Karyn Polak

Honoree Committee Member

Karyn Polak is Deputy General Counsel for PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.’s Asset Management Group, which provides banking and lending, investments, fiduciary, and family office services to individuals, corporate and municipal entities, and charities and foundations across the United States.  She joined PNC in Philadelphia in 2011, following an extensive tenure at Citigroup in New York City, where she most recently served as General Counsel for its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney relationship.  Prior to that role, Karyn held a number of legal positions at Citi, including General Counsel and Managing Director for the Citi Private Bank; General Counsel and Managing Director for Citi Investment Research; and Managing Director for the Institutional Clients Group.  In private practice prior to Citi, Karyn was a capital markets, corporate reporting, and mergers and acquisitions associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance), and Jones Day.  

Karyn participates in financial industry, Bar association, and women’s initiative groups to address legal issues as well as diversity, leadership, and law firm/department management matters and has spoken extensively on these topics.  Before moving to Philadelphia, she was a member of the New York City Bar’s Women in the Profession Committee.

Karyn earned her J.D. cum laude from Boston University School of Law and her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis with a double-major in political science and French.

Charitable interests:  Karyn has been a Board member of Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, since 2012 as well as the Board Secretary, a member of its Board Governance and Vision Committees, and a member of the Ceres Society, its women’s networking and volunteer arm.  Karyn is also a member of Philadelphia’s Forum of Executive Women and of DirectWomen, the nation’s only non-profit focused on getting more women lawyers onto corporate boards.  In 2009-2010, Karyn completed the Coro Leadership Program, a year-long civic engagement program for public, private, and government sector professionals in New York City.  She was a founding member of the New York Leadership Committee for BuildOn, a literacy and community service non-profit, and she provided pro bono representation to Legal Services for New York City.  

Personal:  Karyn is married to Aaron Polak, founder and principal of Aaron J. Polak, Esq., P.C., a firm focused on General Counsel-type advice to early entrepreneurs, venture capital investors and investees, and public companies across a myriad of industries.  They live in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, with their two children, Zak and Talya, and like to believe they have an unlimited family budget for books, wine, and music.