Kelli Schrade is an institutional consultant and director at Graystone Consulting, a Morgan Stanley company, and is based in Chicago. She has had a long career in manager selection and investment consulting and is a self-described “market junkie”, who is committed to making change through her work with clients and diverse investment managers, among other causes. She is a Board Member at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Deborah’s Place and involved in numerous industry bodies.
Our conversation goes back to Kelli’s undergraduate degree in English, and how she transitioned from that to a role in manager selection. We discuss the benefits of flat corporate structures, and how they enable junior employees to thrive, and the work she is doing to elevate and amplify minority-run firms and to enable her clients to fulfill their missions.
When we turn to the issue of diversity, Kelli is frank about the experience of other senior women who have dropped out of the industry, and it is apt at this stage (mid-pandemic) to mention the recent McKinsey report (https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace) which noted that one in three professional women were considering downshifting their career due to the Covid-19 disruptions and additional pressures, including the “double shift” of childcare.