Roberta Torian, a partner at Reed Smith in Philadelphia, is one of the most experienced bank regulatory and consumer compliance lawyers in the United States. After having held senior roles at several prestigious financial institutions for many years, Torian joined Reed Smith in 2009, where she set about building a very successful practice within a large law firm. She refined her expertise, developed many new clients and soon became a member the firm’s executive committee.
One of Torian’s greatest achievements at Reed Smith was leading the representation of Avis Budget Group, the world’s third-largest car rental agency. Because of her efforts, Reed Smith was one of only seven firms to be appointed by Avis to its first-ever approved law firm panel.
Torian chairs the Reed Smith African American Affinity Group’s Retention Subcommittee and was named a fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers. She chaired the American Bar Association’s Internet Banking/Electronic Delivery Subcommittee and co-chaired its Corporate Governance Subcommittee and Deposit Account Control Agreement Task Force.
As an attorney, she served on the board of Chester County Women’s Commission and was a founding member of the National Bar Association’s Women Lawyers’ Division Foundation, Philadelphia Chapter. This Chapter was created to raise funds for scholarships for diverse young women pursuing legal careers. She is also a member of The Forum of Executive Women.
“Diversity means being open to and appreciating differences among people,” says Torian. “Inclusion means bringing someone who differs from you into your work experience, onto your team and your projects and treating them as a valued colleague.” She explains that diversity in the workplace enhances the quality of decision making, because sharing differing views will cause everyone to consider a perspective other than his or her own. This leads to better outcomes.
Torian offers professional women this advice: “Understand that self-perception is at the heart of what you can achieve. If you believe that you can conquer a challenge, even one for which you may not feel perfectly prepared, but for which you have the passion and drive, that will be the differentiator in achieving success.”