Margretta Jeffers Bowen ’76: Constantly Tackling New Challenges
Margretta Bowen first arrived at Ohio State intent on becoming the next crusader in the criminal law field. Her interest grew while she was an undergraduate at Morgan State University, a small, historically black college in Baltimore. During that time, she held an internship at the city jail, where she interviewed women and juveniles. As a second-year student, she worked for the Ohio State Attorney General, responding to prisoners’ release petitions, and her experiences made her wonder if criminal law was the right path for her to follow. Spurred by a conversation with her advisor and success in her corporate law studies, she changed direction.
Margretta’s first job out of law school combined her initial interest in criminal law with her newfound enthusiasm for corporate law. She obtained a position at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the enforcement division, and a year later, she moved to the corporate regulation division. She describes her work with the SEC as “a tremendous experience” where she had the opportunity to work very closely with “some of the best and brightest lawyers in New York.” She recalls that “even as a young lawyer with the SEC, I tended to command a lot of respect from the outside. The SEC carried a lot of clout and whenever I called, I actually got to deal with more seasoned lawyers on the other side.”
While at the SEC, Margretta was engaged in the agency’s unprecedented investigation into New York City’s finances. She was charged with creating a report of the results of the agency’s investigation, which “took months of very dedicated work to produce,” she explains.
Although she valued her experience at the SEC, Margretta moved to the corporate side as in-house counsel, and later, vice president with AXA Equitable, because being closer to the action of trial work excited her. “There was the opportunity for me to get involved in various types of litigation. Most importantly, I was allowed to try cases myself sooner and to assume a lot more responsibility much earlier,” she says.
AXA Equitable is a subsidiary of AXA Financial and part of The AXA Group, which is a corporation with global presence in fifty countries. AXA Equitable has been a venerable life insurance provider for almost 150 years. Today the company offers annuities, insurance, and other needs-based products to the financial services marketplace.
In Margretta’s twenty-plus years at AXA Equitable, she has most enjoyed the counseling that she provides to various departments, because it allows her to support and inform her colleagues. She explains that one of the main reasons she’s thrived so well in the corporate environment is that “there’s a wide variety of people and purposes to be served here and I can be true to my own values while earning a living.” Still, she’s ready to take on whatever may come onto her path next. “I’m one who likes challenges, and at this stage of my career, I’m ready to take on the next challenge.”
Friends wishing to get in touch with Margretta can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.