Merit Award Dinner

The annual Merit Award Dinner is the Women’s Bond Club’s largest, most high-profile annual event. Hosted and attended by industry leaders, the dinner strengthens and supports the WBC’s mission of advancing women in financial services and helping shape the future of the industry.  

Since 1993, the dinner has honored exceptional female leaders both within the financial services industry and beyond. It raises money for the WBC’s mission-focused programs. Each year, its keynote speaker delivers inspiring remarks that underscore the WBC’s focus on career development, education, empowering women to lead, and giving back to the community. It boasts an attendance of more than 750 industry leaders each year.

The dinner features two awards – the Merit Award and the Betty Cook Award.  

The Merit Award is given to a woman in the financial community who is widely recognized for her industry-wide contributions as well as the leadership role she plays within her firm. Its nominees typically have a significant voice and influence within their firm's senior management structures.

The Betty Cook Award (formerly the Isabel Benham Award) is given to a woman who has dedicated herself to helping empower and advance other women – no matter what industry they are in.

Some of the most recent award winners include:


Merit Award Winners

Betty Cook Award
(Formerly Isabel Benham Award)

Anne Ackerley
Managing Director, Head of U.S. & Canada Defined Contribution, BlackRock



Suni Harford, Managing Director,
Regional Head of Markets,
North America, Citi


Shelley O'Connor,
Co-Head of Wealth Management,
Morgan Stanley

Debra Walton,
Chief Content Officer, Financial & Risk,
Thomson Reuters

Beth E. Mooney,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

Eve Ellis
Financial Advisor, Portfolio Manager of the Parity Portfolio and The Diversity & Inclusion Portfolio
The Matterhorn Group at Morgan Stanley
In Support of Girls Who Invest

Ruth DeGolia,
Co-Founder and Executive Director,
Mercado Global

Ana Oliveira,
President and CEO of the New York Women's Foundation

Reshma Saujani,
Founder and CEO,
Girls Who Code

 Erin Ganju,
Co-Founder and CEO,
Room to Read