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Updated: April 6, 2020 / 2020 Women in Business Awards

Jett breaks asset management compliance-industry mold

Photo | J. Fiereck Photogrphy
Medina K. Jett Q&A
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Medina Jett left a career as a corporate compliance officer to form Integrated Compliance Solutions Group LLC in large part to help women and minority-owned investment advisors attract clients.

Seventy-trillion dollars are managed in this country, but only 1 percent of that money is invested by women and minority-owned firms, she said.

“Smaller investment advisors often don’t have the compliance infrastructure to attract institutional capital,” she said. “We create a model for them that will make it cost-effective and help them build a compliance program, which is what institutional investors want to see before they’ll give them assets to invest.”

Since 2008, Farmington-based ICSGroup has been breaking down the intricacies of securities regulations to help companies put compliance rules and procedures in place.

Jett started with a handful of clients. Now she and her team of seven consultants work in offices in Farmington, Atlanta and Austin, providing counsel to investment advisory firms throughout the United States as well as Africa.

They have 30 clients right now.

Jett, 54, attributes her success over the past 12 years to providing not only the highest quality consulting services but also to the power of word of mouth.

Her first client was JoAnn Price, co-founder and managing partner of West Hartford-based Fairview Capital, who said recommendations are important in any business but particularly in compliance.

“I would not have taken the chance on Medina had I not been convinced of her integrity and ability,” Price said. “She’s very structured, disciplined, works cooperatively and is an exceptional listener, taking the time to understand a business and what it needs.”

As the only black woman-owned compliance company in the world, Jett has faced obstacles.

“Black people and women have never been a large part of the asset investment industry,” she said. “The first reaction is often a question as to my level of expertise.”

Although some clients just want a quality product, Jett said she has frequently had to defend herself and refer to her 30 years of professional experience as an attorney and compliance officer in the asset-management industry.

“It’s a cost I have to bear,” Jett said, which has inspired her next goal — to take what she’s learned and pay it forward. “Given where I’ve been — corporate America and starting my own company — I want to empower women by sharing the strategies that worked for me that will help them climb the corporate ladder: networking, building relationships, taking risks and, of course, always knocking the ball out of the park.”

These are skills many women may not have learned from their parents or in college, Jett said, so she wants to share knowledge and serve as a role model through Jett Speaks LLC, her latest professional endeavor.

Jett has a long history of helping others. With her other companies, she offers pro-bono consulting to minority and small business owners through Jett Consulting LLC and financial literacy training for young adults in underserved communities and professional athletes through Financial Literacy for All Inc.

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