Profile of women and companies: Helena Rados Derr

Helena Rados Derr
CEO
Stewart Capital Advisors
Stewartcap.com

Helena Rados Derr considers many places her hometown. Born in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rados Derr arrived in Pittsburgh as a refugee in 1999 before moving to Indiana, Pennsylvania, where she became a naturalized citizen.

After graduating from college, Rados Derr immersed himself in banking. She started as an investment research analyst for S&T Wealth Management and grew her career by taking advantage of opportunities that presented themselves. As Stewart Capital Advisors emerged as an institutional investment adviser and subsidiary of S&T Bank, Rados Derr gradually rose through the firm, becoming a senior portfolio manager. She then took an opportunity at S&T Wealth Management as a fiduciary investment manager. Due to the retirement of her mentor and her university, she returned to Stewart Capital Advisors, in her current role as Chief Operating Officer.

As COO, Rados Derr oversees the operations and administration of Stewart Capital Advisors, which manages approximately $1.3 billion in assets. She also works closely with the firm’s compliance, marketing and sales teams. “When I think about my obligation to the company, I like to challenge the status quo by emphasizing why we do what we do, not just how and what we do,” she says.

Rados Derr’s accomplishments go beyond those of SCA. She obtained an MBA with a concentration in finance. Alongside his professors, his research in econometrics has been published in the Applied Financial Economics Journal. Now Rados Derr uses his platform to inspire others to become more confident in achieving their own goals. “Helping others has been a strong pillar of the bank, and it’s been a strong pillar of who I am,” she says. Seeing others succeed has become the biggest reward of her job, something she attributes to the journey that brought her to her current role as COO. “As someone from humble beginnings, I can relate to the non-linear roads that most of us face,” she says.

What is Rados Derr’s advice to other businesswomen? “Always be respectful of people with different opinions and invite them to explain why,” she says. “Incorporate others, because great results have never been achieved by just one person. Learn, listen and learn more every day.

What’s the best advice she’s ever received? “Seize opportunities as they arise. Be visible in a way that you can offer solutions, but ask for what you need to grow.

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