New York, NY, February 26, 2018 – Being a professional woman investor continues to be the exception. Women in portfolio management invest as effectively as their male counterparts – there just aren’t as many of them. Only about 10% of asset managers are women and the number hasn’t risen since before the financial crisis.
Seeking solutions to address this discrepancy, DAI Partners PR held a Tearing Down the Pink Wall symposium with the financial news media and senior women investment executives from Guggenheim Investments, MFR Securities, Inc. and Eaton Vance Management.
“DAI Partners developed the Pink Wall series to make our own contribution to advancing women in financial services. The series spotlights senior women, highlighting both their market expertise and their fascinating career paths. There are many networking meetings for women, but, until now, none have been aimed at the financial media who are in a unique position to keep these issues front and center,” commented Angela Dailey, founding partner.
The symposium was the third in a series of symposiums focused on women and finance hosted by DAI. The first looked holistically at women, wealth and the workplace. The second focused on women rising to the C-suite in financial services.
More than two-dozen journalists representing Barron’s, Bloomberg, Institutional Investor, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and other prominent news organizations attended the breakfast symposium at the historic Coffee House club on January 30. Journalists had the opportunity to ask speakers questions about investment opportunities in 2018, as well as their individual paths to successful careers in asset management.
The panelists, who provided thoughtful perspectives on their careers, were Yana Barton, vice president, portfolio manager growth team, Eaton Vance Management; Maria Fiorini Ramirez, chairwoman, MFR Securities, Inc.; and Anne Walsh, chief investment officer, fixed income, Guggenheim Investments.
“I’ve been in this industry for 35 years, but I have been willing to take the occasional risk in my career to take a new assignment or do something different,” said Guggenheim’s Anne Walsh. “There’s probably not anything in the asset management business I haven’t done – whether it’s operations or portfolio management, private placements and fixed income, equities, cash management.”
Eaton Vance’s Yana Barton says the industry suffers from a perception issue. “There’s this notion that you have to be really, really good at math. Yes, a little bit - but you can do so many other things within an asset management firm,” she says.
Barton sees financial services as a “growth industry,” in particular for women.
“It’s an opportunity for women because there’s not enough of us around so companies are looking to hire more diverse workers,” she said. “I think it’s ironic that we preach diversification, yet that’s the one thing we lack.”
Maria Fiorini Ramirez of MFR Securities says that, throughout her career, she “took any negative as an opportunity.”
For example, Fiorini Ramirez left her first job at CIT after she applied for tuition reimbursement and they refused. “They said, ‘Oh no we don’t refund women … only men get refunded,’” Fiorini Ramirez said. Or, for example, the time when she was given a 2% raise when everyone else was getting a 5% raise. “I told the guy in personnel, ‘You can take the money and shove it,’” she said.
Fiorini Ramirez’s other piece of advice is that, “Sometimes you have to go a step backward to go three steps forward, because of what you learn and what it adds to your life [and] your career.”
A fourth Tearing Down the Pink Wall event will be held in New York later this year to advance the dialogue on timely issues related to the financial industry. DAI is currently seeking sponsorships for the event.
About DAI Partners PR
DAI Partners is a privately-owned public relations firm founded in 1989 that works exclusively in the financial services industry. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, the partners at DAI have spent their careers working in financial services marketing and communications and find it an exciting, dynamic space that continues to evolve.
Kate Ennis, firstname.lastname@example.org