The following article was penned by CAPIS
At CAPIS, we put relationships first. We think of our team as a family, which is why it is important for us to get to know each member and shine a spotlight on them. We spoke with one of the members of our operations team, Stephanie Deroy, who has worked at CAPIS for over 20 years. Take a look at our conversation below to learn about her career path, some of the biggest challenges and successes she’s experienced over the past two decades, and the next place she plans to travel to with her family of six.
Q: What did your career path look like and what is your current role at CAPIS?
I joined CAPIS very young — I was 18 and the youngest in the company. I was in college and this was going to be my job during college years, but it turned into my career. I started off as an entry level, new account, back office clerk. Over the last 20 years I’ve become an expert in my field. I didn’t plan this path, it fell in my lap and became my career. I actually wanted to be an attorney at one point.
As Operations Supervisor, I work with other brokers, and it used to be a lot of back-and-forth and debating [settlement issues]. That was right up my alley. I had just never dreamed of doing it in finance.
In my position you need to have a go-get-’em attitude to do the job well. Everything is very fast paced with and there used to be a good amount of confrontation. However, with improving technology, now you look at audit trails to see what we know, what you know, and determine who is right.
Critical thinking and problem-solving is very important and even if you are doing the same process every day, everything you touch is different – every project is different.
Q: Can you tell us about your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities?
In the morning we hit the ground running in the back office. As soon as we get in we are trying to clear anything left from the prior trading day before the market opens.
The work on T+1 and T+2 basis where we are constantly going behind-the-scenes to get any discrepancies settled and cleaned up. We are against the clock at all times. You have to be an adrenaline junkie and need to be able to multitask. We really work well together and can jump in on any task when help is needed.
Throughout the day we work on anything outstanding and then 2 o’clock hits, which is the last time to settle trades. After that, you are beating the clock for market close and then after the close you clean up what you need to before the next trading day.
Q: What is a challenge you’ve experienced in your career?
A few years ago we went through an order management system (OMS) conversion, and when we initially did that it took a lot of hours — a LOT of hours. We would work Saturdays. We would show up at 4:30 in the morning and work until 10 or 11 at night. We learned a lot after that first conversion as a group. Those were challenging times, but we stuck it out. We went in there, figured it out, and made it happen.
Q: What is one of the biggest successes you’ve experienced at CAPIS?
One of the biggest successes would have to be completing the setup of the OMS as we are still using that system today.
Another memorable experience was when I was privileged to go to the NYSE with my dear assistant manager and friend, Monique Tollen, where we had the chance to meet with our traders on the floor. It was very surreal since every day I would call the floor in the morning and talk to Nick and Rich. Sometimes you could hear the bell going and they’d say, “You have to call me back.” It really was the most fast-paced environment I had ever seen. But through it all, the guys on the floor were on top of it and were calm and collected. They always kept their composure and had it together – they are the epitome of great traders.
It was an experience of a lifetime that I will carry with me forever.
Q: What is your favorite part about the CAPIS “family” culture?
At CAPIS, even though we are co-workers, this is our work family. Those of us who have been around for so long, a lot of times we spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our actual families. To say we are tight-knit is an understatement, and everyone here is a familiar face. We know everything about someone, and even when we have our differences we respect each other. CAPIS is my second home. I am the person I am today because of CAPIS.
Q: Who has been your mentor throughout your career?
Francine Cook — she taught me almost everything I know. Early on, our manager in the back office became ill and Francine took over and she was young. We did all we could to help her, but she was carrying the team and taking the bulk of everything. We have worked together for a good 10+ years. She was my mentor, boss, and manager. She did transfer, but we still work together. We can talk things out, disagree, and come to a neutral standing on things. I know what she is thinking, she knows what I am thinking. She will continue to be my mentor as long as we both work for CAPIS.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work? Where is the first place you would like to travel to after COVID-19 passes?
More than anything I am a mom of four kids. Our oldest is a varsity cheerleader who keeps us busy. My middle one is a free spirit, and the last two are twin 5-year-old boys who play football. That was a new beginning for me, and a whole other world.
We had thought about taking the whole family to the beach, especially the twins, because they have never been to a beach or seen the ocean before. The drive would be an undertaking. However, when this is all said and done and we can freely travel with them, we look forward to it. The twins like to watch ocean shows and for them to see the beach and the ocean would be great. They’ll love it.