From the outside it appears that our CocoBelle has it all, some would even venture to say she definitely does and we might be looped in with that group. But being at the top of your field, is not a journey without a few bumps in the road. However, this business maven has learned a thing or two about how to maneuver all obstacles with grace and humility, all while wearing 5” heels and dressing the part, of course. Meet our March CocoBelle, Ms. Alsion Roach.
The Director of Finance at Greylock Capital Management, LLC, a position that she has held since 2008 and President and CEO of The Alsion Roach Group, hers is a job that is extremely demanding. With an extensive background in financial services, she has also held positions as Associate Director and Controller in the International Debt Capital Markets, Emerging Markets and High Yield groups at Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. where she was involved in the arranging and structuring of a US$125 million bond offering for Air Jamaica. Additionally, Ms. Roach worked as an Analyst on the Mortgage Backed Securities desk at Hong Kong Shanghai Bank (HSBC), at Dunn & Bradstreet in their Rating Group and for the Mortgage Backed Securities Group at Prudential Bache Securities.
But how does she navigate such a demanding job while staying chic in the process? Well, let her tell you.
Give us a glimpse into your life for a day.
My day-to-day tasks vary greatly given the fast-paced nature of my field. My day often begins before I get in the office, which means that I wake up to a flurry of emails. I quickly look through each one, and then jump into the shower, rush to get dressed and out the door. I get into the office around 10am, get a cup of coffee and settle in at my desk. I quickly read through a few newspapers, including the Financial Times and the Daily News. Return all my business related calls and emails. I usually don’t take time to myself for lunch, so lunch is usually at my desk, unless I have a very light day (which is very seldom). I try to be out of the office by 6:30pm.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
Believe it or not, my favorite part of what I do, is listening to the employees (sometimes they may have personal issues going on in or outside of the office).
My mom wanted me to be a Nurse. I on the other hand wanted to work in an industry where I get to dress-up every day. My High School Guidance counselor is the one that suggested that I look at a career in Finance. She was spot on!
What were some of the obstacles you faced and how did you navigate them?
Being a minority and a female on the trading floor in the 90s was definitely no easy feat. However persevering and working as hard as I could simply because that was and is my work ethic, paid off in the end. I give all my endeavors 110% of my effort, always.
What has been your proudest moment?
Becoming a Grandmother. It is truly a blessing.
What are your keys for success?
The keys to my success are preparation and the GOLDEN rule. If the perfect opportunity presented itself today, would you be ready? It’s better to be ready and not have an opportunity, than to have an opportunity and not be ready. I never forget the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Serve your clients as you would have them serve you, meet their needs as you would have them meet yours.
What does ‘having it all’ mean to you?
I have a rather philosophical view about having it all. For me, it’s not about achieving the balance between career and family life. It’s about how you feel within yourself rather than the boxes you check. It’s less about what you do and more about how you are doing it. A sense of happiness and personal fulfillment are drivers in my life.
As a Jamaican Woman, how important is it for you to remain connected to your roots?
It is very important for me to remain connected to my roots. You want to be a part of a diverse place so you can broaden your horizons but you never want to forget where you came from, because sometimes if you forget to look back, you can become lost.
Lets talk fashion:
How do you typically dress for the office: Business Chic! Nothing feels more empowering than a well-tailored suit.
Must have clothing item: A great handbag and beautiful shoes
Favorite clothing designer: Chanel
Favorite shoe designer: Christian Louboutin and Brian Atwood
Must have tote for style and function: My quilted Chanel tote holds so much and looks great for every occasion
Who is your style Icon: Funny enough, Olivia Pope of Scandal
Splurge item: Shoes
Stiletto or Wedges: Stilettos all the way
What 3 products are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal - those Holy Grail products you just can't live without?
Lancer Skincare’s - The Method Polish Exfoliator, Rodial’s Super Acids X-Treme Acid Rush Peel and a blush that almost disappears and just gives you a natural flush is a must - I always have Nars Blush in Orgasm.
Want to learn more about Alsion, follow her on Instagram or visit her website!