- What drew you to the investment industry?
The sheer creativity of investment professionals. Anyone who thinks left-brained folks are not creative has not seen an investment strategist, a product specialist, and an investment attorney make magic with synthetic products. Also, a lot of free lunches (what can I say, I joined this industry when I was a broke student).
- How did you typically achieve a promotion you were working towards?
The cliff notes are a lot of hard work on my part, support from at least one strong advocate, and a good amount of “perfect timing”. The reality is that you don’t get a promotion because you work hard for it. Hard work and dedication is table stakes. You need the support of a strong advocate that can help you maneuver the nuances of internal politics (particularly if, like me, you hate internal politics and steer clear of the water cooler!), so that ultimately things fall in place due to what everyone calls “perfect timing”, which is just waiting for the moment when you are ready, the business is ready and your advocate is ready to make the ask. But don’t forget the ask! You can’t complain about being passed over for a promotion that you never told anyone you wanted.
- Can you speak to a memorable challenge and how you overcame it?
Being in financial services, particularly investment management, is not for the faint of heart. Change is constant, and businesses go up and down all the time. The hardest challenge I’ve had career-wise was leading my team through a corporate reorganization, not knowing if and how our team would survive at the end. Since I couldn’t control the ending, I focused on doing everything in my power to ensure my teammates had the skills and internal visibility needed to land safely on the other side (for those who wanted that outcome). My team did land safely, but I still chose to leave that organization at the end and took almost a year off to travel throughout the U.S. with my newborn son, husband, and dog. Which takes me to my answer on how to overcome challenges – always remember that you are the driver, and not the passenger, in your career so, no matter what is happening, it’s in your power to choose where to go and what to do.
- How has LGIMA supported women and/or why do you love working at LGIMA?
At the core of Legal & General Group (the LGIMA parent company) is a commitment to inclusive capitalism – the idea that we can make capitalism work for all of us. I can see that translated at LGIMA in many ways. From a market facing perspective, you can see inclusive capitalism in how we help clients with pension stabilization (helping pension plans keep their promises to all participants), lifetime income generation for retirees, and investment sustainability/stewardship. But it may be even more evident from an internal facing perspective, where our leadership strives to create an inclusive environment for our professionals. From our general employee resource group (the Culture Working Group), to our women’s affinity group (The Women’s Collective), which focuses on engaging and encouraging the advancement of our women professionals, to our ongoing efforts to seek out input from employees at all levels, to our active recruiting of diverse professionals (including that now 3 out of the 7 executive committee members are women), in how we invest to how we run our business, LGIMA lives its commitment to inclusive capitalism. That’s what attracted me to LGIMA and why I love working here. (Did I mention that my commute is also a 4 minute walk? Because
that is probably what I love the most about working here…)
- Advice to women in the industry?
An old boss once gave me one of those demotivational posters that said “Get to work; you aren’t getting paid to believe in the power of your dreams.” I’ve carried it with me to every job as a reminder that some people underestimate the power of having goals and a vision. I kill it at my job because I know it is helping me build the life that I dream for myself and my family. So my advice is always this – “Get to work; you are getting paid to power your dreams.”
- What's your biggest professional regret?
Not getting professional makeup and hair done for every professional headshot taken. The internet remembers your first headshot from your first job. Forever.