Meet a Member: IM Financial Analyst Jackie Rivas


Jackie Rivas is a D.C. area native. She was born in Annapolis, Maryland, but grew up in the Virginia suburbs. She enjoys the area because of its international flair and diverse cultural offerings. “There are so many fun things to choose from, exhibits at the Smithsonian museums and the various art galleries, film festivals, the solar decathlon, wine-tastings at the Maison Française, and all the ethnic restaurants to name just a few,” she recently said. Her international interest stems from time spent living in Madrid, Spain, during college. One summer she bought a student rail pass and traveled across Europe. The travel bug still persists.

Jackie began her career at the SEC in 1987, when she came to the now defunct Directorate of Economic and Policy Analysis from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. When DEPA morphed into the Office of Economic Analysis, Jackie moved to IM, where she works as a Financial Analyst. “I have been in the Office of Disclosure and Review, the Office of Public Utilities and the Office of Financial Analysis, all within IM,” she notes.

Jackie feels that the SEC is an interesting place to work. “The issues we face here appear in headline news. Perhaps the most interesting project I have worked on was the concept release on mutual fund transaction costs. We had the sense that investors wanted more information about things that impact the return on their investment. So we decided to ask the public whether mutual funds should quantify and disclose the transaction costs they incur. In response we had luminaries such as John Bogle weighing in on the topic. It seemed like everyone had an opinion. And they all wanted to come to the Commission and make a presentation on why their way was the highway on which to proceed. I very much enjoyed listening to all sides of the issue.”

Jackie also enjoys writing about current investment trends. “My 2-page monograph accompanies a monthly production of statistics and charts on trends in the mutual fund industry. I try to make it an intellectually stimulating project by selecting topics that interest me and that I can research and learn something about.” Her investment trends pieces are posted on the IM intranet site.

Jackie was one of the original supporters of NTEU. “I felt that a union would help to standardize personnel rules across the Commission,” she says.

Jackie noted that a lot has changed at the SEC since the union was organized, including the implementation of pay parity, flexible work schedules, transit subsidies, casual dress, supplemental insurance and other improvements. “It is great to have a more harmonious relationship in the workplace,” she says.

Jackie’s outside interests include volunteering with DC-Brasilia Partners of the Americas, a non-governmental organization that works with its sister chapter in Brasilia, Brazil, as part of Partners of the Americas. She is currently helping to coordinate an exchange program between high school students in Brasilia and D.C. In June 2008, eight students and two teachers from Brasilia will spend ten days in D.C., visiting schools and museums and participating in community service activities. Then eight students and two teachers from D.C. will visit their counterparts in Brasilia and experience Brazilian culture through Brazilian eyes. Her efforts include setting up a website, in Portuguese, for the chapter in Brasilia, which publicizes their projects and activities. A rapidly-growing section is a forum where the students can get acquainted before they travel. She will travel to Brasilia in November to film the Brazilian kids as part of a fund-raising effort. The most exciting part of the project is giving these kids and teachers the opportunity to experience another culture and language—something they probably would otherwise be unable to do.

Jackie lives just outside of D.C., in Arlington, Virginia, where she is supervised by two cats, Black-Scholes and Patches. On occasion she has been spotted riding her bicycle to the office or running down the Mall at lunchtime.