Our Team

Employee Spotlight

Charise Washington
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A Little Background

What made you want to work at Driehaus?

After college, I worked for several large financial companies including First Chicago Bank and Northern Trust and found that the large size was not the right fit for me. The firm that I was working for prior to Driehaus went through a merger and phased out my role. My manager at the time told me about an open accounting position at Driehaus. After doing research about the firm and Richard Driehaus, I was impressed and applied. The same day as the interview, I received a call back for a second interview. Of course, after that interview I was offered the position. Looking forward to working for a small company, I happily accepted!

Tell us about your role:

I was originally hired for an accounting role at Driehaus but during a re-organization of departments, a role in Operations opened and it seemed challenging in the right ways for me and I was ready to tackle something new. I moved into Operations after two years in accounting which ended up being a very smooth transition.

I currently oversee our international account opening process, which includes gathering the support to open the account as well as getting the account access to trade in various markets. I work with a number of custodians to ensure our client accounts are open to trade in different countries. Additionally, I oversee any marketing and trading restrictions either for trading and/or corporate actions. Data Management is also responsible for pricing of our securities. Due to the many components of my job it allows me to work with various groups within the firm.

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How do you explain your job to friends and family?

I am the manager for Data Management which is one out of four segments of the operations structure: Complex Securities, Data Management, Middle Office and Trade Support. Operations is the back office of Driehaus and helps the firm run efficiently.

What advice would you give to people in this role or people wanting to pursue this role?

You must be detail-oriented as the slightest oversight can negatively impact the firm. Also, time management skills and allotting time for the unknown is essential. Making sound judgement calls and inquiring about things that don’t seem right is also important. I’ve always enjoyed working with numbers and paying attention to detail which has served me well in this role. I also find it’s helpful to create a checklist for everything.

What is your greatest piece of advice from your time in the industry?

Being able to adapt to change and having a keen eye for detail. When I began at Driehaus, the firm offered domestic and long international strategies. Nineteen years later, the firm has vastly diversified its product offerings requiring me to adapt and learn along the way.

What about Driehaus

What do you feel is most unique about the company? What has kept you here?

The open-door policy with senior management is something that is unique within our firm. Our CEO, Steve Kneeley and the CFO Robert Kurinsky will periodically stop by to say hi. Also, the people that I work with feel like a second family. I’ve attended several weddings and baby showers for co-workers and having these friendships is incredibly fulfilling. The work-life balance is also great and as a single mother having flexibility is essential. The opportunities and overall support have kept me here for over nineteen years!

What is your favorite memory at Driehaus?

I have many great memories at Driehaus. Some of my favorites include:

  1. Bring your child to work day a few years ago. My son was fascinated with our historic building and enjoyed the activities that were planned which included a tour of each department. It was nice to be able to share my work environment with him and provide exposure to the many roles at our firm.
  2. Richard Driehaus invites the firm’s employees to his annual birthday party and this year the legendary Diana Ross was the headliner. I grew up on Motown and am a huge fan of hers. The concert was amazing, and the overall party was impressive, as usual. I loved the James Bond theme, the entertainment around the property and the incredible fireworks show.
  3. In the operations department, we have a 3:00pm trivia tradition. Each day, we have a calendar with questions and the first person to answer correctly wins. It’s a fun way to break up the day and keep things light and the winner, of course, has bragging rights, until 3:00 the next day…

Charise after work

What do you like to do outside of work? Are there any hobbies or organizations that you are passionate about?

I love spending time with my son, going on vacation, watching movies and going to dinner. My son enjoys fishing and I love to support him in that hobby. I’m also very passionate about decorating, interior design and enjoy hosting. I often volunteer to decorate my church for special events and help friends with their interior design projects.

I’ve been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. since 1993 and continue to be involved as a mentor and volunteer.

I’m also passionate about shoes, I have over 200 pairs!

If time and money were of no consequence, what would you do?

I’ve been a member of my church, Zion Hill, for over 40 years and it has served as a strong foundation for my family. My mom was an instrumental member of the church and contributed in countless ways. If time and money were of no consequence, I would pay to have air conditioning installed at the church in my mom’s honor as part of her legacy and dedication to the community.

Charise Washington

Data Management Manager

Began at Driehaus: 2000

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