Five Indian Americans are in Barron’s fourth annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in US Finance for achieving positions of prominence in the financial-services industry and are helping to shape its future.
The list includes Anu Aiyengar of JP Morgan, Rupal J. Bhansali of Ariel Investments, Meena Lakdawala-Flynn of Goldman Sachs Group, Sonal Desai from Franklin Templeton and Savita Subramanian of BofA Securities.
Aiyengar is the global head of Mergers and Acquisitions at JP Morgan — a role she assumed in January after serving as co-head of the division since 2020. She offers clients equal measures of expertise and steadiness when navigating challenging markets.
According to Barron’s, she “has long credited her love of number crunching, legal contracts, and building client relationships for bringing her to the mergers-and-acquisitions sphere”.
Bhansali, 55, chief investment officer and portfolio manager of Ariel Investments’ global equity strategies, sees the current state of the market as a time when investors should reposition their portfolios, because what worked in the past is “unlikely to work in the next decade”.
She believes that managing money is what she was born to do, and is passionate about encouraging women to work in finance.
Desai, 58, became the first woman chief investment officer in Franklin Templeton’s history in 2018. She oversees $137 billion in assets. She joined the firm in 2009 after working for the International Monetary Fund, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and Thames River Capital.
Lakdawala-Flynn, Co-Head, Global Private Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs Group, wears several hats, including co-chairing the global inclusion and diversity committee. She did an internship at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, working on the institutional equity sales desk.
According to Barron’s, her career in finance began soon after a sports injury. A zealous gymnast who at one point wanted to compete in the Olympics, Lakdawala-Flynn had to stay at George Washington University one summer to rehabilitate her knee.
Subramanian is head of US equity and quantitative strategy at Bank of America Securities. She is responsible for recommending US sector allocations for equities and determining forecasts for the S&P 500 and other major US indices, as well as developing and marketing the firm’s quantitative equity strategy to institutional and individual clients.
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