Stern serves as the Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Global Head of Strategic Resources of FactSet Research Systems Inc. Rachel’s operational experience includes Human Resources, Investor Relations, M&A, Real Estate Strategy, Facilities Management, Data Procurement and Governance, and Offshore Site Management.
For over 20 years, Stern has focused on growth at FactSet. She has worked to increase the scope and scale of the company from a small business to a Russell 1000 company as an experienced member of the executive leadership team. Focusing on financial data and analytics, the company has grown both organically and through acquisition, from $140 million in revenues to over $1.5 billion during her tenure, with over 10,000 employees and a $13 billion market capitalization. Leveraging her legal expertise and extensive operational experience, Stern has expertly counselled the CEO, management team and Board of Directors on both legal and strategic matters. A trusted senior leader, she continues to guide the Board of Directors and its committees on all corporate governance matters, including board recruitment, succession and changes in executive management.
Stern joined FactSet from Cravath in 2001 as its only lawyer and first General Counsel. She defined the role and reputation of the Legal Department and the Compliance function as she expanded them. She quickly added business management of all third-party content to her responsibilities in 2006, including the licensing, acquisition, management and reporting functions of all content used and redistributed throughout FactSet’s workstations, as well as all data feed and analytics products. In addition to M&A, corporate, and securities law, Rachel’s areas of legal expertise include intellectual property and data licensing.
A member of the Executive Leadership Team, Rachel has helped develop corporate strategy and guide the company through a period of steady growth, including during economic downturns. She manages the Global Incident Management Team, setting policy and decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. She sits on the Enterprise Risk and Disclosure Committees, given her involvement in broad segments of FactSet’s operations. Stern also played a critical role in a transformative antitrust acquisition in the wake of the Thomson Reuters merger investigation in 2007.
In 2009, Stern’s executive role expanded to include Real Estate Planning, Facilities Management, Human Resources, Knowledge Management, Leadership Development, Investor Relations, and the administration of operations in FactSet’s offshore centers of excellence with over 6,000 employees in multiple shifts. Managing these areas, she has gained an extensive understanding of captive business operations in India and the Philippines, and most recently Latvia as well. Her team manages global Business Continuity Planning for the company from the Manila COE.
Forward-looking in her views on office occupancy, Stern has transformed FactSet’s standard office fit out, constructing innovative designs worldwide and a new headquarters in 2019. Under her leadership, she has scaled the company’s footprint consistent with its growth from 12 to more than 60 offices worldwide, occupying over 1,500,000 square feet in more than 25 countries. She has managed the real estate portfolio to enable collaboration and innovation, while reducing cost and driving headcount to centers of excellence.
Responsible for the Human Resources function, Rachel managed a global team of over 90 professionals covering all aspects of recruiting, training, performance appraisal, compensation, leadership, and employee relations, focusing on measured growth. During her six-year tenure, FactSet earned recognition as a Fortune Best Place to Work® in five consecutive years, along with other accolades.
As head of Investor Relations, Stern refined and communicated firm strategy to sell-side and buy-side analysts, hosted investor days, and engaged investors through on-site visits and non-deal roadshows for the CEO and other executives. She expanded analyst coverage and engagement.
Prior to joining FactSet, Rachel was associated with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP, where she focused on M&A and various types of financings. She began her legal career as a judicial clerk for the late Chancellor William T. Allen of the Delaware Court of Chancery, focusing on corporate law.
Education, Certifications, Personal
Stern earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she was an Executive Editor of the Law Review. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale University with a double major in Economics and Art History. She holds an M.A. with distinction from the University of London and studied at the University of Vienna as a Fulbright Scholar. She is FINRA certified Series 7 and 24. She is admitted to the bar in New York, Washington, D.C. and as in-house counsel in Connecticut.
Stern is a director of Baron Capital Management, Inc., a New York City-based asset management company and an advisory board member of HBR Consulting LLC, a Chicago-based legal advisory business. She is a Director of the Westchester Fairfield Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Through WOMN LLC, she mentors women partners of law firms in New York City. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Baldwin School (Bryn Mawr, PA).
Stern is a dedicated marathoner and competes in ultramarathons and triathlons. She is married, has three daughters and a dog, and lives in Westchester, New York.