“It’s a bit like learning to cook: I didn’t need to do it when I was growing up but I suddenly realised you didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to do investing,” he says. “I can understand it and understand how much risk to take. I moved from shares to shares and property to a portfolio that includes hedge funds, property funds and a small amount in commodities,” he says.
MS. URZAIZ: I'll say four words: More women in power. I think we need more women, whether it's holding public office, whether it's in business, whether it's, the person I'm trying to make a decision at Lowe's to whether to buy my hammocks or not. Just those decisions where it's just decision-making positions we need more women because women relate better to other women. No offense to the men here, but it's easier to make that connection, to know that they have our agenda at first when they make those decisions for policy, for so many things. Just more women in power I think is what will get us to the next level. So many policies have been put in place, but now we need women making those decisions and driving those decisions.
Each guest speaker has no fewer than ten years’ experience in the industry, working at at least one well-known organisation. Citi’s Louise, however, has a banking career that pre-dates the euro – spanning two decades. That’s because Louise, who was one of ten students to join Lehman Brothers' graduate scheme in 1995, knew from an early age that she wanted to be a banker.
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.
Women entrepreneurs continue to face significant disadvantages in business despite studies showing that their companies actually outperform all-male companies by 63%. Incredibly, female business owners receive only 3% of venture capital investments, significantly limiting the growth of their companies. Female founders of color receive a mere fraction of that amount. We at FUND Conference are determined to help change this.
My department is pretty much evenly split, so imbalance between men and women wasn't something I took into account when deciding whether or not to join the bank. Other departments may be slightly weighted one way or the other, but that shouldn't discourage anyone from pursuing a career in investment banking. If anything, it should give women more incentive to join the industry, make it more feminine and challenge the stereotype that investment banking is male-dominated. In my experience at J.P. Morgan, men and women are treated equally. I've never felt that I'm at a disadvantage because I'm a woman.
Of course, this means that women face greater expenses than men. At one end of the spectrum, they will need to meet their basic necessities for more years; this includes rent, utilities food and all the other little expenses that occur each month. At the other end of the spectrum are the big ticket items like healthcare; since the average woman will be elderly for longer than the average man, women are likely to face higher healthcare costs. These costs can include items such as insurance, medicine, hospitalization, surgery and long-term care.
Positive intent can be a powerful motivating force for change and growth in our lives, but the truth is that it’s often not enough—this is the reason why the majority of us fail to completely commit and follow through on the resolutions we make each year. The truth is, most resolutions flounder in the starting gate without any real forward progress ever being made, and many others are met with a feeble, half-hearted effort that eventually goes nowhere. We need more than a positive attitude and hope—we need a plan.
4. Collaborate on a plan. “The number one piece of advice I give to couples is to make all financial decisions together,” concludes Bast. “Building a financial plan with a partner and/or financial advisor gives you an opportunity to discuss your respective financial goals and helps you identify potential challenges that need to be addressed. It also enables you to sort through any differences and facilitates the creation of a solid roadmap for getting where you want to go. Best of all, joint accountability can be a powerful way to achieve financial success.”
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Looking beyond investment banking, it is also worth pointing out that two of the most influential positions in the financial world are currently held by women, namely Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, and Janet Yellen, who in 2014 succeeded Ben Bernanke at the helm of the US Federal Reserve. These examples only go to prove that when women set their minds to a career in finance, absolutely no heights are unattainable.
Right before review time, update the goals you’ve met and how you’ve grown. Practice talking about them at home, if you might get flustered. (I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, and I still get flustered.) Then go ask for that raise or promotion, even if you don’t think you’re 100% ready. According to one study, women ask for a promotion when they’re 100% ready, and men when they are just 60% ready. Hmm.
Thankfully, things have changed — but not everyone has gotten the message. Today you can invest online, from the comfort of your home, and if you do meet with an advisor, you’re going to see that everyone is trying to make things more accessible, Katchen says. “People know that women control more money than men, and are often the financial decision makers in their household.”
Since the feminine approach to investing has been branded as a losing strategy, let's look at how the men have fared. Men have dominated the financial services world since its inception. They run the big companies, they dominate Wall Street and they control the money, but the empirical evidence suggests that their investment results consistently trail those generated by women. Also, in studies by John Coates (a former Wall Street trader), there is evidence to suggest that a connection between testosterone and risk taking leads to irrational exuberance. Coates notes that "Economists assumed that all behavior was conscious and rational … They were ignoring that fact that signals from the body, both chemical and electrical, affect how we take financial risks.
Here’s the bottom line—many folks who are unhappy with their work lives or who are just eager for a fresh start or new challenge take the new year as an opportunity to make a change, and it’s a great time to do so! Because so many people are focused on career changes at the beginning of a new year, many companies and industries ramp up their hiring during this time—and those among us who are serious and dedicated can take full advantage of this reality. If this sounds like you, perhaps now is a great time to move forward—but do so wisely and plan accordingly. Good luck and Happy New Year!
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."

In any investment strategy led by a single issue there is the risk of overexposure to certain industries or companies. Lisa Willems of AlphaMundi, an impact-fund manager, says she tells clients who ask for a “gender fund”—as an endowment did recently—that gender “is a lens, not a bucket”. In other words, it should not be regarded as an asset class in itself.


No. In your early 20s, you’re just happy to have a job. I loved the markets and the trading floor atmosphere. As you get more senior, the pay disparity, the accounts being unequally distributed becomes more apparent. It bothered me. The little frat boy jokes stuff was a constant drumbeat. It didn’t get to me that much. As I got into my 30s, I was bothered more by seeing young women come who were talented and leave because of the environment.


MS. SMITH: No, thank you. And thank you to this panel, thank you to all of you. Thank you to all of our panelists and our amazing speakers. I'm inspired. I'm inspired by everyone, and I wrote down a few things. I mean hammocks, the 5,000 Lowe's hammocks, or the bank in Ethiopia, the small loan is 1.8 million. I mean I think we've got some things we can learn here. I mean the dinner kit to the, sold already and now online catering. I mean the stories are amazing. So, Alyse, thank you for the partnership for the last five years, and thank you to all of our mentees and mentors for being here. we're so excited to be able to do the program in the United States, in our corporate headquarters, which is fantastic. And as Margaret reminded me I'm the only thing standing between all of you and the reception. So, my last comment though is please come to the reception because our mentees will have wears from their businesses, and they'll be able to talk to you about all of the things that they're doing. So--

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