Women on Wall Street: Working in a male-dominated industry

March 15, 2018
2 – 3 p.m.

1528 Van Munching Hall
College Park, MD

This event is generously sponsored by the Roger M. Low Foundation.

Rita Cheng, CEO, Blue Ocean Global Wealth Management and Kristen Fanarakis, Assistant Director of the CFP, a former Wall Street trader and author of The Debutante's Guide to Wall Street will discuss their experiences working as women on Wall Street.

Topics include:

  • Dealing with the alpha male — the difference between being aggressive and assertive.
  • The importance of being authentic as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
  • Diversity isn’t just what we see and why that matters.


Marguerita M. ChengMarguerita M. Cheng is the Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Prior to co-founding Blue Ocean Global Wealth, she was a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial and an Analyst and Editor at Towa Securities in Tokyo, Japan. Marguerita is a past spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Investopedia & Kiplinger. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM, a Retirement Income Certified Professional® and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. As a Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) Ambassador, Marguerita helps educate the public, policy makers, and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning. She serves as a Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate and subject matter expert for CFP Board, contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP® Certification Examination. She served on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Board of Directors from 2013 – 2015 and is a past president of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area (FPA NCA).

Rita is a recipient of the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship. In 2017, she was named the #3 Most Influential Financial Advisor in the Investopedia Top 100, a Woman to Watch by InvestmentNews, and a Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE®) by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC).

Marguerita’s mantra is “So many people spend their health to gain wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health” (A.J. Reb Materi).

Kristen Fanarakis spent over a decade on Wall Street working on both the buy-side and sell-side of the financial industry. She began her career in the currency investment unit at Putnam Investments in Boston. In this role, she was responsible for fundamental research on the Scandinavian region, helped implement the firm’s trading strategy, and served as the team’s liaison to the marketing department. She later went on to work in sales on the foreign exchange trading floor for banks such as Merrill Lynch and Citibank in New York City. There she covered several of the leading U.S. institutional asset managers providing real-time market information and advice to her clients in addition to executing trades. She holds her B.A. in economics and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her M.B.A. from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. She also holds her M.S. in international economics from Suffolk University.

She's the author of the novel, The Debutante's Guide to Wall Street, based loosely on her experience as a Wall Street sales-trader.

This event is part of women’s month at Smith.