Women in Finance Awards Q&A: Fran Kenck, Tassat
Fran Kenck, Chief Compliance Officer at Tassat Group LLC, won Excellence in Exchanges at Markets Media’s 2019 Women in Finance Awards.
Which mentor(s) have helped you most in your career, and how?
I have been fortunate to have had many mentors in my career. One person who played an instrumental role in my career is Richard Sandor (CEO of the American Financial Exchange). He is an amazing visionary and entrepreneur, but first and foremost he is a teacher. He gave me my first opportunity in the exchange space over 15 years ago, and assembled a core team of subject matter experts with skill sets that strongly complemented each other, enabling us to learn from each other. While I was hired for my compliance and regulatory expertise, he allowed me to grow in the company, wear many hats and pursue other roles. He encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone, giving me a chance to demonstrate my business acumen. He also instilled in me a sense of “anything is possible.”
How do you strike a work-life balance?
I travel a lot and spend almost half of my time away from home. It’s difficult and it takes planning. I am fortunate to have a lot of flexibility in my life and am surrounded by strong support system. I am not afraid to ask them for help. I need to give a big shout out to my husband who is incredibly supportive of my career choices and shares in the responsibilities of our personal life.
How important is it to recognize women in the financial industry?
It is extremely important. It is still very much a male-dominated industry, but women continue to make strides. There is a welcome push today for companies to promote gender diversity, especially at the most senior levels of management and in corporate governance. The Women in Finance awards help to showcase amazingly strong women in the industry. I especially love the fact that so many young women were recognized as “Rising Stars”. What a confidence booster that is to be recognized early in one’s career.
What is your advice for women considering or just starting financial careers?
Do it! Don’t settle. Society is way beyond the notion that women should pursue only what used to be considered traditional female careers. I grew up at a time when Title IX was first passed and it opened up many opportunities for me, especially in regards to sports. I am a firm believer that gender should not stop you from pursuing your passion. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Winners will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 23.
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