Two Minutes With Carrie Mermelstein

At IR+M, I’m a Senior Investment Risk Analyst, and a member of the Investment Risk Team. Our team focuses on quantitative research and strategic risk monitoring.
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What is your role at IR+M?


At IR+M, I’m a Senior Investment Risk Analyst, and a member of the Investment Risk Team. Our team focuses on quantitative research and strategic risk monitoring. We provide an independent review of risks across portfolios, with the aim of ensuring that risks are transparent and well understood. We strive to take intentional risks consistently across our strategies, which will hopefully lead to outperformance, while minimizing unintentional risks.


How do you collaborate in your team and across teams?


Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do on the Investment Risk Team. Our work is extremely data-intensive. We procure and interpret information, and then communicate our findings to all pertinent teams at IR+M. We recognize that every team uses data differently, so it’s key to figure out how to best work with each group. At IR+M, no one has an office, so it’s easy to swivel around in your chair and converse openly about a model or report.


What do you enjoy most about working at IR+M?


At IR+M, the average employee tenure is more than seven years. While I’m still relatively new to the firm in terms of time, I felt like I belonged on day one. I quickly learned that compassion is a common thread that runs through all IR+Mers. First and foremost, we genuinely care about our clients, their portfolios, and their interests. Second, we sincerely care about each other. I’ve worked at several other firms, and I can confirm that this is certainly unique to IR+M.


Describe your career path. How has it influenced your role at IR+M?


Before arriving at IR+M, most of my career was spent in securitized products, in one capacity or another. After graduating from college, I worked on Wall Street as a Securitized Analyst. While I loved the frenetic pace, and that no two days were alike, after four years, I decided to pursue my MBA fulltime. My two years in business school flew by, and before I knew it, I was back in the securitized market, analyzing and trading mortgages. Leveraging that experience, I later accepted a position as a Portfolio Manager of actively managed mortgage portfolios. When the Financial Crisis occurred, I found myself drawn to the credit side, which resulted in me becoming a Credit Analyst. All of these previous roles have helped position me well for my responsibilities at IR+M. Every day, I rely on my experiences as a Trader, Portfolio Manager, and Credit Analyst to help me better understand my colleagues’ varied perspectives and functions.


What do you do in your free time?


I love being with my family, and my husband and I try to come up with new places to explore and have fun with our young son. We enjoy being outside and walking whenever possible – to museums, the park, or on a beach in Maine. Also, time permitting, I love doing masters swim workouts and hiking. One of these days, I’m hoping to do another sprint triathlon!


What do you love most about your job?


Since graduating from college, my work experience has been primarily focused on the securitized world – until arriving at IR+M. While there’s comfort in knowing an asset class well, I wanted to branch out and diversify my knowledge. As a member of the Investment Risk Team at IR+M, I’ve expanded the scope of my responsibilities. Every day differs from the one before it. I work on a range of strategies, use a variety of tools, and collaborate with colleagues from across the firm. It’s been energizing, challenging, and most importantly, fun.


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