We recently sat down with Blake Keeley Doyle, Managing Director, to learn more about her background and who and what inspired her career in finance.
Q: Tell us a little about your background.
A: I grew up in the Washington, DC area with my three siblings, and attended Holton-Arms. I went to Vanderbilt to study economics where I developed my interest in working in the financial sector. I interned every summer at FBR Capital Markets, an investment bank here in town, and that eventually led me to Boston. There I worked for a private equity group called Audax Group, eventually returning to FBR. That’s where I got my start in institutional sales.
Q: How did you decide to study finance and economics?
A: My dad was a lawyer for 20 years and scared us away from studying the law. I gravitated towards math and science growing up, so when I arrived at Vanderbilt, I knew that was what I wanted to study. Having had early exposure to finance, my interests grew from there.
Q: What was your first job after college?
A: I worked for an Aerospace and Defense Research Analyst. I spent a lot of time reading SEC filings, researching companies and building models. It was a great experience, but I soon realized that it wasn’t the ideal career path for me.
Q: What made you decide to specialize and focus your career on institutional investing?
A: While living in Boston and working at FBR Capital Markets, I worked with a team covering large institutional clients and at an early stage got exposure to some of the best and brightest in the financial industry. As a young person, it was exciting and challenging to meet and engage with sophisticated investors.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your career?
A: I love getting to work with bright people, and constantly learn. I’ve always liked that I don’t do the same thing every day. One day I am immersed in learning about technology companies, and the next day, it’s online food delivery companies. There is always a new challenge or goal to meet.
I value my work with very knowledgeable investment professionals here at Chevy Chase Trust. I have such an incredible resource of brainpower and intellectual capital readily available whenever I need it. The culture here is also refreshing. It is unlike any place I have ever worked before.
Q: What would you advise someone considering a career path like the one you have taken?
A: The advice I would give is that is important to understand all the different elements of the financial services industry. Spend some time, understand the different aspects of banking, investment banking, sales, and research, and decide the right fit for your personality. And its important to find a mentor… I was lucky to have wonderful mentors from the start when I was a sales assistant on a trading desk working with two senior brokers. They took the time to teach me the business.
Q: Who has been your mentor?
A: My dad. Definitely. When I started thinking about jobs after college and identified my career path, my dad guided me to where I should focus, how I should allocate my time, how to handle difficult personalities—all in all, he taught me how to succeed. To this day, he is still the first person I call for advice, and we have regular (sometimes heated) conversations about markets, investing, and politics.
Q: Tell us about how you spend your time outside of work.
A: Most of my time is (not surprisingly) spent with my kids who are two, four, and six, and my dog Homer. Weekends are spent with family, taking my kids to birthday parties, walking the dog in Rock Creek, and going on hikes. On the rare occasion when I am without my kids, my husband and I like to golf.
Outside of family time, I volunteer at A Wider Circle in their professional development center.
Q: Finally, what do you think is the most important piece of financial advice to pass on to your children?
A: I want to pass along the importance of saving, and saving early. My dad taught me to contribute as much as possible to my 401K—even at the very earliest part of my career. Although it is tough when you are young to save for the future, the compounding effect is undeniable.