“People here are kind-hearted and down-to-earth.”
Moving from Seattle to Pittsburgh is a big transition when considering the distance from family and old friends, and the differences in the economic and cultural climates. Bennett Lo says the transition was made easier by the “friendly and down-to-earth people” in this region. “People here are kind-hearted and hard-working. There’s a sense of community evidenced in the fish frys, and the ethnic neighborhoods like Polish Hill or Bloomfield/Little Italy.”
While at college several years ago, Bennett’s college roommate – a Pittsburgher -- convinced him there were promising job opportunities here. He took his friend’s advice and is now a fixed income trader of seperately managed accounts at Federated Investors. In his work, he’s concerned with total return for clients, many of which are pension funds, endowments or high-net-worth individuals. And while the pressures of trading can be intense or cutthroat, Bennett says the family-oriented nature of Federated is much different. He relays a time during the economic downturn of 2008-09 when many financial services firms were shedding staff. Federated management assured its employees that their jobs would be safe. “Federated is truly a world-class investment firm and has become known for being a stable and consistent investment company.”
When he’s not trading securities, Bennett is often at a cultural event such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra or a rock or country music concert at Stage AE on the North Shore or First Niagara Pavilion in Washington County. ”Since I moved here seven years ago, I have seen a tremendous growth of cultural activities.” He loves Phipps Conservatory as well, and includes it on the itinerary for any of his out-of-town visitors. “I think it’s a hidden gem.”
Bennett’s also impressed with the variety and quality of locally owned restaurants here. Hailing from the west coast, he was accustomed to high quality seafood and Japanese food, both of which he’s found in this region to his surprise. Umi is his favorite for Japanese, but he’s found unique offerings, even in American style restaurants such as Meat and Potatoes downtown. “I went to a hog-butchering seminar at Cure (Lawrenceville) and we learned about all of the cuts while enjoying a seven-course meal that included Morcilla blood sausage. It gave me a real appreciation for the skill involved and the talents of Pittsburgh’s local chefs.”
He’s settled in the community of Canonsburg, Washington County, which he finds convenient to downtown, the airport and major highways, giving him easy access for his commute, travels, visitors and such outdoor excursions as kayaking on downtown’s rivers or whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle in Fayette County. He’s also involved in St. Thomas More Church in nearby Bethel Park, and is the treasurer for his bowling league at Playmor Bowl in West Mifflin.