Mentoring About Money

Kathleen Norton McNulty '79/'14 MA

Private wealth advisor Alyssa Moeder ’89 empowers others — women in the financial services industry, Marist students, Girl Scouts — by sharing her knowledge and experience.

Alyssa Moeder '89 speaks to students at Marist

Fall 2018 — Fourteen years ago, Alyssa Moeder ’89 looked around her working world at Merrill Lynch and saw a need — women in financial services needed mentoring.

So began the Women’s Exchange, a networking and mentoring program for the women at Merrill Lynch that has since had 5,000 participants at locations across the country.

“I never imagined that it would grow into what it is today,’’ said Moeder, who earned a BS in accounting at Marist. She is a private wealth advisor and a principal of Moeder Salvino & Associates within the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch.

The Women’s Exchange has been a satisfying experience for someone who had very few women as classmates or instructors in accounting classes and few female colleagues when she started in financial services.

Moeder, a campus guest lecturer in April, now sits on the Advisory Council of the Women’s Exchange. The program offers both workshops and mentorship opportunities.

Moeder began her career in public accounting and obtained her CPA license. She has worked in financial services since 1991. She provides goal-based wealth-managed advice and services to multigenerational families. Honored numerous times within her industry, she was named to the Crain’s New York Business “Most Notable Women in Finance’’ listing earlier this year.

She’s also been the recipient of Merrill Lynch’s David Brady Award, given for exceptional service to clients. That accolade had special significance since Brady, a financial advisor, died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, as did Tommy Crotty ’81, Moeder’s brother-in-law.

Caroline Crotty, daughter of Tommy and Moeder’s sister, Joanne, is a Marist freshman.

Moeder’s interest in mentoring isn’t limited to the workplace, or to adults. As the leader of her daughter Nicole’s Girl Scout troop, she led money lessons about credit, budgeting, and the stock market. That troop’s members are now going off to college.

 “I have a special passion for working with women. They don’t have to be the breadwinner to be financially independent. It’s important and empowering for them to understand and properly plan,’’ Moeder said. One mom later emailed to say her Girl Scout daughter had presented her with a budget of what she needed for allowance.

Today she’s a member of the board of directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, and she’s involved with the troop of Sarah, her 14-year-old daughter. Moeder and her husband, Charlie, a research scientist, also have a son, Alex, 10.

Whether talking to Girl Scouts, clients, or college students, her underlying message about money is the same: It’s not about the money amount. It’s about going through the planning process and sticking with the discipline.

During her April visit to the campus, Moeder met with the Marist Investment Club and gave a guest lecture in a class called Fixed Income, according to instructor Brian Haughey, assistant professor of finance and director of the Investment Center in the School of Management.

He said Moeder inspired the students and gave practical advice, too.

“Ms. Moeder spoke about how only 10 percent of families sustain their wealth past three generations, and the importance, therefore, of educating your children about financial responsibility,’’ said Haughey. “She also spoke about the personal characteristics that lead to success, and the challenges that she had to overcome, such as the death of her long-term business partner (Ed Spector)."

“In the classroom we learn a lot of ‘hard skills’ and formulas, but her visit really showed me the importance of soft skills and customer service,” said Mary Vange ’19. “I also learned about niche jobs that I didn’t know existed.’’

Moeder said she was impressed with the faculty, students, and development of the campus.

She said she wanted to make it clear to students that their career paths don’t have to be set in stone. “I told them to be open to trying different things. Be open to exploring. Any experience, for the most part, can be a good experience to leverage,’’ she said. Moeder also told students not to underestimate the value of social media skills and practical skills they’re learning in classes.

What two students said to her afterward proved that they got her message. When they thanked her for her talk, she asked which part. “That you don’t have to have it all figured out right now,” they replied.

To read the full fall 2018 issue of Marist magazine, click here.

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