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Lea Blinoff

  • Programme: Masters in Finance part time
  • Nationality: American
  • Job Post-programme: Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, Credit Suisse (UK)

Professional background:

Lea has nearly 30 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry. She has held senior leadership positions in capital markets, equity derivatives and private banking/wealth management, working with Barclays de Zoete Wedd, Salomon Brothers, JP Morgan and HSBC (where she was a member of the Board of Directors of HSBC (UK) Ltd). In her current role at Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd, Lea is Head of Risk Governance and is responsible for Enterprise Risk, including the development and implementation of the Risk Appetite Statement for the legal entity. 

She has extensive experience of Emerging Markets (particularly Asian and CIS), and has lived and worked in Asia, Europe, the United States and the UK.  Additionally, Lea has served as an Independent Consultant to Wealth Managers and Family Offices, with a particular focus on family governance. 

Lea is a graduate of Duke University (BA) and the London Business School (MSc Finance).  She is a founding member of The Prince’s Trust Women’s Leadership Group, served as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, and is a member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds (“Angel”) and the Risk Management Association.  

How LBS facilitated my career path:

Whilst working at Salomon Brothers, I observed the firm adapting and positioning its business strategy for developments in structured finance and derivatives as tools for risk transference, capital utilization efficiency and alternative funding sources.  Following on from the first tentative deals in the mid-80s (pooling auto loans or credit card loans), by the early 90s, volumes were increasing exponentially as the insurance industry embraced securitization. Seeing first-hand the speed and determination with which Salomons was capitalizing on this trend, I believed that structured finance and derivatives would reshape the financial services business model.  This was the principle motivation of my decision to apply to LBS for the MiF programme.  I needed to expand my skill set and deepen my knowledge base to be positioned for the paradigm shift in the industry. The MiF programme was invaluable – as a learning experience and as a career enabler.  

In the years since completing the MiF, I have been fortunate to participate in various LBS professional education programmes, including the Hedge Fund Institute and the Global Leadership Summit. LBS continues to add value in my professional life – whether specialist knowledge such as Hedge Funds, or perspectives on mega trends (Global Leadership Summit),  or the CV-enhancing credential of a top global business school. The return on my 'investment' in the LBS MiF has paid off handsomely.