Beth HAMMER Genter '77, Financial Planner and Manager

A financial advisor and planner, Beth HAMMER Genter ’77 is the President and founder of Schenley Capital Inc., a registered investment firm in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. After spending six years working for Merrill Lynch, Beth decided to start her own firm and hasn’t looked back since. With over 31 years of experience in the financial world, Beth is committed to growing her client’s portfolios and ensuring that those in her sphere, especially women, know how to best manage their finances. You can watch her Ellis After Fifth Ave. session, Investing in Yourself, here for tips and tricks about how to budget and invest for your own success.
Graduation Year:
B.S. Education, West Virginia Wesleyan: M.S. Education, University of Pittsburgh
Sewickley, PA
Founder and Owner of Schenley Capital, Inc. – Registered Investment Advisory Firm

What is your profession? How did you get into your line of work?
I worked for Merrill Lynch in Pittsburgh and New York as a stockbroker.  My job was to cold call 350 people a day to convince them to purchase investments and open an account at Merrill Lynch. In 1997, I launched Schenley Capital Inc.,a full-service Registered Investment Advisory firm which offers customized financial strategies that ensure every individual, business, and non-profit organization it serves, will feel satisfied, secure, and optimistic about their future.

Today, Schenley has grown its clientele tenfold and brings more than 25 years of experience and research acumen to counsel a diverse group of clients on choosing an investment plan that performs solely for their specific needs. The firm has guided millennials trying to find their futures, families in need of rainy-day reserves, and generations hoping to preserve and grow their wealth. We work with retirement plans, nonprofits, and pension portfolios and assist them in conserving principal, so they are poised for growth.

Is there a project or accomplishment in your career that you’re most proud of?

My first accomplishment that I am super proud of is my three daughters–they all went to Ellis and two graduated from Ellis. They are all very independent, hardworking, and have a great sense of humor! A second accomplishment would be acquiring the Executive Certificate in Financial Planning from Duquesne. It was difficult to pass all five knowledge areas–things like ethics and principals, estate planning, benefits, etc.–but I did it. The program was very interesting and challenging. I seem to be a life-long learner, I continue to earn certifications, take courses and I am constantly reading. I read about new technology, new companies to research and how other firms are managing.

What do you like the most about financial management?

I like meeting with current and new clients to assist them with the management of their money. I love creating unique strategies and designing investment portfolios which will grow and work for each specific client. It is like selecting tools from a toolbox–each investment works with all the rest to create a unique portfolio. I also like to recommend estate planning strategies to save our clients money by paying less taxes. In addition, I like educating clients about investments and finance. Lastly, I love the constant process of researching new companies which we can place in our portfolios for our clients.

What do you think is the biggest lesson that can be applied from your line of work to everyday life?

Listening— especially when it comes to our clients and asking the hard questions. We analyze their situation and then provide them with a comprehensive financial solution. We are very thorough to research all the investment possibilities, analyze investments and then select the correct portfolio. We provide great detail in our proposals and we are very transparent. We work hard to acquire new clients and work very hard to keep our clients satisfied. Therefore, we provide high quality service.

We often talk about girls developing into changemakers at Ellis, what does that mean to you? How are you a changemaker?

To me it means, working hard and being different, having strong values, standing up for what is right, asking questions, and always trying to educate and improve yourself. Being a woman in a male dominated field such as Investments and Finance has been difficult but I continue to charge ahead. When I started at Merrill Lynch–there was an office of 80 brokers, and I was one of five women. When I started my own Investment Advisory Firm in 1994 it was very unusual for females to own their own firm. There were not many women owned firms, maybe 1 out of 50.

Another thing was succeeding in acquiring a large client base of high-net worth clients and non-profit organizations. We have women as a sector of our client base. They control their own wealth and are executives, lawyers, doctors, or widows. It is very satisfying to help women be more confident in their investment decisions.Ultimately, change happens with very small actions or decisions. You can’t think about what others are going to perceive of you, just do it and don’t worry about others’ opinions.

What is the most important lesson you learned at Ellis?
As a female–I can accomplish anything which I put my mind to with no limitations.

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