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Member Spotlight

It's members like YOU that are the cornerstones of our success as a professional membership association! Each month, a "spotlight" member will be profiled on our website, LinkedIn, and Facebook, providing him/her with a unique opportunity to share their work experience, accomplishments, interests, and more!

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DeAnne Steele, CFA, CAIA

DeAnne Steele a society member since 2006, is the Managing Director and Associate Market Manager at Merrill Lynch.  She brings years of wealth management and leadership experience to her role with expertise in the many strategies and services within the firm to help drive impact for advisors, clients and our community.

Who had the most influence on you growing up?

My mom taught me the power of hard work and focus. She grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, so she knew hard work. No one works as hard as my mom.  She gives everything to her endeavors.  Had she had the opportunities I was afforded, she could have been the CEO of a company. She is also the most giving person, so she taught me how rewarding it is to give of yourself and to help others. My dad always instilled in me that I could do whatever I set out to accomplish. So, when someone told me that I could not do something, I didn’t let that stand in my way.  I found my path to where I wanted to go.  A perfect example is when my high school counselor told me not to apply to UCLA. I didn’t have a perfect GPA. I applied, and not only did I go there for undergrad, but for my MBA as well.

What made you decide to pursue the CFA charter?

While getting my MBA, I knew that when I graduated, I would pursue my CFA. I was a portfolio manager for high net worth individuals, so what we learn in the program is so applicable.  When I moved to New York after grad school, I started pursuing my CFA designation.  It became even more helpful when I was asked to co-manage a large-cap growth mutual fund.

What do you enjoy most about your current professional role?

I love the people with whom I work and our clients. I joined Merrill Lynch about a year ago, as I wanted to be part of serving clients across the wealth spectrum, rather than just those at the higher wealth levels. There’s so much opportunity to help people learn how to save, to invest and to grow their wealth to achieve their goals.  We have amazing advisors who are so dedicated to this effort. It is very rewarding.

What’s your favorite family tradition?

Every Christmas, my mom, my son and I bake about 15 different kinds of cookies and give them to our family and close friends. This tradition started with my mom and her mom and has carried through over generations. Each cookie is different, so it takes tremendous time. And, in this era, time is the greatest gift I can give. And to know that they are enjoyed is such a gift to us. 

What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before? 

I would love to go to England and France. The thought of traveling the world sounds so amazing right now!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard? 

Trust your gut instinct. This is the best advice I’ve heard, that I wish I followed years before I did. When we have a gut feeling, it is a way for our brain to tell us to stop and reflect. We might not have put all the pieces together, but our experiences and knowledge are behind our gut instinct. We just need to tap into that. 

What was your favorite band 10 years ago? 

No clue…I still listen to 80’s and 90’s music. :)

​​If you could get on a plane tonight and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

​Italy!  I just love Italy. 

Where is one place in San Diego you always bring visiting guests/tourists?

​​Hotel del Coronado. Great history, great views and simply what San Diego is all about! 

What motivated you to join CFA Society San Diego?

I enjoy staying connected to the CFA organization as my career has changed courses from analysis to leadership. I enjoy paying it forward and helping others to create their path.