Elisabeth Dewailly

Elisabeth Dewailly

Financial adviser, partner, Novick DeWailly Group of Merrill Lynch


She is a partner at Merrill Lynch’s Novick Dewailly Group, an all-women, multigenerational team. The firm’s managing director, Susan Novick, is the mother of Dewailly’s fiancé, Myles Novick.

Sybil Sternlieb, Myles’ grandmother, recently retired as the group’s managing director. Dewailly considers Sternlieb, who founded the firm 40 years ago, a female pioneer in financial services. The firm is building on that legacy with a diverse staff that operates in a sector still dominated by men.

“It’s important to reach out to women and increase the number of women in this industry,” said Dewailly, who met Myles when they both attended Harvard. “It’s still definitely an important message to send to future generations of advisers and investors.”

A biology and computer science major, she worked in research labs for a few years before making the transition to finance by joining a hedge fund in Washington, D.C. Dewailly then moved on to Merrill.

Dewailly is co-chair of the Bank of America Black Professional Group of New York and founder of the Long Island Black Executive Leadership Team Responsible Growth Committee. The organizations concentrate on networking and professional development opportunities for women and Black professionals.

“You can see people that look like you succeeding within the bank,” Dewailly said. “I think that’s really making an impact.”

Dewailly hasn’t completely left the scientific community. She devotes time to organizations that support female scientists and mentor diverse high school students in science, technology, engineering and math. — Mark Schoeff Jr.