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BBH Voices

Ask BBHers their favorite part about working at Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), and invariably you will hear discussions of BBH culture, firmly rooted in our core values: Teamwork, Integrity, and Excellence. Don’t take our word for it; hear from them yourself by reading some recent experiences shared by our employees.

"There Are No Secrets Here" – Chris McChesney, Senior Vice President

I remember the first time I had a one-on-one meeting in an open space filled with senior leaders working at their desks. Out of respect for others in the room, I spoke in a very soft and hushed voice so I wouldn't disturb the rest of the room with our business. After a few minutes the Partner I was meeting with abruptly stopped the conversation, looked at me in the eye, and said, "Chris, there is no need to whisper. There are no secrets here."  This comment was critical for me in understanding BBH's values and way of operating. Of course, we are trustworthy to keep sensitive information confidential—but we are completely honest and open with each other, and with our clients, about the risks, challenges, and opportunities in our business.  

“Fun with Late Night Implementations” – Betsey Foley, Vice President

A few years ago, our team helped with a systems upgrade after hours over the weekend. While my group didn’t directly support the system, we were asked to help as this system fed into in the client reporting products and we wanted to ensure there was no negative impact to our clients. Our team developed an extensive testing plan and arrived that night ready to go. One by one, each person began their series of checks. At first, it was fun working on this project, but as the hours ticked away, the chatting dwindled as we started thinking about being in our beds. Instead of team members running out the door when their testing section was complete, they jumped in to help another member of the group. It was clear we all felt the same way: We started as a team and we wanted to end as a team. At 4:47 am on Sunday, we signed off on the last of the testing and left together. While I am glad that major upgrades like this don’t happen every day, it was touching to see how strong our team was that night. We not only supported colleagues in another area, but also helped one another through the project. This to me exemplified how much BBHers value teamwork.

“You May Not Want to Hear It – But It’s True” – Noel Sloan, Senior Vice President

It can be tricky being a risk analyst. As we seek to predict the future, there are often varied opinions in the market.  I remember a time when one of our credit analysts persistently warned that a major European bank faced serious problems, which the markets were underestimating. Even though others analyzing the bank reached different conclusions, he stuck to his point of view, convincing others that his (non-consensus) judgments were valid. His prediction came true when the bank announced a large loss—one of the largest ever reported by a European bank. While standing alone in your opinion is not always easy, I am proud that my colleagues have the courage and integrity to do so—in the best interests of our clients and the firm.

“A Common Set of Beliefs” – Leroy Edwards, Vice President

Last week while walking back from grabbing lunch, our intern remarked that so many of our employees have been here a long time. I told him what a 15-year BBH veteran shared when congratulating me on my 5th year—BBH has a strong culture and it attracts and retains those who share a similar philosophy. I joined BBH in 2003 and worked within several teams throughout various offices. Despite my role morphing over time and changing business lines more than once, all of my past teams still interact and our working relationships are as strong as ever. We’ve never stopped being a team despite joining other areas, and nothing has changed regarding our approachability or willingness to assist one another. That, to me, is Teamwork, Integrity, and Excellence in motion.