- Date : 01/01/2022
- Read: 4 mins
Many women hold coveted positions in the world of finance and are considered astute investors. Let’s get to know a few of them.
Financial markets have always been considered a male-dominated vocation. In fact, until a few decades ago, the industry was heavily prejudiced against insights women brought to the capital markets. Today, there are scores of women who hold coveted positions in the world of finance and are considered astute investors. Here is a list of 5 such women:
Sonal Desai - Exec VP and CIO, FT Group
Let’s start off the list with Franklin Templeton’s CIO - Fixed Income, Sonal Desai of Indian origin. Sonal was earlier an academician and economist before she decided to shape policy changes with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Sonal changed tracks to lending her expertise at investment banks and hedge funds from 2000 onwards. She joined Franklin Templeton in 2009 and was named CIO in 2018. Today, she is also the Executive VP of the FT Group, a key member of the company’s top leadership overseeing overall strategy, as well as director of research for Templeton Global Macro, covering in-depth global macroeconomic analysis including thematic subjects, interest rate, currency and sovereign credit market positions.
Muriel Seibert - Founder, Muriel Siebert & Co.
Muriel was the first woman to own a seat on NYSE and one of the first women to head an NYSE member firm. She is often referred to as the ‘first woman of finance’. Muriel started her career as an entry-level researcher with various broking firms and eventually registered her own firm Muriel Siebert & Co. in 1967. Muriel had to face a lot of prejudice from men who refused to sponsor her application to the NYSE seat.
Muriel not only managed to get her place after a lot of persistence, she was also one of the pioneers of the discount broking business way back in 1975. She also held the position of Superintendent of the New York State Banking Department between 1977-82 - the first woman to do so and was instrumental in helping banks stay afloat during rough markets.
She was an advocate for women and minorities in the financial industry and started the ‘Financial Literacy for Women’ program, which continued until her death in 2013.
Abbey Joseph Cohen - Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs
Abbey Cohen became a star of the financial markets when she accurately predicted the 1990’s bull run. However, her credentials run way back. She was an economist with the Federal Reserve Board in the 70s and then transitioned to working with financial institutions.
She joined Goldman Sachs in 1990, became MD by 1996 and made partner by 1998. Abbey was named ‘top strategist’ in ‘98 and ‘99 by the Institutional Investor magazine. She was also named one among the 30 most powerful women in America by the Ladies Home Journal.
Abbey was the president of the Global Markets Institute and senior investment strategist till 2017, and since then, continues to be the Advisory Director at Goldman Sachs.
Luba Al-Olayan - Chairwoman, SABB
Lubna is a private investor and erstwhile CEO of Olayan Financing Company (OFC) based in Saudi Arabia. Olayan started off as the only female employee in her father’s trucking business and expanded the business in various directions. Her investment acumen is spread across public and private equity and real estate.
In 2019, she stepped down as OFC’s CEO and assumed the role of Chairperson of the Saudi Arabia British Bank - making her the first woman in the country’s history to head a foreign business. Lubna has featured in the Forbes list of most powerful women numerous times. Today, she is empowering hundreds of women to reach key business positions.
Mellody Hobson - President and Co-CEO, Ariel Investments
Mellody started her career at Ariel Investments as a summer intern. Over the last 30 years, she has taken the company to new heights. Considered an investment guru and one of the 100 most influential women in the world, Melody wears multiple hats. In addition to spearheading the $17 billion investment firm, she is also the chairperson of Starbucks and DreamWorks Animation SKG, director at JPMorgan Chase and The Estée Lauder Companies.
Coming from an impoverished background, Mellody has leveraged her personal experiences and investing knowledge into an incredible story of financial success.