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Hall of Fame 30 - Meredith Adler

Meredith Adler earned a bachelor’s degree in religion at Boston University and planned to follow up with a master’s degree in psychology, but a shortfall of funds prompted her to take a job in Citibank’s microcredit trading program instead. From there she moved into commercial lending, then to high-yield bond research at various firms — experience that proved crucial to her success in equity analysis. “Having been in high yield is a real competitive advantage for me,” says Adler, who debuted on the All-­America Research Team in 1999 as a ­runner-up in Retailing/Food & Drug Chains and has thus far amassed 13 appearances, including ten straight years (and counting) at No. 1. “I’m able to communicate with my counterpart in high yield, and she shares tons of information with me about how the high-yield market is looking at things and whether deals can get done.” The Barclays Capital analyst says her early interest in becoming a psychotherapist also helped her later career, in that she learned to be a good listener — crucial when meeting with company managements — and an effective communicator, which is vital when explaining the intricacies of her companies to clients. She is “the dean of the supermarket and drug retail space,” one client told us in 2009.

Adler, 57, has not yet obtained that degree in psychology, but she did earn an MBA in 1985 — via night-school studies at New York University’s Stern School of Business.                                  

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