Maribeth Rahe, president and chief executive officer of Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc., a subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group, is featured as a guest on LeadingShe. A podcast created and hosted by Susan Branscome, senior vice president and managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Cincinnati office, LeadingShe features interviews with executive women who are leaders in their industries.
In the episode, “Never Burn Your Bridges,” Rahe talks about her career in financial services and the lessons she has learned along the way.
Beginning early in her education, Rahe harbored a love for languages and a yearning to study abroad. She chose Bowling Green State University to pursue goals related to those interests. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree there, then becoming a Ph.D. candidate at Ohio State University, she found herself at a crossroads. Instead of pursuing a natural career path in education, she connected with a recruiter to explore other careers. She discovered her aptitude for business and math, and the recruiter placed her in a job at State Savings Company, a savings and loan bank based in Columbus, Ohio, where she became the company’s first branch manager trainee. She liked financial services so much that she enrolled at Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management to get her MBA in International Finance. This allowed her to combine her language and banking backgrounds to pursue a career now marked by several decades of success.
As she rose through the ranks, Rahe excelled at building and maintaining relationships. Opportunities emerged partly because of the strength of those relationships. She advises other professionals to never burn any bridges. “You have no idea how many people come back in your life,” she explains. “Maybe in very circuitous routes, but they do come back.” In fact, Maribeth worked for The Harris Bank in Chicago and JP Morgan each twice.
Another key lesson Rahe learned in her career is the importance of personal branding. She believes each of us should adopt a consistent brand, focusing on how we conduct ourselves and how we dress because that influences how we are perceived. “People don’t necessarily see themselves as other people see them,” Rahe said. “Finding people throughout your career that will be honest with you, who respect you and you respect, is incredibly valuable. They can be in any walk of life. They don’t have to be in your industry. They just have to take the time to get to know you and really want to give you constructive advice.”
To hear more of Rahe’s thoughts on career decisions and other topics, listen to her 43-minute LeadingShe episode available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.