September 23rd, 2014 | 6:00 am

It’s Not You – It’s Them: What To Do When You Feel Undervalued at Work

iStock_000016936230XSmallBy Cathie Ericson

The boss doesn’t appreciate what I do. I am not getting paid enough. I am twice as smart as John, and he is getting better assignments.

Any of these thoughts ever go through your head? Undoubtedly, because according to the American Psychological Association, almost half of employees feel undervalued at work.

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September 22nd, 2014 | 6:00 am

Voice of Experience: Kelly Williams, President of Private Markets, GCM Grosvenor

By Michelle Hendelman

kelly_williamsThe pivotal moment of Kelly Williams’ career came when she was given the opportunity to step outside of her comfort zone and go in a completely new direction. “I started as a project finance lawyer in the private sector, where I was one of few women,” said Williams, who later took a position working in-house with Prudential Financial.

“Then I had the chance to move over to the business side because someone believed in me and recognized that I had the skills and ability to thrive in this new role in a different environment than what I was used to,” Williams continued.

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September 19th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Woman CFO Leads in Compensation Ranking – Signal or Noise?

By Beth Senko

iStock_000015442897XSmallA number of articles recently touted the news that for the first time, the highest paid CFO in the country was a woman.

In its fourth annual survey of CFO total compensation, The Wall Street Journal/S&P Capital IQ study placed, not one, but two women in the top 10. The study measures who got paid the most including salary, bonuses, stock awards, option awards and other compensation. Oracle’s Safra Catz topped the list of highest paid CFOs of both men and women in 2013 with total compensation of $43.6 million. Former Accenture CFO Pamela Craig placed 8th with total compensation of $12.8 million. Craig retired in August 2013.Two other women made it to the top 20. Kinder Morgan’s Kimberly Allen Dang earned $10.4 million in 2013 while Morgan Stanley’s Ruth Porat took home $10.1 million.

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September 18th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Movers and Shakers: Esther Yang, Vice President and Senior Trader-Derivatives at Voya Investment Management, formerly ING U.S. Investment Management

By Beth Senko

EY smallIn a recent round-table of derivative portfolio managers of the largest insurance companies, Esther Yang found herself being the only female among this male dominated profession. How did she get to where she is now?

Esther Yang did not have a conventional route to success in financial services. In fact, she didn’t begin college or her career with intentions of entering the field at all. However, Yang used her instincts and willingness to try new things to guide her into the position she currently holds.

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September 17th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Women as Leaders: What Is Different about Leading Other Women?

Guest Contribution by Anne Litwin, PhD

Two female friends talking.“I worked for a woman who was more task focused, which made it real uncomfortable for me. When a guy does that [is task focused], it doesn’t bother me as much.” (Financial Services Manager)

I heard this kind of statement often from the women in my research on women’s relationships in the workplace. This research, involving women from many professions and countries, shows that many women have different expectations of how female leaders should behave. Women also often report preferring to work for men, which could be a significant problem for our careers if almost half of the workforce does not want to be led by us.

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September 16th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Ethics at Work: Are Women Generally More Ethical than Men in the Workplace?

iStock_000006954519XSmallBy Louise Ogunseitan

With ethics and codes of conduct being so pivotal to the internal success of companies, industries and consumer based trust – a heavy onus is on organisations to foster a culture that nurtures and promotes adherence to them irrespective of gender. However, there has been many articles written about one gender being more ethical than the other; women over men.

A recent conversation between Shakar Vendatam and David Greene on NPR suggests that men tend to ‘have more lenient ethical standards than women’ and The Guardian goes further to explore the constructs that encourage men to bend the rules more frequently.

We have to wonder; do we run the risk of giving free license for our male counterparts to blame unethical behaviors on their gender? Likewise do we give women leverage to operate from a moral high ground as the ethical ‘light-bearers’ of society which inadvertently extends to the workplace?

The Glass Hammer explored this topic in 2013 when we looked at research out of University of California, Berkeley by Jessica A. Kennedy and Laura J. Kray which looks at how when women perceive a departure from a code of conduct, they are less likely to want to be part of it.

Why this matters for you as a leader?
In today’s current economic climate where consumer trust is at a low, establishing a code of conduct or ethical standards within an organisation couldn’t be more important for three main reasons.

• It provides a unified and universal standard on what is considered right and wrong behaviours for an organisation.
• It builds trust among colleagues within organisation.
• It promotes trust from the consumer base.

The Gender Issue
So workplace ethics are a big deal. Yet research is suggesting that men do not regard them as highly as women. Not only has research found that women are less willing to compromise ethical standards for career success, but that they are also more likely to believe that corporate ethical codes would make a positive difference. Last year, a research team at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School released a study where men and women were provided a series of fictitious job descriptions which they had to evaluate. Each job description included an ethics component and the outcome showed that women are less willing to sacrifice ethical values for money and social status and that women associate business with immorality more strongly. Could this be one of the reasons why globally, women still make up only approximately 9% of corporate board memberships?

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September 15th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Voice of Experience: Carin Pai, Executive Vice President, Fiduciary Trust

:ÌpBy Michelle Hendelman

When Carin Pai joined Fiduciary Trust 18 years ago in an associate- level position within the Investment department, she knew that she was an analytical person who had a strong creative side as well. These skills, along with a strong work ethic and circle of mentors have set a strong foundation for Pai’s rewarding career.

“I studied architecture at Brooklyn Technical High School and loved the combination of the artistic and technical elements,” explained Pai, who said she enjoys this same balance in her current role as executive vice president and director of equity management.

A Committed Leader
Throughout her career Ms. Pai has remained committed to broadening her investment management and leadership skills: in 2006 she became a Chartered Financial Analyst and then in 2011 she attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education in Investment Management program.

Leading and managing her team of portfolio managers is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job, Pai said. She is especially proud of the fact that in spite of the market turmoil in recent years, she successfully guided her team and their clients through and the group is now reaching new highs.

Although she acknowledged that there can be challenges of leading a multi-generational team, Pai enjoys discovering new ways to be an effective leader and utilize the individual strengths and talents of everyone on her team. “It is a very dynamic environment where it is important to strike a balance between motivating senior professionals and mentoring the rising stars,” she explained.

According to Pai, the team-centric environment promoted by the leaders at her firm creates a wonderful company culture where everyone knows they are appreciated. “As many companies have been forced to make job cuts throughout the market downturn, Fiduciary Trust has emerged with new technologies, resources and talent to provide our clients with the best investment solutions,” she explained.

One of the newest investment avenues Pai and her team are following is ESG investing, which stands for Environmental, Social and Government investing. “ESG awareness can go a long way with investors who are committed to these issues,” said Pai. Right now, Pai is conducting extensive research in this area to gauge client interest. “If ESG is ranking high among our clients, then we will respond by dedicating more resources to this new alternative investment channel,” she added.

Another area of interest, Pai indicated, is to expand opportunities in the global high net worth markets, such as Asia and Latin America. “Asia, for example, represents one of the highest growth segments currently and we are strategizing on how to expand our presence in Asia,” Pai explained. She will be attending the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (“STEP”) Asia Conference in Hong Kong this fall in order to stay on top of Asia’s rapidly-evolving wealth management landscape.

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September 12th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Emerging Manager Mandates Grow but Getting Funded Remains a Challenge

iStock_000002351861XSmallBy Beth Senko

Demand for emerging managers has grown for both altruistic and pure profit-making goals. From a social good standpoint, publicly-held pensions and investment funds reach out to emerging fund managers and brokerages as a way of selecting managers that represent the diversity of their beneficiaries. At the same time, investors are looking to emerging managers as a way of increasing their returns. The challenge seems to be getting the funds into the hands of the emerging managers.

An increasing number of states, municipalities and other public pensions, have emerging manager mandates. Each week, Crain’s Pensions & Investments, lists new manager searches from an array of funds. In just the past few months, funds that have added or are searching for emerging managers include: New York City Pension Fund, St. Louis Employees, Illinois Investment Board and CALPERS. According to a study by KPMG (formerly Rothstein Kass), Women In Alternative Investments: A Marathon Not a Sprint, the number of funds with emerging manager mandates continues to grow; however, implementing these mandates appears to be more of a challenge.

The study notes that most funding for women-owned-and-managed funds comes from high-net-worth individuals and family offices despite growth in the number of mandates at pensions and endowments. The study’s authors comment, “while perhaps not as speedy as some would like, diversity mandates, as well as demonstrated outperformance by women managers, are driving investors to increase allocations to women-run funds. In fact, nearly 25 percent of the investors polled for this report indicated they would increase their allocations to women-owned or-managed funds in the coming year by some margin.”

Is funding a supply problem?
In its 2013 study, Women in Alternative Investments: Building Momentum in 2013 and Beyond, the study’s authors noted that of the 366 women polled, only 5% had received emerging manager funding despite the number of mandates. That number improved somewhat in 2014’s study to 8.5%, but the study did not look at the size of that funding – suggesting that funding levels may still be quite low, even at firms receiving emerging manager funding.

At the same time, the vast majority of investors surveyed, (93%) have no mandate to invest in women-owned or –managed funds. The primary reason given was “lack of supply.”

Kelly Easterling, formerly a principal at Rothstein Kass (now part of KPMG) comments in the report, “Investors and women-owned and -managed funds are faced with an interesting dilemma of which comes first, the chicken or the egg. One of the reasons that investors are not able to invest in diversity funds is the lack of diversity funds available for investment. Without a large supply of funds, it’s difficult to achieve appropriate portfolio diversification or, for that matter, put enough money to work to move the performance dial. On the other hand, until there is more money flowing to women-owned and -managed funds, it’s unlikely that there will be a stampede of new fund launches. Unfortunately, that paradox slows the process down for both sides of the equation.”

Or a structural issue?
In our view, however, a “lack of supply” is too simplistic an answer to the gap between emerging manager mandates and funding. Differences in scale seem to be one aspect of this disconnect.

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September 11th, 2014 | 6:00 am

Movers and Shakers – Peg DiOrio, Vice President and Quantitative Analyst for the Portfolio Engineering Group at Voya Investment Management, formerly ING U.S. Investment Management

DiOrio_Peg_337x500By Beth Senko

When Voya’s Peg DiOrio describes the keys to her success overseeing quant for an entire group of investment managers, she uses a sailing analogy. “When you are part of a sailing crew, you have a job and you rely on others to do theirs. To be successful in business, you have to both respect and rely on your colleagues.”

Career Beginnings
Peg DiOrio taught high school math when she graduated college. As the newest teacher in school, she was assigned to some of the most challenging students. “One of my first classes was filled with high school seniors who were taking ninth grade math for the third and fourth time. They weren’t the most enthusiastic students, but it allowed me to try a lot of different ways to reach them. It taught me the importance of understanding my audience.”

In order to advance in the teaching profession, Peg had to get a masters degree. She enrolled in a then-new joint program between New York University’s Stern School of Business and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. DiOrio recalls, “Courant had long relied on training Department of Defense types in its masters programs.” When that source began to dry up, Courant looked for new opportunities for mathematical sciences and found it in the finance world. “I think the program is now called financial engineering,” DiOrio commented, but back then financial quant work was just getting recognized as a discipline.

There wasn’t a huge amount of academic work devoted to the finance and mathematics at the time, so she and her cohorts studied mathematical models from a range of other disciplines – physical sciences, social sciences, etc. “We studied models that described fish populations, neural networks and flu outbreaks.” She believes that applying math to a range of situations has been really useful in creating financial models that work in the real world.

“Finance is Just Math”
Peg’s study group at Courant included a student who was working at Sanford C. Bernstein. Her cohort’s commitment to developing models that accurately described the real world and his willingness to push for the best possible solution were inspiring. One day he told her, “You are smart. You should come work at Bernstein.”

Peg was intrigued, but a bit concerned that she lacked an understanding of finance. Her studies were in pure math and applied math. To that point her cohort said, “Finance is just math. You’ll figure it out.”

Learning Finance through Experience and Collaboration
Peg was assigned to work with a group of financial advisors who managed money for Bernstein’s high net worth clients. Part of her role was to run statistical reports for clients. “Some of our clients were unusual trusts – such as nuclear decommissioning trusts. It was a challenge because the goal was to have enough money to decommission the plant but not extra because additional funds would have to be returned to utility customers. It was also interesting because it was a time when decommissioning trusts were finally allowed to be invested in stocks. “We spent a lot of time looking at the right level of volatility.”

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September 10th, 2014 | 6:00 am

The Future is Now: Seven Recommendations for Leadership Success

rsz_2goldnerGuest Contribution by Dr. Jane Goldner

In 2002, a colleague, Chris Gilliam, and I wrote a white paper about what big and small companies can learn from each other. During the research phase, we surfaced the book, Rethinking the Future by Rowan Gibson, published in 1998. Gibson predicted that there would be a world where:

• Competition will be fierce and markets will be merciless
• Small companies will outsmart giant corporations on a global scale
• Customers will have infinite access to products, services & information.

In our white paper, based on research and interviews of C-Suite and senior-level leaders, we made the following recommendations for business success in the world that Gibson predicted and has become reality. They are still good advice for leaders today.

1. CEOs must have a purpose/mission and a vision for her company; why does it exist and where is it going? Along with values, these two “must-haves” are the Core that provides unity across silos that gets everyone focused on corporate goals. Here is why you need a well-defined company Core:

• It’s the foundation for all your decision-making, your true north against which everything is assessed.
• It provides a clear, common focus and direction for everyone in your company as long as it is clearly communicated.

2. The CEO needs to know her own strengths and weaknesses in order to surround herself with people on the leadership team who bring different competencies to the table. Too often, leaders hire in their own image which magnifies both the hiring leader’s strengths as well as the weaknesses, which leads to less effective decisions. Different is good to avoid group think by getting varying points of view. Considering the talent pool today and wanting to win the talent war, you will need to hire with diversity in mind.

As you hire leaders, they should have the competencies that are dictated by the company Core. What skills, abilities, and characteristics does a leader need to work the mission, help the company move toward its vision, and act on the values?

3. Together, the leadership team must create a strategic framework, a plan for the future that provides a ‘picture frame’ for others in the company who can paint the picture of how the company will get there. The picture frame provides the limiting outer edges but also the freedom and creativity in the inner space for employees to do their best work. The Strategic Framework should be developed as a reflection of the company Core and remain a fluid document that is reviewed on an ongoing basis. What strategies, goals and actions do you need to take so that you are working the mission, moving toward the vision and acting on the values? It ought to be cascaded throughout the company so that:

• Everyone knows how they contribute and
• Can ask and answer the strategic thinking question: “How is what I am doing in my job today going to affect the company tomorrow?”

4. Based on the plan, core competencies need to be defined. What skills and abilities does the company need to get it successfully into the future? Global Leadership, cross-culture appreciation, technology savvy, and the ability to share or step-up to leadership are but a few examples. Gary Hamel, the most influential business consultant according to the Wall Street Journal & Fortune, said that

• In the future, “…every employee will have a Leadership score.”
• “…your company will be challenged to change in a way for which there is no precedent.”

In this fast-paced, lean organization environment, everyone needs to be a leader, even if it is a leader in their own job.

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