The Page Turner

In connection with transitioning jobs, I made one last trip to New York. On this one last trip, I was tasked with handing over my many roles and responsibilities at my firm so that things don’t fall through the cracks once I leave. I’m happy to report that it was a productive trip and I feel satisfied from a professional standpoint that I have achieved a lot in the last four years and am now in a position to move on.

But as I left the New York office today one last time, I had some mixed emotions. Though I still have a few weeks left at this firm, I won’t be back to New York during that time. And regardless of saying “Let’s keep in touch.” to numerous people, I know the reality is that life goes on. I left without saying goodbye to every single person because I know that once I start down that path, I will inevitably miss someone. So instead, I focused my limited time in the office on the few individuals with whom I had a more meaningful relationship. When my car came to take me to the airport today, I grabbed my things and walked out, not looking behind me as I left.

It was bittersweet and truly felt like I was turning the page as I left the building lobby, both in terms of the friends I was leaving behind and leaving the City that I love as well. With my new job I won’t have the chance to travel to New York at all, and my quarterly visits will be missed. Despite this, however, I know I am making the right decision for myself, my career and my family and I’m extremely excited about it. Things come to an end, but the important thing is to remember the good and the lessons learned, feel satisfied with my own performance, have no regrets and move forward with my own progression. Under that definition of success, I am happy to report a sense of achievement.

Four Years Later

After four years, I have decided to move on and have accepted a new job in San Francisco. I am excited about this new chapter in life, the people I’ll work with and the learning opportunity it presents. In fact, it was the learning opportunity that has made me pursue this new job that I am willfully taking a pay cut to perform. There will be a lot of things I will miss about my current job, to be sure, and especially the people, the free lunch, the international travel, the we-can-do-it attitude and more. But from a career perspective, I felt that it was time to move on. And I happily am. I told our general counsel last week that I am resigning and gave a gracious notice period because I was in a position to do so. Leaving was nothing personal, and I want to make it as smooth as possible, even if there is a lot to unwind and think about now for the powers-that-be in Switzerland.

And so here I am on this September 4, 2012. On this date in 2008 I joined my firm in the New York office, a small satellite office of a Swiss parent company, that had ambitious desires in the US. Now, exactly four years later, the firm should be proud of its presence in the US and the offices and staff it has built in New York and San Francisco. I am happy to say that within my sphere of influence, I was a big part of that and am personally satisfied that I am leaving my role and the overall legal and compliance program better than when I started. I harbor no notions that I am irreplaceable or that the firm will fall apart without me. The firm is smartly structured in a way that no one person can cause the collapse of a fund, office or business line. But whenever a chief compliance officer leaves a firm, it should cause all employees to do a double take and question why. Who knows whether that will be the case here for a majority of the people, but if asked, I have my reasons and am happy to share. Four years – not too long, not too short. The reality is that it has been just right.