Nearly 30 years ago, Mary Gill Campbell ’84 took a trip that changed her life. After being recruited on campus during her third year at UNC School of Law, she was invited to interview at J.P. Morgan in New York City. Never having been to New York, Campbell had to “muster up my courage to get on the plane,” she says. “And to my complete astonishment, I fell in love with New York City.”
Campbell is now a managing director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. As a senior trust officer, she works with individuals and families who have assets of $25 million or more. “I guide and advise them in managing and structuring their trusts and preserving and growing their wealth for themselves and for future generations, while minimizing taxes,” she says. “My job is to understand their existing needs, anticipate future ones, and find the best solution for each client within his or her own personal or family context.”
Campbell says her role is like that of a quarterback. “While working with a banker and investor, I lead a team of fiduciary specialists in areas such as tax, real estate, philanthropy, and specialty assets, depending on the mix of assets in each trust.” She credits her long tenure in her position to the constant intellectual challenge. “The sheer variety of legal issues I encounter can’t be matched in any job,” she says. “Given the diversity of assets that clients hold in their trusts — such as art, real estate and business — the practice areas I need to know are as broad as the entire field of law.”
Thanks to her work with some North Carolina-based clients — including serving as a Morgan trustee representative of the Kenan Charitable Trust — Campbell gets to regularly visit the Tar Heel State. “I always feel like I have the best of both worlds, living in New York while maintaining close ties to Chapel Hill,” she says.
She also maintains a close bond to Carolina Law. “I am so mindful of the opportunity I was given to attend the law school,” says Campbell, who received the Van Hecke Scholarship. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to law school if I didn’t receive a scholarship. I support the law school financially every year because I want to be sure those opportunities are there for others.”
Last summer, Campbell happily responded to Clif Knight’s invitation to host a luncheon for his UNC Law interns working in New York. “I was glad to help them see that you can use a law degree in a myriad of ways and give them a view of something other than working for a law firm,” she says.
Campbell is pleased with the path she took. “I have the most interesting job I could ever have imagined,” she says. “And I love living in New York — no matter what you want to do, any and all possibilities can be fulfilled here.”