40 Under 40 The Class of 2010

Karen Curran

Karen Curran: 39

Financial Consultant, Thomson Financial Management

It was October 2008 when Eva Thomson called Karen Curran asking if she wanted to come to work for her as a financial consultant.

Curran was eager — she interviewed with the Northampton-based company a few years earlier, but Thomson wasn’t ready to take anyone on — and accepted the job, but wondered if the timing was right. After all, the financial markets were in free fall, and many investors were in what could only be described as panic mode.

But Thomson thought it was a perfect time. “She had been mentoring me along without me knowing it,” Curran said of her new boss. “She said, ‘this will be an opportunity to truly learn in this profession; survival in this time will be key to success in the future.’ She knew.”

And, as it turned out, she was right. And what Curran learned is that, even in the darkest of financial times, when people have a financial plan, they need to stick with that plan. “All of our clients had a plan in place, and we felt that these plans had to be dynamic as they related to what the market can offer and also what’s happening with their lives,” she explained. “There were some hard conversations about perhaps having to work longer and adjust certain goals, but we really tried to take the emphasis off investment performance and back to the individual. It was a real learning experience.”

While working to help clients pursue their stated goals, Curran (who offers securities and financial planning through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC) splits the rest of her time between her family — her husband, attorney Joseph Curran, and two boys — and considerable work within the community.

She is currently on the board of the Hampshire Regional YMCA, and was a board member with the Sunnyside Child Care Center Parent Cooperative, which she also served as president and treasurer. She helps raise funds for several organizations, including the UMass Fine Arts Center and the Northampton Education Foundation.

In both her professional work and activity within the community, being a problem-solver has been her MO. That, and providing advice that’s on the money.

—George O’Brien