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6 Indian Americans, 1 Pakistani American in Barron’s Annual List of ‘100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance’

6 Indian Americans, 1 Pakistani American in Barron’s Annual List of ‘100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance’

  • Those chosen are shaping “the financial industry’s future and putting the U.S. economy on a stronger footing—and often bringing more women up through the ranks as part of the process.”

Six Indian Americans and one Pakistani American are among Barron’s ‘100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance,’ an annual list of “successful, barrier-breaking women.” They include Anu Aiyengar, co-head, Global Mergers & Acquisitions at J.P. Morgan; Rupal J. Bhansali, chief investment officer and portfolio manager of international and global equity strategies for Ariel Investments; Maya Chorengel, co-managing partner at TPG Rise Fund; Gunjan Kedia, vice-chair, Wealth Management & Investment Services, U.S. Bancorp; Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. Equity Strategy & Quantitative Strategy, BofA Securities; and Saira Malik Chief Investment Officer at Nuveen.

The magazine says those selected include “just some of the many women in agenda-setting positions in banking and brokerage, money management, financial research, cryptocurrencies, policy-making, and corporate leadership. These women, and their colleagues, are shaping the financial industry’s future and putting the U.S. economy on a stronger footing—and often bringing more women up through the ranks as part of the process.”

Anu Aiyengar has been interested in mergers and acquisitions from early in her career. She is the only person of color and sole woman to carry this position on Wall Street. Since 1999, she has advised both domestic and international clients on over $500 billion worth of transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures/separations, leveraged buyouts, proxy contests, unsolicited transactions and special committee assignments. She also serves on J.P. Morgan’s fairness and valuation committee. As the co-chair of the Investment Bank’s women network Aiyengar is involved with several initiatives across J.P. Morgan and Wall Street to recruit, mentor and develop women. She is also co-chair of the Smith Business Advisory Network. Aiyengar lives in New York City with her husband. She has a BA in economics from Smith College and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Rupal J. Bhansali broke through the glass ceiling and now uses her position as a senior leader to help other women succeed in finance.“My mantra is: I want women to earn money, learn money, manage money, and multiply money,” she told Barron’s. She manages more than $7 billion, including Ariel’s International Fund and Global Fund. This is her third appearance on Barron’s 100 list. After joining the board of nonprofit 100 Women in Finance, she launched the webinar series “Candid Conversations with CIOs,” to give women an insider’s view of what it takes to become a chief investment officer and to show the impact that investors can have when managing billions of dollars in funds. “It’s said that women can’t be what they can’t see, so this is my effort of giving female CIOs more visibility and trying to showcase to our industry at large that this is what you can be,” she told the magazine. She earned a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting and finance, as well as a Master of Commerce in international finance and banking from the University of Mumbai. She later earned an MBA in finance from the University of Rochester, where she was a Rotary Foundation Scholar.

San Francisco-based Maya Chorengel has been with TPG since 2017. She has over two decades of private equity, venture capital and impact investing experience globally. A longtime impact, private equity and venture capital investor, she also leads financial services and fintech investing for Rise globally and is a key architect of the fund’s impact methodology and assessment process. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative and CASE i3 at Duke University. Before joining TPG, Chorengel was a co-founder of Elevar Equity, a leading impact venture capital firm. Earlier she was managing director of the Dignity Fund, a private investment fund focused on local currency debt financing for high-growth microfinance institutions globally. She began her investing career at Warburg Pincus in New York, Hong Kong and Menlo Park. She earned an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

As the executive vice president and chief investment officer for Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, Sonal Desai is responsible for overseeing Franklin’s Municipal, Corporate Credit, Floating Rate, Multisector, Global (including Emerging Markets), and Money Market Fixed Income teams. She is also a portfolio manager for a number of strategies. A member of Franklin Resources’ executive committee, a small group of the company’s top leaders responsible for shaping the firm’s overall strategy, she also serves on the firm’s Management and Investment Committees. Before her current role, she served as a portfolio manager with Dr. Michael Hasenstab for the flagship Templeton Global Bond and Templeton Global Total Return strategies, as well as director of research for Templeton Global Macro. She started her career as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh and then worked for over six years at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. Following this, she joined the private financial sector and worked for about five years as director and senior economist for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London. She joined Franklin Templeton in 2009. She holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Delhi University and a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University. 

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Gunjan Kedia has served as vice-chair, Wealth Management and Investment Services since joining U.S. Bancorp in December 2016. Before that, she served as executive vice president of State Street Corporation where she led the core investment servicing business in North and South America and served as a member of its management committee. Previously, she was an executive vice president of global product management at Bank of New York Mellon. In her more than 20 years in financial services, she has held leadership positions at several global financial institutions. She is married to Sridhar Tayur, the Ford Distinguished Research Chair and Professor of Operations Management at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University. The couple has two sons. Kedia and her husband both serve on several charitable boards and spend personal time volunteering.

As head of U.S. Equity Strategy & U.S. Quantitative Strategy and a managing director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Savita Subramanian is responsible for determining forecasts for the S&P 500, recommending U.S. sector allocations and themes, and developing and marketing the firm’s US equity strategy product to institutional and individual clients. She is also a member of the firm’s Research & Recommendations Committee and a member of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Diversity & Inclusion Council. She has received high ranks in industry surveys including the Institutional Investor All America Research Team (ranked for the past 6 years) Greenwich Research survey, and Bloomberg Markets World’s Top Analysts. She frequently appears in television and print journalism and is a member/board member of Q Group, Chicago Quantitative Alliance, the Society of Quantitative Analysts and Women on Wall Street. Subramanian joined Merrill Lynch in 2001. Before was an analyst at Scudder Kemper Investments in New York and San Francisco. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Mathematics and Philosophy with Honors from U.C Berkeley, and an MBA degree from Columbia University. 

Pakistani American Saira Malik was recently named chief information officer of asset management firm Nuveen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of financial planning firm TIAA. She also leads the Global Investment Committee (GIC). As chair of the Equities Investment Council (EIC), she authors a quarterly market commentary. Additionally, she is the lead portfolio manager for the $120 plus billion CREF Stock strategy and a listed portfolio manager for over $30 billion CREF Growth and over $20 billion CREF Global Equities strategies. She also serves as the sole manager of a $5 billion global equity portfolio.” Before being named CIO, she was head of global equities portfolio management, and before that, head of global equities research. Previously, she was with JP Morgan Asset Management, where her roles included vice president/small-cap growth portfolio manager and equity research analyst. She graduated with a BS in Economics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and an MS in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

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