What is your role and how do you aid the municipal investing team?
I am the head of the municipal client portfolio managers group at Nuveen. My team acts as a liaison between portfolio management and sales/clients. We are municipal market experts and we help people understand the intricacies of the municipal bond market and how Nuveen invests in municipal investment strategies.
What can you tell us about women in muni investing and how is Nuveen at the forefront of this?
Unfortunately, like many other parts of the financial industry, there aren’t very many women in municipal investing. At Nuveen there are smart women in key roles including portfolio management, research, and trading. A focus on having a diverse and inclusive workplace benefits Nuveen’s investment process and ultimately helps us deliver good returns to our clients. Nuveen’s parent, TIAA, encourages diversity of thought and idea exchange through various programs including a number of business resource groups which aim to promote professional development and networking.
What is the best aspect of your daily work?
I love engaging with clients. Financial advisors or our investors, it energizes me when I can help people understand the municipal market so that they can make the best investment decisions for themselves.
What is the most misunderstood aspect of muni investing?
The whole municipal market is misunderstood by many investors. It has been an afterthought for a lot of investors because there typically are few defaults and lesser volatility than other fixed income sectors. Over the last 10 years or so, the muni market has become a much more exciting place as we’ve endured some of the greatest bouts of volatility the market has ever experience. Credit enhancements like AAA rated insurance no longer exists and investors have to be more careful in the way they approach investing in municipals. Credit analysis, trading, optimizing yield curve positioning – all of these aspects of municipal investing have become more complicated over the last decade.
What advice do you have for women newly entering investments?
I think it’s a very exciting time for women entering the investment business. Because we have some work to do in building a diverse workforce in the financial industry, there can be a lot of opportunities for women in this business. Figure out your skill set and use those skills to find work that you enjoy. Learn new skills, challenge yourself and feel uncomfortable. Don’t hold back, speak up in meetings, we need to hear those voices. Let people/mentors/peers know what your goals/aspirations are. Work-life balance is a long term average, so don’t get discouraged if the short term isn’t as balanced as you’d like it to be.
To learn more about municipal bond investing at Nuveen, visit here.