Season 2, Episode 1: Jamila Abston ’17, Partner at Ernst & Young with Laurie Cameron Craighead ’16
Jamila Abston ’17 is a partner at Ernst & Young in the wealth and asset management practice, focusing on compliance, regulatory, and risk matters for wealth and asset management clients in New York, NY. Jamila rejoined EY from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she served as the assistant regional director for the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. In this role, Jamila served as an expert advisor for the SEC Examinations program, specializing in compliance program effectiveness, risk analytics, enterprise risk management, and cybersecurity for the asset management industry. She led and participated in hundreds of Examinations and Enforcement investigations of investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, transfer agents, and other industry participants. Prior to the SEC, Jamila was a manager in the EY Fraud Investigations and Dispute Services practice where she led restatements, investigations, and litigation support matters for healthcare, manufacturing, government, and technology clients. Jamila is also the recipient of the 2018 Yale SOM Alumni Relations Award for Outstanding Volunteer Leadership.
Jamila is interviewed by Laurie Cameron Craighead ’16, also an alumna of the MBA for Executives program with a focus on asset management in 2016. During her time at Yale, Laurie worked on a research project with Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies William Goetzmann, creating and analyzing a database of Yale School of Art graduates and their auction sales results. During and after graduation, she provided research for Nobel Laureate Robert J. Shiller supporting his paper and keynote address as president of the American Economics Association in 2017. That paper, entitled “Narrative Economics,” was the basis for Professor Shiller’s recently published book, Narrative Economics: How Stories go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events. Laurie has worked in the financial markets since 1986, helping individuals, corporations, and other institutions manage foreign exchange, interest rate, and volatility risk. Her area of expertise is in using derivatives and options of all generations. She has worked as a portfolio manager and a relationship manager throughout her career, spending nine years at JP Morgan’s private bank as managing director and head of global foreign exchange. There she helped clients manage exposure related to corporate acquisitions, private investments, art acquisitions, and yacht construction. Prior to that time, she spent eight years working in Geneva, Switzerland, managing foreign exchange, short-term funding, and interest rate risk for Union Carbide Eurofinance and then centralizing and managing global foreign exchange exposure for Silicon Graphics. In addition to her professional work, Laurie mentors women of all ages, teaching them to ask for what they need at work: promotions, pay raises, relocations, and flexible schedules for example. She is passionately dedicated to helping foundations further their social impact by using program-related investments to help women and children gain access to education and employment.
Profile: Laurie Cameron ’16
Jamila Abston ’17 (10:30)
“I am passionate about helping others and particularly women and minorities ascend to leadership and big four accounting... I’ve implemented a women’s initiative group where we meet monthly [learning] how to balance strength and warmth in the classroom, or rather, in the board room.”
Jamila Abston: (21:45)
“I encourage students to come open, be ready to soak it all in. You think you know a ton and you do, but there’s always more to learn. That’s why you’re signing up. But even the areas that you think you got solid, you’d be surprised.”
Jamila Abston: (24:03)
“You should be trying to translate what you’re learning from the Yale EMBA program every week when you’re returning to wherever you are currently working. And that’s something that I did, and it really did pay off and my leadership noticed immediately. So I would say try to make good on what you’re learning from the classes as soon as you go back to your corporate arena the very next week.”
About Career Conversations
In this podcast series, SOM students sit down with alumni for a series of candid conversations about career paths, industries, opportunities for MBAs, and discussions on various career topics including work-life balance and creating a meaningful impact in business and society. This series is produced by and recorded at the Yale School of Management.