Diane Garnick Opens Wall St. Firm

by Leigh on January 21, 2012 · 6 comments

in Career,Economy,Leadership

Today while reflecting on strong women who have persevered under dire circumstances, I remembered a woman who was the keynote speaker at the Women in Business: Pearls of Wisdom 2010 Conference at Baruch College—but I forgot her name.  Searching my blog for my post on the event—I was the moderator for the panel discussion—I found the name I wanted:  Diane Garnick. 

“About” on her Facebook page describes Garnick as the “Princess of Perseverance,” a good description based on her difficult past that included having her first child at age 15 and then finishing grades 9-12 at high school in two years.  She found work in a bank but could not be promoted because she did not have a degree.  Leaving the bank, she started college at Suffolk Community College, then went on to earn her a degree from Hofstra University then an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  Her work at Wall Street companies such as Merrill Lynch & Co. earned respect for her intelligence and ability to manage the business.

When looking for more information on Garnick, I found “Diane Garnick Seeks Lift for Wall Street Women With New Firm,” an article written by Jeff Kearns and Margaret Collins published in Bloomberg Businessweek on January, 20, 2012.  I was very impressed by learning that the tenacious investment strategist had opened an asset management firm, a firm that Garnick hopes will help to balance the much needed gender makeup of Wall Street jobs.

The authors state that Garnick opened Clear Alternatives LLC with three other women and hopes to grow the company to 12 by the end of 2012—the same time she set a goal to have raised at least $500 million in assets under management.

“One of the biggest challenges is for women to find an organization that’s willing to accept them back after they leave the work force to raise children without taking a cut in compensation and responsibility….Our objective is to solve that problem,” Garnick, the active mother of two children, told the authors in a phone interview.

Garnick and Clear Alternatives will serve as a catalyst to hire and inspire women graduates from the best business schools to earn their way up the ladder to senior management roles in financial services.  My hopes are with her!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol January 22, 2012 at 7:11 am

I remember that Pearls of Wisdom conference too. Diane inspired me to stay in school and earn my Masters and not merely my Bachelors. Since then I have been able to get a better job and have already started paying off student loans.

Is there a way to contact her directly? I would like to have her as a mentor.

Vilje Leidsalu January 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I too was fortunate enough to attend the ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ conference while attending Baruch College. I was deeply touched by Diane Garnick’s story and highly recommend following her on Facebook for continued inspiration.

Melissa Abrams January 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

We have been trying to increase the number of asset managers we have that are run by women. It’s been hard for us to find good ones. So far we only have 5% of our fund being managed by women. I hope Clear Alternatives gives us another option.

Why do smart women always seem to end up working for men? So glad this is changing.

Christopher Bibow January 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Hello Diane

Congratulations my Hofstra Friend. All the best of success!


Kelli Chambers February 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I am a senior at Baruch this year and would like to know if we can have her back to speak to us. So far there have been mostly men giving talks. There aren’t enuf women in business coming in to talk to us.

Does anyone know how to get in touch with her?

Leigh Henderson February 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

Hi, Kelli:
Probably the best way to contact Diane Garnick is at her Clear Alternatives LLC Facebook page.
Good luck!
Leigh Henderson

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