2021 Rising Star Honorees

Meet the 2021-2022 Rising Stars

Performance Specialist
HSBC Global Asset Management

Sabaha Ahmed

"Sabaha has been a very committed employee and has taken the initiative to further her own development. She has taken and passed the CFA program while working with us. She has also worked with others to lead an initiative to start a mentoring program for our employees."

Vice President
Payden & Rygel

Madyson Cassidy

"Madyson is a Vice President and strategist of the global unconstrained fixed income team with a focus on absolute return solutions at Payden & Rygel. She is responsible for idea generation, strategy implementation, risk management, performance attribution, and helps develop models and processes used for efficient and robust portfolio risk assessment. Madyson was nominated as a Rising Star for her positive impact on organizational culture and outstanding management style."

Senior Associate
State Street Bank & Trust Company

Yandy Xiuyan Chen

"Yandy has built a strong relationship with many of our TA clients, shown a proven ability to work globally across the organization, and is always willing to help her colleagues. She has proven to be an up-and-coming star in our organization."

VP, Client Initiatives Manager
BMO Global Asset Management

Lauren Conner

"Lauren’s engagement to accelerate BMO’s mission to boldly grow the good in business and in life, coupled with her participation in our zero barriers to inclusion efforts, are commendable. Her passion for team and her human-centered approach make her an ideal candidate for the Rising Star Program."

Professional Services Ops. Director

Shanelle Dawkins

"Shanelle is super hard working, loved by clients and colleagues for her honesty and integrity, and is as focused on people as she is process and the success of a project...Shanelle is self-motivated and looked to by her peers as a peer-leader."

Senior Vice President
Penserra Securities 

Anand Desai

"Anand is a dedicated member of the Penserra Securities team and is active in the training and development of the junior staff. He is also committed to his work with the Penserra Foundation, D&I Committee and as a member of The Street Smarts Board of Directors. The Street Smarts is a nonprofit that introduces finance to youth from historically underserved communities."

Campaign Manager
Broadridge Financial Solutions

Courtney Dove

"Courtney is an active member of our Women’s Leadership Forum. She is also a mentor for all new associates that join the Creative Design Team and has played a critical role of bridging the gap when acquiring new companies/organizations though our M&A activity. Courtney’s drive and temperament, coupled with her ability and willingness to learn and excel, has continued to contribute to her ascent in the organization."

Fund Manager

Autumn Graham

"Autumn was promoted to Portfolio Manager in 2020...She is highly rated, and exemplifies the firm's values of teamwork, innovation, excellence, passion and integrity."

Human Resources Coordinator 
CFA Institute

Carla Hallman

"Carla is an employee who is passionate about weaving inclusion and diversity through the fabric of CFA Institute."

"As President of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) BRG at CFA Institute, Carla has been able to educate and inform colleagues on the significance of I&D through 'grassroots' efforts."

According to Carla, “without inclusive environments, there will be fewer places for me and others from underrepresented groups to develop and expand our professional careers. I am committed to ensuring in whatever company I am in [that] inclusion and diversity are more than a check-in-the-box exercise, but a lens to transform thinking.”

, Sr. Client Portfolio Manager
American Century Investments 

Joyce Huang

"Joyce is a strong DEI leader at American Century Investments. She is an officer in Mosaic, a business resource group for people of color. She also is the leader of the Pan-Asian Chapter of Mosaic. Recently she has led candid, vulnerable conversations internally regarding Asian hate crime...Joyce is a rising star who knows how to connect with her colleagues through vulnerability and influence."

Retirement Plans Services Manager
Capital Group

Abdi Hussein

"Abdi has over 10 years in the investment management industry, servicing retirement plans. Further, he was [recently] promoted to manager where he has quickly demonstrated his ability to successfully lead and influence. He is a valuable voice for his associates and the business, supporting our DEI initiatives and solving key business challenges early in his leadership career. Abdi models the importance of continuous learning and seeking business insights. He is a strong advocate for associates and their diversity of thought."

Sr. Investment Risk Analyst
Amundi US Asset Management 

Peng Jia

"Peng is a very bright risk analyst with great potential, having been in the industry only 6 years. She possesses stellar quantitative skills, and has been influential in developing many new systems for her department and training her colleagues on utilizing these. As Peng stated in her essay, "One day, I dream to be a leader who could influence other young women. Then I will tell my kids, 'See? It’s hard, but I did it.'"

Investment Consultant

Charles Kariuki

"Charles joined Aon in 2017 as an Investment Analyst...he is also a member of Aon's DC Multi-Asset Solutions Manager Research team and has been very involved with the Black Professional Network in Atlanta. Charles has an undergraduate degree in Finance from East Carolina University and has completed all three levels of the CFA program."

Director, Credit Analyst
SLC Management

Linda Kong Ting

"Linda is a volunteer mentor for students through SLC Management's partner, Bottom Line, a not-for-profit organization supporting low-income and first-generation-to-college students. In addition, Linda represented SLC Management in an enterprise-wide millennial leadership panel, and continues to play a pioneering role in providing thought leadership on how a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion lens should be incorporated into our analysis of investment opportunities. Linda has a bright future at SLC Management."

Product Management Analyst
Hartford Funds

Cindy Luan

"Cindy is a top performing employee who we believe will continue to grow her impact at Hartford Funds. She is has been a member of our Employee Ambassador Group for a number of years and is currently co-leading the group. The Employee Ambassador Group has been a staple in promoting the inclusive culture we strive for at Hartford Funds."

Investment Data Analyst
Janus Henderson Investors

Nirupaa Manoharan

"Nirupaa joined Janus Henderson Investors about 4 years ago as part of a pivot from the medical field. Since joining the firm she has proven herself to be a natural leader. Our team has undergone significant change this year and Nirupaa has helped manage the team through the entire process. She is a strong proponent of fostering a diverse team and organization."

Senior Consultant
Northern Trust

Dan Ngoy

"Dan is a highly versatile partner who has delivered exceptional performance since joining the firm. He is an emerging talent and has already demonstrated his desire to grow, both personally and professionally. Dan is eager for new challenges and excited for this development opportunity."


Caitlin O'Grady

"Caitlin is a next generation leader and has differentiated herself in exceptional client service, business development, talent development and DEI advocacy. She is committed to leading by example, championing our firm's DE&I initiatives, and elevating our practice's purpose at every front—teams, clients and industry."

J.P. Morgan Chase

Elizabeth Poitras

"Elizabeth is a culture carrier for the organization; driving networking and social events, leading diversity and employee engagement activities and helping new hires get settled and equipped to perform. She is fully invested in the people she works with and their development, and is viewed as a leader and a rising star across a wide and growing part of the organization."


Middle Office Supervisor

Shahil K. Rao

"Shahil has worked at SEI for over 5 years and has advanced from analyst to supervisor in the Middle Office. Shahil works across multiple functions from hiring and training, to improving processes and deliverables with the client in mind."

Senior Legal Counsel
Russell Investments

Nazanin Rassouli

A quote from Nazanin's essay: "My long-term goal is to become a leader in the industry and to promote future leaders with an eye on diversity and inclusion. As the Chair of the Multicultural Associate Resource Group (ARG), I strongly believe in diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace...Aside from my involvement with the Multicultural ARG, I try to show empathy when dealing with my colleagues, understand differences, and create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming."

ED, Head of Operations & Events

Kelly Sherrard Kelly

"Kelly has demonstrated leadership and commitment to advancing Nicsa’s efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion and has been instrumental in helping the industry to connect and collaborate on issues that are critical to DEI. She leads the efforts for several large industry conferences for Nicsa, and as a result of the pandemic she quickly pivoted to providing a platform that would host the conferences virtually. She is well respected by Nicsa members who clearly regard her as a Rising Star."

CIO Hedge Fund Analyst
Bank of America

Fay Xu

"Fay volunteered her time on our ISG D&I Council and went on to help lead the next iteration of our Know Your Talent program, now named Sponsor Your Talent, based on her own experiences. Fay is always looking for new ways to challenge herself and learn about both business initiatives as well as diversities outside her own. Fay is an excellent role model and I am confident she is a future leader at our firm and in our industry."


John Yates

"As a people leader, John is extremely passionate about creating a more diverse and inclusive work culture as well as developing the careers and lives of all BlackRock employees. John has demonstrated his commitment to diversity and inclusion in many ways, including his participation in GIO's Community Advisory Group, where he helps to amplify the interest of the underrepresented. John encourages individuals to speak up on issues they may be experiencing as it relates to diversity and inclusion."


John Yates

Quotes may have been edited for length and clarity.