Faces of Pitcairn

Karen Carlson

Relationship Manager
January 2020

Far from remote, in the metropolis of Manhattan lies Pitcairn’s New York office and Relationship Manager, Karen Carlson. A passionate New Yorker herself, Karen’s career and family have grown considerably in the 10 years she has been with the firm. We recently sat down with Karen to learn more about what the past decade has meant to her.  

Reflecting on the past 10 years, what has your experience at Pitcairn been like?

It’s hard to imagine it’s been 10 years already. Pitcairn has evolved in so many amazing ways and I’ve had the chance to do so many different things in my career at Pitcairn that time has literally flown by. It still feels fresh and exciting each day. I’ve been given the opportunity to learn and grow over the years and have been encouraged every step of the way, not just by my direct manager, but by senior leadership as well. 

You’ve had some monumental life changes while working at Pitcairn, including marriage and the birth of your twin girls. How would you describe your work life balance?

I’ve always believed Pitcairn is not only a family office for our clients, but also for employees. We spend the majority of our days with our colleagues and I do truly enjoy my friendships with my Pitcairn family. I value the support I’ve received during these life changes. I’ve always felt Pitcairn “the firm” reminds us not to miss out on those important milestones at home, whether it’s by taking advantage of flexible work schedules, work from home days, generous vacation time, etc. We’ve been given room to be our best selves professionally and personally. 

What do you like/dislike about working in the NY office?

I’m a New Yorker so I’m quite biased about how amazing it is to work in NYC. I’m always trying to convince my colleagues to work here! Those of us in the New York office make a conscious effort to stay plugged into the extended Pitcairn community. I’m a joiner by nature, so I’ve naturally connected myself by being on several of the firms’ internal working groups. However, I do sometimes miss not being able to run down the hall to grab someone to collaborate with or stopping by the kitchen to catch up with folks.  

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I love music. Years ago, friends gave me DJ lessons for my birthday at Scratch DJ Academy which was founded by the late Jam Master Jay of Run DMC. For our last class, we had to reveal our official DJ name. I’m still too embarrassed to say mine out loud!