When I got my first management position nearly 15 years ago, My global manager said to remember, 'Transparency and honesty are key to managing relationships and gaining trust from people. And it’s harder than you think.' It’s true. It’s incredibly hard sometimes to deliver a message you know someone is not going to like, but in the long run, it really pays off to be as transparent about a situation as you can be.
Our cities, institutions, corporations and people's retirement security depend on effective stewardship of capital. Smart investing in today's increasingly complex global economy requires extraordinary talent, skill and teamwork. Success will depend on diverse groups of people with unique perspectives working together to achieve investment objectives.
Starting early is important. Diversifying is just as important. Here’s a good definition of diversification. If you don’t want to read it, I’ll give you snapshot: Being diversified means that you are have your money in a lot of different types of investments—bonds, stocks, companies in established markets, companies in emerging markets, companies in different sectors, etc. The purpose of being diversified is that when one part of the market goes down—stocks, for instance—others may go up or go down less. The purpose is to protect yourself against catastrophe.
J.P. Morgan runs a recruitment programme called Winning Women, which gives female students the opportunity to discover the different areas of investment banking and learn about internships and the roles open to graduates. I recently participated in a networking event for the Winning Women programme, where I shared my experiences with students, and they also had the chance to meet female leaders from the bank and ask them questions about their careers.
Second, women are more successful investors. Terrance Odean and Brad Barber, who conducted the seminal piece of research on this phenomenon, showed women outperform men annually by about 1 percentage point. A study from Betterment, a computerized portfolio manager or “robo-advisor,” expands upon why. It looked at the accounts of around 60,000 investors, about one-quarter of them women. Female investors signed into their accounts 45% less frequently and changed their asset allocation 20% less frequently than male investors did.
My role involves providing pricing updates, writing market reports, assisting with the execution of transactions and some direct work with clients. It's a busy and demanding environment and I get asked to do plenty of different things during the day. My job involves a lot of multi-tasking, but I have to pay close attention to detail and be able to prioritise urgent requests.
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One senior woman at a European bank argued that the push to promote more women is itself problematic. "The senior men have now got a cover for promoting the younger women who flirt with them," she said. "They know they have to promote X number of women each year, so they look around and they promote the women who kiss up to them most instead of the women who are the most competent. It's the same as the old boys' network, with flirtation instead of familiarity."
MS. URZAIZ: Absolutely, not too far from here I had a meeting with Lowe's, and as you know it's a very large company with hundreds of stores throughout the U.S., and my brother and I finished up the meeting, the buyer loves it, and he's like I want 5,000 a month. Well, I have a problem. If you do the math it takes two weeks to make one, I cannot make 5,000 for you a month. But thanks to the supplier diversity team we convinced them to look to us with a different lens, which is why don't we do this, I can be online, I can do drop ship to all of your customers, and instead of having them in stock at your stores, which requires the 5,000 a month, why am I not just in display at your highest-selling stores of hammocks. And so, we convinced them and they carry us. But I think that the most important takeaway from this is actually how the United States is a leader. This was a policy set up with the U.S. government, supplier diversity, you have to buy 15% from women and minority-owned businesses, and this really is leading change, and helping women like myself with a small business to thrive and generate jobs back home where I'm from, and I think that's so important that the United States remain being this leader because us from other countries are followers, and policies like this really make an impact around the world.
To be successful, business development VP Marissa Meiter says, “You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there, the worst thing someone can do is tell you the timing isn’t right.” Meiter taps into her experience working at a family-owned bank equipment business and appreciates the company’s focus on relationship building. She enjoys hearing the business owner’s stories and educating them on their M&A options.
While parents remain the top source of financial advice for most women, only 20 percent said they felt well prepared by their parents to manage their finances as an adult. Even fewer said they learned about these topics in school. Only 24 percent learned about budgeting and setting financial goals; 14 percent said they learned about investing. Overall, only nine percent of women said their education through high school left them well prepared to manage personal finances as an adult. A slightly better 10 percent said this of their college education9.
MS. VERVEER: As is always the case. We have such little time left, but there are so many exceptional women in this room who have been ambassadors, mentors for other exceptional women, many from other parts of the world who are the mentees in various areas. We touched very briefly on mentorship. You also mentioned sponsorship. But I've always noticed that when one comes into these arrangements of the mentee and the mentor each benefit--
- With some diversity programs some male bankers will wonder if you are a diversity hire or if you are actually good at what you do (will affect your staffings and responsibilities - a proxy for your professional development). That said, I've always encouraged women (and anyone for that matter) to get in any way you can (diversity program or not). I feel like IBD is relatively meritocratic and once you are in (no matter how you got in: diversity program, your parents are well connected, you just happen to be brilliant / hardworking), you have to make your own name off your own hard work
Another reason why women may not be as aggressive as men when it comes to investing is because they are more conservative — they like to hang on to their cash, explains Cary Carbonaro, CFP and Managing Director of United Capital of NY and Author of the "Money Queen's Guide for Women Who Want to Build Wealth and Banish Fear". “When I tell my clients they should have an emergency fund, the men will tell me, ‘But I want my emergency fund in the market,’ and meanwhile the women will have five times the emergency fund they need, sitting in the bank, not doing anything. For some reason, women are afraid of losing money, while men seem to be afraid of losing out by not playing the market.”
I'm a third-year analyst in Investment Grade Finance (IGF) in the UK Financial Institutions team and I'll soon be starting a one-year rotation in our New York office. In London I work in a small team of four people, and we're responsible for helping our clients - organisations in the financial services industry - raise money by accessing debt capital markets.
MS. HAILE: For me, I believe for me, for each of our countries we have to contribute and we have to give back, and I mean nobody will come to us to do our businesses. So, for us we're so happy we're establishing such an amazing bank. We have left a legacy. So, the next generation will aspire more, doing better for the continent, for generations to come. So, it's good to serve as role models.
Many women reserved their ire for the "F" word: family. Male bankers with families are feted as breadwinners, said one. "There's still the assumption - often made by senior bankers with stay at home wives - that a woman's income is the secondary income," she said. In reality, this often isn't the case: "Almost all the senior women I know in finance have househusbands, but they're not going to broadcast that fact."