Chris grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia. He attended New York University’s Stern School of Business, where in 2005 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Science in General Accounting. Upon graduation, Chris joined Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Banking in New York as part of their Investment Strategy and Special Projects group. In 2007, Chris was promoted to an Officer and joined the Corporate Investment Management Group of the bank as a credit analyst monitoring approximately $300 million of the bank’s leveraged loan investments across a number of industries including Transportation, Utilities, Chemicals, Mining and Energy. In 2009, Chris became a CFA® Charterholder after completing a rigorous graduate level finance and ethics curriculum.
In 2010, Chris helped form the bank’s New York Specialty Finance Department (SFD), focused on banking opportunities in Project Finance, Aircraft Finance, Export Finance. From 2010 to 2014, Chris helped grow the bank’s SFD investments from $0 to $2 billion, making the group the fastest growing and second most profitable department in the bank’s Americas business. Chris was promoted to Vice President in 2011 and traveled to Tokyo in 2012 to accept the Bank President’s Award in 2012 for expanding the bank’s overseas Project Finance business.
While Chris enjoyed the excitement and challenge of the work, he yearned to return to his roots in Virginia. In 2014, Chris and his wife, Tawana, moved back to Virginia, where he joined Plott & French Financial Advisors, fulfilling a long-time dream of being able to work side-by-side with his father, Paul French. He focuses on providing innovative wealth management solutions to small business owners, affluent individuals, and families dealing with complex financial issues.
Chris is an active member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of Virginia, the Rotary Club of Blacksburg, and several other local organizations. Outside of work, he has a passion for photography and spending time outdoors in places of natural beauty, including National Parks and the bounty of outdoor recreational opportunities that come with living in beautiful southwest Virginia.
He and Tawana live in Blacksburg, Virginia, with their son, Henry, and two energetic, though slightly mischievous, golden retrievers.
About the CFA Charter®
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) is a charter that is globally recognized graduate level curriculum that provides proficiency with a wide range of fundamental and advanced investment topics, including ethical and professional standards, fixed-income and equity analysis, alternative and derivative investments, economics, financial reporting standards, portfolio management, and wealth planning. It also emphasizes the highest ethical and professional standards. To earn the CFA charter the candidate must have four years of qualified investment work experience; and must become a member of CFA Institute (the global association of investment professionals that administers the CFA charter), pledging to adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct on an annual basis; the candidate must apply for membership to a local CFA member society; and must complete three exams, spending an average of 300 hours of study per exam.