Christina P. O'Neill

Commercial Record Staff

Christina P. O'Neill can be reached at

Amy Arcano

“There’s Amy, and then there’s everyone else,” reads one of Amy Arcano’s nominations for this year’s Women of FIRE Awards. Another nomination likens her to the protagonist in the TV series “MacGyver,” the top agent who rights all wrongs of the world, mostly through ingenuity.

Lisa Mulvey-Cozzi

One of Lisa Mulvey-Cozzi’s nominators writes that it’s nearly impossible to buy or sell multifamily investment properties in Hartford County without knowing her name.

Kristin Geenty

After 15 years in commercial real estate, Kristin Geenty credits the training she received in restaurants for laying the foundation of her sales experience. In 1999, Geenty transitioned from the restaurant business, which had helped put her through college, into commercial real estate brokerage. In her first 10 years in the commercial brokerage business she served as the first female president of the New Haven Area Commercial Investment Division of the Greater New Haven Board of Realtors.

Diane Whitney

Diane Whitney got used to being the only woman in the room in the legal world. Only one woman in her college graduating class went on to law school, she recalls. It wasn’t until 15 years, a marriage and two children later, that she set out for the University of Connecticut School of Law, from which she graduated with honors.

How Are We Doing?

Bank customers, particularly those of the larger banks, are used to email and phone inquiries about recent branch or online transactions. Survey results can drive critical decisions about how to transform or close an existing bank branch, or how to evaluate staff performance, with the granting of bonuses strongly in the mix.

No Risk, No Reward

If it were possible to legislate good times for all, banks wouldn\’t be caught between the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act and today\’s broadened definition of “redlining,” a term with antecedents in early 20th century maps in which zones termed as high-risk lending environments were highlighted in red, as opposed the blue, yellow and green hues of more economically-sanguine districts.

Shirley Theriault

It was a baptism by fire, recalls Shirley Theriault. As mortgage underwriting standards first loosened in order to attract business, and then tightening after the financial crisis, Theriault has used her sense of action-reaction dynamics to bring a sense of consistency to underwriting. Her four nominators for this year’s Women of FIRE Awards consistently recognize her acumen.

Financial Advisor Industry Deals With Generational Shifts

Financial advisors in their 50s and 60s are hitting retirement age at a time when their age-contemporary clients need strategic advice more than ever. Meanwhile, online financial planning and blogosphere advice is drawing off younger investors into the do-it-yourself realm. This creates a double-whammy generation gap.

Analyze That Data For Better Lending

Commercial banks are good at gathering data points and performing due diligence on commercial loans, but may not be as adept at putting proprietary data to good use. And if commercial bankers analyzed their data like marketing specialists do, they might be able to realize significant improvements in their rates of loan losses.

Cutting Through Noisy Credit Data And Helping Banks In The Process

Accurate forecasts about loan performance are becoming a top priority, especially when banks merge or acquire and when they must combine their loan performance data sets. But ‘noisy’ data corruption, particularly that of missing or mislabeled records, presents a challenge to develop default models with any hope of accuracy. MIT professor Roger M. Stein,...

AFP Survey: Search For Liquidity Yields Optimism

Companies have started to put their hordes of cash to work, signaling a cautious optimism about an economic recovery, according to an annual liquidity survey published by the Association for Financial Professionals. This year\’s findings also signal a renewed confidence in the banking industry, at the same time that corporate treasurers are taking a more significant role in company operations.

Stacy King

Stacy King has earned her wings in real estate many times over. Her multiple nominations for a 2013 Women of FIRE Award cite her high level of expertise, her ability to personally connect with her clients, and her willingness to work tirelessly to achieve great results. Next year, she will serve as president of the Mid-State Association of Realtors, of which she has been a board member since 2009.

Cathleen F. Smith

Running the family catering company and restaurant in Lake Worth, Florida, for about seven years gave Cathleen Smith the skills that would serve her well in her second career, which took root in what would become one of the most turbulent housing markets in the nation.

Recovery On So Many Levels

The housing market in Connecticut is making a selective recovery from the nation\’s housing crisis, a reflection of the economy at large. Job growth in the state, and not just pent-up demand, may be a contributing factor; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Connecticut was one of only nine that added enough jobs in April to be “statistically significant.”

Talent Has No Gender

We\’d love it if we never have to write an editorial like this again.
In banking today, it\’s all about succession, and who shows up. In the last several decades, an increasing number of the people who have shown up in the banking industry are women, who now comprise up to 80 percent of the banking industry\’s workforce.

Reverse Mortgage Goes Mainstream

The borrowing age for reverse mortgages is dropping as relatively younger consumers use the loans as risk management tools to extend the life of their financial portfolios, according to a presentation by MetLife at yesterday’s Great New England Credit Union Show on April 19.