1Q 2022
Women Investing in Women
Happy New Year!
Despite the continued pandemic, 2021 was a year of major accomplishments for Women Investment Professionals (WIP), which is stronger than ever. We’re pleased to share the following highlights from the year just ended, and what is in store for the future.

Read our 2022 President's Letter here.
Upcoming Events
WIP ECONOMIC OUTLOOK LUNCHEON
Register here
Thursday, February 10
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CT
Location: Zoom

Join us to hear about the 2022 economic outlook from our talented, experienced panelists!
COFFEE ROULETTE
Register here
Fridays, February 4, March 4, April 1
10:00 AM CT

Join us for 15-30 minutes of randomized, casual one-on-one networking with WIP members. Stop by as often as you wish to brew up a new relationship in our Café @Zoom! 
COFFEE WITH A BOARD MEMBER - SUSAN SMALL
Register here
Friday, February 4
9:30 AM CT

WIP members are invited to join WIP Past President Susan Small for a cozy, no-agenda coffee/tea fireplace chat!
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & WIN SERIES

Exciting details coming soon! For more information, check out our Events page.
Welcome, New Members!
WIP warmly welcomes our new members during Q4 2021! Not currently a member or need to renew? Visit our membership page.

  • Christina Algozine, Driehaus Capital Management
  • Melissa Anezinis, JPMorgan Chase
  • Heather Arison
  • Nizida Arriaga
  • Robin Beery, ArrowMark Partners 
  • Diane Cook, Willis Towers Watson
  • Jodie Crotteau, Harbor Capital Advisors, Inc.
  • Heather Dondis, Harbor Capital Advisors, Inc.
  • Lindsey Franceschelli, Deerpath Capital Management
  • Tara Harkins, Harbor Capital Advisors, Inc.
  • Anita Knotts, Lotus Women's Institute
  • Ania Lasek
  • Stephanie Neely, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
  • Meredith Richardson, GQG Partners
  • Xiaohui (Ruby) Shi, Aegon
  • Carli Turrittin
  • Rachel Webster, Post Advisory Group
  • Sally Wilkie, Aegon
  • Marisa Woodrum, The Carlyle Group
  • Christina Yi, Franklin Templeton Institutional
Member Spotlight
CELEBRATING A WIP RISING STAR:
ALLISON JOHNSTON, Consultant Relationship Specialist, Capital Group
WIP is pleased to highlight inspiring women who are early in their careers.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
 
I have been so fortunate to work with powerful women leading the industry and who have inspired me in my work. When I first started at Capital Group, I worked for Joanne Hickman Dodd. She became my mentor, friend, and enabled me to learn about the industry firsthand from her hard work and amazing relationships. It is because of Joanne that I joined WIP and have been inspired to ensure I am supporting others around me.

I am passionate about reaching and teaching more women in my community, particularly who might not know about our industry. Through the WIP Outreach Committee, we are hoping to start supporting a local high school with the Invest in Girls programming. I also spend time mentoring younger generations at my company, as well as through tutoring, alumni events, etc. I think it is so important to give back similarly to what others have done for me.
 
This past year, a few colleagues and I started a group at Capital focused on candid, authentic conversations to empower us to listen more and learn from one another. We focused on IDEA – Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Allyship. The group is formed of people with different roles, backgrounds, and experiences. Each month, we spend time discussing deeper issues in society/our industry and how we can best make a change, hopefully leading to more inclusive actions and dialogues. We each can make small strides that together will make a larger, collective impact.

Please reach out to me if you ever want to have a conversation about either of these topics or anything else! I love an old-fashioned coffee date.
Our goal is to continue to provide you with broad networking opportunities, both professional and personal. Know a WIP member who is making a difference? Let us know!
WIP Outreach

WIP’s outreach mission is to support the women around us and lead the girls that follow us. Over the last year, we have been actively expanding our efforts to foster enthusiasm in young women to pursue careers in the investment industry.

As part of this initiative, WIP has partnered with Invest in Girls, a not-for-profit organization that teaches high school girls financial concepts, exposes them to professional women role models, and introduces them to financial services careers.

WIP is spearheading one of the national expansion programs to implement the Invest in Girls curriculum in Chicago with a goal of recruiting the first cohort of girls into the program in Spring 2022. There are several ways to get involved in the curriculum and make an impact.

Please contact Meg Johnson to be included on updates for volunteer opportunities. If you have general questions about WIP’s outreach initiatives, please contact Lauren Savino.

Member Benefits
Take advantage of the full range of benefits available:
WIP Jobs Board

Did you know that the WIP jobs board currently has over 40 new jobs posted from over 10 organizations? Positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Research analyst
  • Portfolio manager
  • Compliance officer
  • Regulatory specialist
  • Marketing/Client engagement
  • Data scientist
  • Consultant relations

There is no charge for posting a job on the WIP job board. Employment listings are open to WIP members and non-members. They're posted for 30 days and can be re-submitted for an additional 30-day posting. You can submit a job posting by sending an email to info@wipchicago.org.
Interview with a Gold Sponsor:
Sonya Morris, Harbor Capital Advisors
Sonya Morris, Managing Director, Investments Research Team, shares her career journey and 2022 priorities:
How did you get interested in investing and manager research?
My interest in investing goes back to high school. I grew up in a small town in southern Illinois and worked in the town’s only book store. A regular customer, who was also a family friend, came in every day to buy the Wall Street Journal. He introduced me to investing and showed me my first stock price chart, which displayed an appealing northeastward trajectory. The idea of watching an investment grow over time resonated strongly with me. At the same time, I was also very interested in literature and writing (which explains the job in the book store). I couldn’t decide which interest to pursue in college, so I double majored in Finance and English. That combination proved beneficial later in my career.

I didn’t set out to pursue manager research as a career. My first job out of college was in corporate finance, so I pursued my interest in investing through my 401k. I quickly learned that Morningstar was the go-to resource for researching mutual funds. Fast forward a few years, I learned that Morningstar was hiring fund research analysts, so I applied for the job, thinking that they would value my background in both writing and finance. Thankfully, that proved true, and my career in manager research began in 2004 when I joined Morningstar. I began as a rank-and-file fund analyst and ended my time there as a senior consultant and fund-of-funds PM.

While at Morningstar, I admired Harbor Capital Advisors from afar. They were one of the few fund shops that I could imagine leaving Morningstar for. Their robust manager selection process and shareholder friendly ethic appealed to me. When I got the opportunity to join the firm in 2013, I didn’t hesitate.

What does Harbor look for when selecting partners to manage their investment products?
At Harbor, we begin by acknowledging that we have a tough job. Studies show that identifying outperforming managers ex ante is a very difficult task; persistence of outperformance is extremely rare. Nevertheless, we believe we can tilt the odds in our favor by partnering with investment firms that exhibit certain attributes that, based on our observations over the decades, are markers of best-in-class managers. We look for research-oriented, high conviction investment teams who think differently and are willing to take meaningful non-consensus views.

We believe a healthy culture is crucial to maintaining an investment edge. Culture influences many vital attributes of an investment firm, such as client alignment, decision-making dynamics, and the ability to attract, retain, and develop investment talent. The most important cultural characteristic we look for is a mindset of continuous improvement. Managers with this mindset are flexible, open-minded, and take joy in learning new things. They are also purposefully introspective; they think about how they could be wrong and seek out opposing views to test their own assumptions and convictions. They also have a process in place to learn from their mistakes by regularly reviewing portfolio decisions to better separate good decisions from lucky ones and bad decisions from unlucky ones.

What is one thing that you wish you would have known in your earlier days of manager selection?
I’ve learned so much over my career that it’s hard to isolate one thing. To name one, my thinking has evolved regarding the idea of process consistency. Like many in our field, I once thought managers should maintain a consistent investment process, and I was suspicious of change. In the past few years, however, I’ve come to appreciate the need for intelligent evolution. To be sure, I still think it is important for an investor to have a philosophical true north – investment beliefs that underpin the process regardless of market conditions. However, I also think it is vital to recognize that markets are dynamic and complex systems; therefore, managers must be flexible and adaptable to sustain long-term alpha. I am now skeptical of managers who say they’ve never adjusted their process. I prefer open-minded investors who recognize that they must finetune their investment process as markets, industries, and economies evolve.

What are you most excited about in 2022?
Harbor accomplished so much in 2021, and I expect us to do even more in 2022. We launched our first ETFs in 2021 and plan to significantly expand our ETF footprint in 2022. We also expect to add to our CIT lineup. Harbor has also established a multi-asset capability, and we plan to expand the offerings managed by that team.

Like many firms, ESG will also be a meaningful strategic initiative for Harbor. We feel that Harbor can play a distinctive role in ESG by not only by providing exceptional ESG-oriented investment products but also by providing clients with tools to drill down to better understand the ESG capabilities and characteristics of investment managers.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a recovering English major, so for me, reading is about as optional as breathing. My tastes run more to literary fiction and history. I’ll guiltily admit that I’m not fond of investing and business books. That said, once in a while, I run across a business-related book that resonates with me, such as Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets, which has applicable takeaways for investing and manager research.

Beyond reading, I enjoy spending time outdoors. I’m an avid golfer, though not a particularly skillful one. It is a very humbling yet addictive game. Thankfully, my wife also shares that addiction. We met on a golf course 15 years ago and still enjoy spending time together on the links.

We also love to hike. State and national parks are our favorite vacation destinations. Our last visit to a national park was pre-Covid in October 2019 when we spent a week exploring Acadia National Park in Maine. Hopefully, we can get back out there in 2022 to work our way through our national park bucket list!

For more information about Harbor or to contact Sonya, please click here.
Thank You to Our Sponsors!
WIP warmly welcomes Nasdaq as our newest Platinum Sponsor!

We are grateful for our valued sponsors who support diversity initiatives promoting the advancement, recruitment, and retention of women in the investment industry and related fields. Click here for a list of all WIP sponsors.
WIP Platinum Sponsors:
For sponsorship opportunities, click here.
Women Investment Professionals
847.254.9136
info@wipchicago.org