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Champion Spotlight: Monica Issar

Every weekend growing up, Monica watched her parents take out pen and paper to track all of their week’s expenses. As an immigrant family paving their way in the U.S., balancing the books enabled them to save for little joys like ordering pizza on a Friday night, and eventually send Monica to college. 

“[My mom] came to this country for education. It wasn’t just for hers, it was for ours. She realized that education empowered her to be able to make decisions on their own, to own a home by themselves, which they’ve never done before… I saw that growing up, and she wanted to give that gift to me.” 

College was a far-fetched dream for most of Monica’s childhood, but the financial strategies her parents learned while adapting to life in the U.S. were key in bringing that dream to life. When she got to university, Monica fell in love with her investing class and quickly understood the relationship between numbers, markets, and implications on people’s well-being.

“It wasn’t about the math. It was about what the math was helping people do… It was an enabler of more dreams for people.” 

Decades later, the gift of education from Monica’s parents is one that keeps on giving — her own daughter has already taken her first investment class in high school, marking the third generation in her family taking on key financial tools to bring their dreams to life. 

“I’m a testament to how important these [financial] skills are to get into the hands of all families…”

“I’m a living proof of how education, access to learnings of financial markets and how they work, has led me to get a better education, to work at this incredible company, to have the opportunity to partner with a place like MAF, and my daughter has lived through seeing me do that. At this point, we’re going to have the three generations of people who realize that education and access is a really important toolkit to carry around in their backpack.”

Today as Managing Director and Global Head of Multi-Asset & Portfolio Solutions at J.P. Morgan, Monica leverages financial tools and strategies to bring her clients’ own dreams and joys to life. We’re thrilled to welcome Monica to MAF’s board of directors, bringing her lived experience and financial expertise to help create a more equitable world for the families we serve.