This Just In:
Recently, Chérie has been recognized by Consulting Magazine as one of this year’s ‘Women Leaders in Consulting’ honorees for her outstanding leadership and character within the profession. Recipients are distinguished for making profound and measurable differences in the lives of colleagues, clients and future leaders within the consulting industry—and we know it firsthand!
What’s your role at Ankura? And what do you bring to it?
I am the General Counsel of Ankura. My main role is to provide legal advice to the company; however I am also a business partner to the management team and board, manage the internal legal department, assist with business development, act as a representative of the company with third parties and outside counsel and negotiate strategic transactions for the company.
How do you fit into the organization?
At Ankura, we take a very unified and collaborative approach. We are a team that works cohesively together. I sit in the Legal function but work very closely with my colleagues in Finance, Corporate Marketing and Human Resources in providing guidance and advice as well as the business professionals. In addition, given my relationships that I have developed over my career, I am strong in aiding in Ankura’s business development efforts across all the businesses and industry groups. Due to my specific background in Turnaround & Restructuring, I have a natural gravitation towards our T&R team. We frequently team together on business development and strategies.
What’s the secret of effective leadership?
To be an effective leader, you have to remove yourself from the day-to-day execution and empower your team. A great leader can be evidenced by the ability of your team to make independent decisions but know that you will have their back to support those decisions and provide them with resources and the benefit of your experience in handling these situations. A leader will challenge their team to grow and develop in their skills and allow them to shine. An effective leader also ensures that proper credit for work done by others is given.
How do you deal with pressure and responsibilities?
Being organized it the best way to handle pressure and responsibilities. I do this by prioritizing demands, communicate reasonable expectations to others involved or that I will need responses from and delegate when appropriate. Each day I create a list of achievable action items that I must complete by the end of the day and focus on finalizing them. Too often we are distracted by email so I have shut off the feature that shows each time an email comes through and I have dedicated time to review and respond to emails which allows me to stay focused to finalize non-email related tasks. I also have an incredibly talented team that I work with and I have found that delegating to them helps me with the overall workload.
In your work, you advise other people. What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
I am fortunate that I have an excellent relationship with our CEO who has provided me with best advice that I have received: actively listen and process a thoughtful response considering what you just heard from others before you respond. We live and operate in such a fast-paced environment that a lot of times people do not stop to listen and have knee-jerk reactions or desire to state our point of view before listening to what others have to say. I have found that actively listening to someone’s point of view before responding has helped achieve resolution or solutions in a much timelier manner.
You didn’t grow up in the U.S. but are raising kids here. Do you find there are cultural cues your kids reference that weren’t part of your childhood?
I grew up on the West Coast of Canada and while there are many similarities to the United States, there are some cultural cues that either I don’t understand or that I have taught my children the “Canadian” way. There are certain words that I commonly reference that my kids know are “Canadian terms”. For example, a winter hat in Canada is called a “toque”. I also still refer to school levels as the actual grade rather than freshman, sophomore, etc. My pronunciation of certain words such as “pasta” is very Canadian and while I do not say “eh” my family that resides in Canada does and my kids find that very funny.
You deal with complex financial restructuring and compliance issues, but are you any good at mixing cocktails?
I leave the cocktail mixing to my husband who learned during COVID to make an amazing spicy margarita and old fashion.
You find a way to get out often, what was your favorite recent get-away (for an hour or a week!)?
My favorite get-away is always Nantucket. I love it there in the summer when it is warm and there are lots of people around but also love it “off-season” when it is quiet and calm. It is so beautiful with miles of trails to bike or hike. While it is a small island, we are always discovering new parts of it which I find fun.
Smart or casual?
Working out or feet up?
Working out. I love the feeling after a good workout, and it is a great way to release stress which naturally comes with the job.
Gourmet or home cooking?
Home cooking. Cooking is therapeutic for me, and I love to host/entertain. I think there is something very special about having people into your home, around your table and sharing a meal with them.
Beatles or Stones?
I am more of a Bieber/Britney/Timberlake girl. I also love country music and Jackson 5.