Episode 56: Thriving in Business
Guest: Martine Lellis
Happy May! I have been enjoying the outdoors recently since the weather has been so gorgeous and I hope you’ve had the opportunity to do the same.
My guest this week is Martine Lellis has a passion for learning. She grew up in a small town in South Carolina and was fortunate to gain admissions into Duke University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Upon graduation, Martine began working within the IT industry building systems for banks and insurance companies. While this was her first exposure to the financial industry, her real awakening came when she realized a gap in knowledge within general concepts around money that occur in primary as well as post-secondary schooling. When she looked at the gap in her knowledge and paired it with what drove her, she found a match in financial planning.
For the past 14 years, Martine has been Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney (SBSB) where she has worked her way up to Chief Operating Officer. Considering herself a life-long student, Martine has not only her MBA from Georgetown University, but she also has become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planning (CFP). Her passion for learning and knowledge seeking has led her to her career today. Her learning today comes from taking different projects, gaining knowledge through application and experience.
As someone who is the COO of a company that manages nearly $3 billion in client assets, Martine was initially surprised when she was asked if she wanted the position. Knowing her limits and skill sets, believing in herself and her ability to think critically about any situation, Martine had the self-confidence to take it on and be successful. She partnered with others in the company so that she could ask for assistance when she needed it. She feels that this is key to succeeding in any position. Martine surrounds herself with team members, mentors, and advisors who have different skills sets than her. They are not only there to help her solve problems but to also jolt her out of your current opinion, or tunnel vision, to see the potential in a situation.
Recently, Martine and several of her partners decided to purchase back the Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney from their bank parent and start a new endeavor as a private company once again. Through her relationships over the years, Martine has been able to bring together external resources to ensure a successful transition.
Martine in thriving in her role and has some great advice for anyone who may be feeling stagnant in their role. She recommends never saying no to various situations and to be open-minded about opportunities because everything is an open door to learning. If you are stuck in a position, look around and ask yourself how you can continue to learn and to grow. If you’re not happy with the way things are going, talk to others and gain some different insight.
If you’d like to reach out to Martine, you can do so through her company website. Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked what you heard, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.