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1948 - 2021
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Obituary for Terry L. Phalen

Terry L.  Phalen
Terry L. Phalen
December 14, 1948 – February 3, 2021

Terry L. Phalen, a pioneer in the New York financial world who opened doors for other women, died peacefully, at home, in New York City from cancer. She was 72.

Terry was raised in Montgomery, WV, and attended West Virginia University on a Claude Worthington Benedum Scholarship. She majored in Business Administration and was elected to Beta Alpha Psi, Accounting Honorary.

Terry started her career at Coopers and Lybrand in New York City upon her graduation (1970). She became a CPA and was determined to succeed, and succeed, she did. Terry’s work ethic, knowledge and ability to understand clients’ needs stood out. She developed national bank/brokerage training courses and co-authored, ERISA: A Bank Internal Audit Guide. Promoted to Audit Manager, she reviewed financial sector mergers and acquisitions.

At Paine Webber (1979) she became VP of Branch Services, in charge of five departments serving 140 retail offices nationally.

She then became CFO of Merrill Lynch Futures (1983), and managed $1 billion. She conceived and developed investment programs that increased annual profits by $13 million. Promoted to Senior Financial Officer of Global Operations, she developed the first integrated exposure alert system across all operational activities.

Terry became Director of Global Operations at Salomon Brothers (1996) overseeing operations in the US, UK and Asia. At Arthur Andersen Business Consulting (1998), Terry authored “The Future Electronic Marketplace: A Critical Crossroad for the U.S. Securities Market Structure” published by the International Operations Association (July, 1999).

With the advent of early trading platforms, Terry moved to Vienna, Austria to launch online trading for for Central and Eastern European Markets. She returned to NYC (2001) as COO for Ashland Management where she increased revenues and served on the Investment Committee.

In 2003 Terry founded Bennett Butler, which did consulting and trading projects. She was the sole developer of a high-yield investment platform that concentrated on preservation of capital.

Terry shared her knowledge and talents as an officer and Board Member with the following organizations: West Virginia Society of NY, International Operations Association, Downtown Athletic Club, and the YWCA Retirement Fund. She was President of the Gotham Business and Profession Women’s Club (BPW/USA) and was NY State Chair of National Business Women’s Week in 1986. Frequently, she was a featured speaker at many women’s organizations.

Terry became a golfer as a way into the male-dominated financial world. Golf, however, became her passion. She loved to travel, and the cities of Europe were among her favorite destinations, as well as The NYC cultural scene. Plays, classical ballet, and light operas were among her favorite outings. She adored cats.

Terry was predeceased by her beloved granny, Elizabeth Chittum, her father Clarence (Bugs) Phalen and her mother Ruby Phalen Oliver. Terry is survived by her siblings Jill (Kevin) Reardon, Clarence (Kathy) Phalen, Jean (Tim) Meyers and JoBeth (Scott) Yambrich and many friends and colleagues.
Her local survivors are Eldena Light Kincaid and her family.

A celebration of life will be at 1PM on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery. Burial will follow at Montgomery Memorial Park in London. Expressions of sympathy can be sent at

Donations can be made to Animal Medical Center in NYC and ASPCA- Upper East Side.

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