Women in Finance: Changing the Face of Financial Services – Shelley Eleby

To highlight the important work and impressive achievements of women in financial services, the STA Women in Finance Committee is pleased to conduct this interview series. These interviews span women from all areas of the industry and aim to inspire the next generation of women in finance.

For this edition, we spoke with Shelley Eleby, Managing Director and Head of Marketing Electronic Trading for BMO Capital Markets. Shelley is responsible for product marketing, equity market structure thought leadership and communications, and raising the overall awareness and brand equity of BMO Electronic Trading. Prior to the sale of Clearpool Group to BMO Capital Markets, Shelley was Chief Marketing Officer. A seasoned product marketing leader in finance, publishing, and advertising technology, Shelley is a data-driven professional with demonstrative experience in corporate strategic planning, brand building, product marketing, and operations.

Inessa Ruffman, JonesTrading & STA WIF Chair

Shelley Eleby
Managing Director, Head of Marketing Electronic Trading
BMO Capital Markets

Why did you choose a career in the financial services industry? How did you get started?

It is more like finance chose me, and it was not a direct path but more of an adventure that led me from direct marketing to finance, to AdTech, and ultimately to FinTech. I started my career working for a direct marketing agency in New Jersey. The clients I covered were in the alternative health and financial publishing sectors. Working there, I was first exposed to the financial services industry. During my time at the agency, it was my role to review direct mail pieces and ensure they ended up in the mailboxes of their target audiences. The financial content ultimately piqued my interest and sparked my love of finance. Building on my financial direct marketing experience, I moved to Securities Data Publishing before Thomson Financial acquired them. There I had the opportunity to work on publications like Securities Industry News, Financial Planning Magazine and Traders Magazine. My tenure at Thompson was at the start of the dot.com boom, and like many others, I was bitten by the start-up bug and my love for technology was born. I spent most of my career working for several start-ups in email marketing, retail investing and AdTech.

How has the industry changed in the time that you’ve been part of it?

Since my start, markets have been more democratized and electronified, and the financial services industry is more diverse, with more women and minorities holding key leadership roles.

What are you most proud of in your career and why?

I am most proud and delighted to get my role as Chief Marketing Officer at Clearpool. I had set a goal for myself that I wanted to be a CMO, and this role was a culmination of years of hard work, making the right connections and leaving a good impression. Thanks to all that foundational work in my career, a former colleague that I had met during my AdTech era reached out and presented me with this opportunity. I could not pass up the interview because it was for a role that was at the cross-section of my two loves – finance and technology. To boot, it was the role that I coveted and had set my professional sights on. In my time at Clearpool, I worked with an incredible team, we built an amazing brand and product, and all our hard work paid off in our acquisition by BMO Capital Markets. The best part is the journey continues as we are an expanded team of electronic trading professionals. We are still building a great electronic brand and developing an innovative product.

What are your hopes for the future of the industry?

My hope for the industry is more acceptance and diversity. I believe that equitable access to professional resources and career opportunities, and fostering inclusive workplace cultures will continue to make our US markets the most envied in the world. It is all our responsibility to find opportunities to give someone else a “Leg Up,” not just in our professional careers but also in life.

Do you have any words of wisdom for the next generation of women in finance?

Feed your ambition, embrace your discomfort, and continue to evolve into your most authentic self.