I met Joe in a bar in New Jersey and we never left each other’s side until our divorce

I ended up in the US unexpectedly. Now I look after ultra-high-net-worth clients

Pamela Daly was born in 1969 in Delany Park on the north side of Cork city. She is the third eldest of 10 children. Now Pamela Grieco, she lives in Arizona, where she is a hedge-fund specialist with Wells Fargo

I have many happy memories of playing in the field behind our house and near the Lyons tea factory across the street. We had enormous creative minds back then and would play for hours until dark.

When I was 13 my grandmother died and left the house to my father, Jack, so my family moved to Douglas, on the south side of Cork. I moved schools, to Christ the King Secondary School. I did my Leaving Certificate in June 1987 and had plans to go the Regional Technical School in Cork.

I went to the US at 17 with no plans. I had not seen my uncle in over 10 years and told him I would wear green trousers so he could spot me

But my mother made me call my Uncle Martin in New York to pass on a message, and he asked what my plans were. He said, Why don’t you come to New York for a few weeks over the summer? So off I went, at 17, with no plans. I had not seen my uncle for more than 10 years and told him I would wear green trousers so he could spot me.


The college year started, and I decided to stay in New Jersey, where I met up with a girl from Cork who helped me get a nanny job in the township of Montclair. I met Joe Grieco in a bar that same year, and we never left each other's side after that until our divorce, in 2007.

For many years I went back and forth from Ireland to New Jersey, all the while putting myself through college. I received a bachelor's degree in accounting, and then a master's degree in economics. I married Joe in 1994, after I received my green card, in 1992, through the first lottery system.

In 1996 Joe and I planned to move to San Francisco, but he got a job offer in Phoenix, so we moved to Arizona. We bought our first home and had two children, Kate and Mark. I started working in the investment field soon after, then transitioned to investment banking. I am currently a hedge-fund specialist for the “ultrahigh net worth” for Wells Fargo Bank.

Life is great in Arizona. The heat you never get used to, though: I crave the rain. But we get monsoon storms in the evenings during the summer; this year was particularly bad, as they caused severe damage to my roof and flooded my garage. This year the weather has been particularly bad all over the country, with fires, floods and earthquakes triggered by climate change.

I was in the office one day when my supervisor said to pack up my computer and go home until further notice. I am still home, with no return date in sight

My daughter, Kate, is 21. She took a semester off school and has just been to Ireland for a month, visiting family. My son, Mark, is 17 and is in high school. The past two years have been challenging with the pandemic. I was in the office one day when my supervisor said to pack up my computer and go home until further notice. I am still home, with no return date in sight.

I got vaccinated in April with the Moderna shot. I finally convinced my son to get his shot only last month. My daughter had Covid in May this year. One day she woke up saying she felt like she had smoked a pack of cigarettes (she doesn’t smoke) and was coughing.

She got significantly sicker as the days went on and finally went and got tested to find out she was positive. She stayed in bed for two weeks; I left food trays at her door. Her skin turned yellow and she had a fever. It was all very scary, as we thought we had escaped it. It has now crept up again in Scottsdale, where I’m living now, and everyone is back wearing masks.

The US government has settled down, with Joe Biden taking the White House. It was a pleasure to see Donald Trump leave. Arizona was actually Republican until this year, when it turned Democrat. Everything was going smoothly until the disaster in Afghanistan hit. I think President Biden failed with his handling of the rapid departure.

My job is very satisfying. It allows me the pleasures in life, and I don’t take it for granted. I’m a hedge-fund specialist for the west coast. My team is based in North Carolina, so I work alone. Basically, I get our investment managers in and out of hedge funds and private equity. These are not marketable securities, as they do not trade on an exchange. I fill out the subscription documents and they are sent to the fund companies, many of which happen to be in Dublin.

It is a lot of compliance- and detail-oriented operational work. I also transfer the assets if they leave the bank or move to other accounts. Most of our clients are worth more than $50 million. I am not customer-facing, however: I work behind the scenes.

I have a brother, Billy, who lives in Sydney. I am here and our remaining eight siblings live in Ireland. My mother is still going strong. I go home most years and plan to go next summer for a month if this pandemic ever comes to a halt.

If you live overseas and would like to share your experience with Irish Times Abroad, email abroad@irishtimes.com with a little information about you and what you do