Christine Wallace, Managing Director
Christine Wallace joined Chevy Chase Trust in 2008 after a long career as a portfolio manager with U.S. Trust Company. She provides wealth management advice for individual and family clients and shares responsibility for the development and oversight of investment strategy and process. We sat down with Christine to learn more about her background and how she began her career.
Tell us about your background.
I would love to tell you that investment management is what I wanted to do from a young age. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that kind of foresight. As I was graduating college with a liberal arts degree, I ran into an old family friend who was a managing director at U.S. Trust. He offered me job. Little did I know how that chance encounter would alter the course of my career!
Your first job after college was at U.S. Trust?
Yes, it was. I was an assistant in the new business group. Even though I was doing a lot of grunt work, I became intrigued with the wealth management business right away. I was really fortunate to learn the business from the ground up at such an ethical firm, which I didn’t appreciate until years later. I decided to go to business school and after setting my sights on NYU, I realized they required 5 years of work experience for their part-time MBA program. So after working 5 years, I applied, was accepted and started going to night school. In the meantime, I had transitioned from the sales group to the investment group and had begun managing investment accounts for individuals and families. It wasn’t long before I became engaged to my future husband who was in D.C., so I moved and joined U.S. Trust’s D.C. office.
So why did you come to Chevy Chase Trust?
As much as I loved working at U.S. Trust, after 15 years the firm had changed ownership a couple of times and the culture had changed. Interestingly, when I first joined Chevy Chase Trust, it very much reminded me of the “old” U.S. Trust. I was again surrounded by very smart, ethical people, doing what was right for clients. Unfortunately, there aren’t many firms like this, coming here kind of felt like stepping back in time for me, but in a good way.
What would you advise someone considering a career path like the one you’ve taken?
Be willing to start at the bottom, ask a lot of questions and learn as much as you can. Try to find a firm that puts clients first.
What do you do outside of the office?
I have two young children and my husband is a partner at a law firm, so when I am not here I am trying to manage the rest of our lives. Sometimes work feels like the easier part of my day!
Latest good book you’ve read?
I am currently reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It’s eye opening. It’s shown me there are actually advantages to my introversion!