio of asset backed securities held and traded on a daily basis by the firm.
As one of the first women on Wall Street to become a managing director on the trading floor, I relied most heavily on one skill - the ability to pull together information from a wide range of sources to develop useful products for our clients.
I left Lehman Brothers in 1998 and moved to California with my husband and two young children. While my sons were growing up, I focused on philanthropic endeavors, including starting the Parents' Association at the newly founded San Francisco Friends' School and co-chairing fund raising galas for the Bay Area Discovery Museum and the Ross Valley Women's League/Adopt a Family of Marin.
When my children were older, I indulged a long standing love of architecture by buying and renovating houses at a time I thought (post financial crisis) that Marin real estate was undervalued. I approached real estate with the same strategic mindset I had employed successfully on Wall Street by incorporating not only the usual considerations of location, design and project planning and implementation, but developing a deep understanding of Marin's complicated planning and permitting process, allowing me to generate significant additional value.
I returned to finance after meeting Lori because I saw an opportunity to help those, including many friends and acquaintances in Marin, who are expected to manage their own finances but are underserved by existing platforms. I believe good investing and planning is not a dry process based solely upon monetary calculations, but should be a rich experience involving values, hopes and fears.
I am excited to bring my life lessons as a professional, a wife and mother and an entrepreneur to advise others in a holistic way. When I'm not working with clients or pouring over the financial news, you'll find me practicing yoga or hiking the trails of Marin.
BA | Wellesley College, Economics, Wellesley Scholar
London School of Economics
FINRA Series 65
Certified Financial Planner®
Certificate of Personal Financial Planning, with distinction | UC Berkeley Extension
KEY INVESTMENT EXPERIENCE
Ingalls & Snyder, LLC | 2X Wealth Group Founder, Investment Advisor
Lisa James Design and Development, Ross, CA | President
Lehman Brothers, New York, NY | Managing Director, Asset Backed Securities
Lehman Brothers, New York, NY | Senior Vice President, Money Market Trading
ICF, Incorporated | Research Analyst for Pension and Healthcare Public Policy
Brookings Institution, Washington DC | Research Assistant, Economic Policy