2022-2023 Rising Star Honorees

Meet the 2022-2023 Rising Stars

Senior HR Business Partner

Katie Abbott

"Katie personifies professionalism and 'getting things done' while working in the very difficult role of HR business partner at a firm going through significant growth and change over the past few years. She exemplifies and showcases the very things that one looks for in a future leader as someone that others in the group and across the organization turn to for advice and mentorship. Katie is collaborative and effective at helping achieve our corporate goals while balancing human capital management."


Jennifer Asare

"Jennifer is a member of the Strategy and Business Management team within Client Experience. Jennifer promotes a more diverse and inclusive work environment not only in their day-to-day role, but by participating in DEI committees and trainings."

VP - Business Risk Mgmt
State Street 

Jose Brandao

"Jose is a strong and developing leader at State Street who has consistently focused on promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment. He has been an active participant in both company sponsored diversity, equity and inclusion groups as well as participating in non profit activities supporting education and diversity."

Relationship Manager
Polen Capital

Alexandra Choinski

"Ali serves as part of the WISE (Women Inspiring Success and Engagement) ERG as the Community Engagement leader. She has organized engaging and successful events for the Boca office. Additionally, Ali is passionate about mentorship and is invested in supporting women in the asset management industry."

Fund Operations Manager


David Chuang

"David is well regarded by his peers and direct reports as a collaborative team player. This has become evident as he has embedded new processes and ways of working for some of our most complex business. David leads by example and embodies what we expect of our managers in that he is a nurturer of talent, embraces a change mindset, and is an enabler of inclusion and diversity."

Investment Consultant

Lauren Durfey

"Lauren has developed into a passionate leader and role model for the Analyst Team while fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. At the same time, Lauren continues to provide excellent client service and colleague support in her day-to-day responsibilities while also studying for level 3 of the CFA."

Sr. Director, Derivatives & Quantitative Strategy 
SLC Manangement

Rawan El-Khatib

"Rawan is a true team player with a great business mindset. Her expertise in the field of derivatives, exemplary work ethic coupled with her strong technical capability, have allowed her to make a significant impact on a number of firm-wide initiatives for SLC Management. Rawan is an active member of InvestHer, SLC Management’s employee-led inclusion network helping to advance women’s career development within the investment management industry. Rawan is a role model for staff as she plays a pivotal role in both the growth of the SLC’s platform and diversity initiatives."

Sr. Analyst, Business Development 

Cristian Ensley

"Cristian works in the Investment Management Group at Nationwide for the Business and Product Development department. With just over one year in this area, Cristian has excelled in every task and project that he has been asked to tackle. Cristian is a Certified Investment Management Analyst, a Level 1 candidate in the CFA Program, and has experience with both annuity sales and menu management. He is motivated, professional, and a true team player."

Equity Research Associate

MFS Investment Management

Eli Gramajo

"Eli is a first generation Guatemalan American. He currently works as an Equity Research Associate at MFS supporting the Energy Sector Team. Eli is also a co-Leader for the ERG subgroup: Mosaic Latinx. Eli is also a member of MFS’s internal Impact Investment committee, dedicated to allocating capital to projects doing good for the world. "

Sr. Associate, Corporate Marketing

Dimensional Fund Advisors

Ashley Guzman

"Ashley has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of our new Latinx Inclusion Network, HOLA. Her attitude, energy, and ability has helped shape the Network in a way that is truly remarkable. Ashley has also been a valuable partner to the Chief People Officer and Diversity & Inclusion Manager in helping to lead enterprise D&I initiatives, bringing new ideas to the table, and representing our efforts among other employees. She is committed to the success of the Inclusion Networks, improving the employee experience, and finding ways to support professional growth for herself and others."

Sr. Manager Intern
Capital Group

Tiffany Howard

"Tiffany has been in investment services for over 17 years. After being promoted to manager, she quickly became a leader amongst her peers and promoted DEI with a strong focus on being inclusive. Tiffany has been influential in creating development tools that create transparency on how associates can improve their performance and strives to help associates reach their full potential."

Marketing Associate
Calamos Investments

Ayesha Khalid

"Ayesha has consistently been among the first to adopt new technologies and then quickly master a range of content publishing, marketing automation and social media systems. Admired by management and peers for her studied approach, serious work ethic and collaborative ways, Ayesha has capabilities that know no bounds."

Compliance Consultant
Hartford Funds

Young Kim

Director of Compliance
American Century Investments

David Livingston

"David is a role model and leader and is advancing inclusion in our firm through various efforts and initiatives, including leading a BRG, firmwide AIDS Walk, and engaging panel discussions."

Manager, 2nd VP
Northern Trust

Megan Lynch

"Megan is diligent, responsive, incredibly intelligent, and always goes above and beyond expectations. More importantly, however, Megan genuinely cares about her employees, her team and anyone who crosses her path. She stays apprised of community and social events, as well as any local or national social concerns. She has an open door policy, makes sure everyone's voice is heard and does everything in her power to make a difference. Additionally, she is on multiple corporate committees focused around diversity and inclusion, and has a genuine interest in making the world a better, more accepting place."

VP, Assistant Treasurer 
J.P. Morgan Asset Management 

Michael Mannarino

"Outside of his exemplary works supporting the Global Liquidity Team as the Assistant Treasurer for their complex suite of products, Mike has been a leader in the firm's D&I initiatives, with his efforts including championing and being actively involved in the Client Service DE&I Bi-monthly Meetings, growing the firm's diverse talent pipeline, and continued participation in many events for the firm's diversity groups."

Manager Financial Projects
Putnam Investments 

Ashley Montanez-Pineiro

"Ashley is a key member of our Finance team and has a strong sense of self-assurance and self-esteem. Most importantly, Ashley makes a difference within our organization's culture and is a significant contributor to activities and events related to D&I."

High Yield Portfolio Manager

Aviva Investors

Sau Mui

"Sui is viewed as a future leader within the organization and role models positive behaviors within the team, alongside a strong performance."

Director of Research
FS Investments

Kara O'Halloran

"Kara, our Director of Research, has strongly contributed to various diversity initiatives at FS. As co-chair of our FS Women's Network, Kara has created efficiencies, improved planning and event content, and increased membership. In addition, she is also our podcast host for our Fireside podcast, which focuses largely on various research content, but importantly creates a voice and platform to highlight women. Lastly, Kara is a volunteer with the Philadelphia Financial Scholars program, which improves financial literacy among inner-city children."

Bank of America

Jason Park

"Jason consistently takes on challenges and delivers a very high quality and time-bound result. Jason is always willing to directly challenge the status quo in pursuit of a more effective solution while regularly sharing best practices to create better outcomes for the team."

Sr Manager, Professional Learning Business Operations
CFA Institute

Jay Patel

"Jay is a highly respected and influential colleague. He is curious, insightful, and regularly demonstrates the ability to have courageous conversations. He has served as an officer in Employee Resource Groups and has been selected to join the CFA Institute Inclusion & Diversity Council. In prior roles, he has supported events throughout the globe and is knowledgeable about numerous cultures."

IT Security Engineer
Janus Henderson Investors

Preena Popat

"Preena joined Janus Henderson Investors in 2019 in the Information Security team. She has recently been promoted to Security Engineer. Preena regularly exceeds expectations on her work and continues to educate herself on complex IT security topics. Preena coaches and mentors her colleagues and consistently promotes a diverse and inclusive environment."

Lead Analyst, Corporate Actions
BNY Mellon

Megan Pruss

"Megan understands the business, our clients, and BNYM’s goals, values and behaviors. She has been steadily gaining recognition and appreciation from clients and her peers. Under our Business Imperative pillar, Megan was willing to change teams to become a Corporate Action Team Lead. In this role, Megan helped to optimize the team performance by proactively engaging with junior team members and role modeled to provide the best client service possible. Megan is always seeking to learn new tasks and processes and she is active within our organization as she is a member of the GSO Women’s Council."

Institutional Sales Analyst 
Columbia Threadneedle Investments 

Tim Reitzenstein

"Tim is a great contributor to the Columbia Threadneedle Institutional Sales team and is one of our firm's most involved advocates of diversity. He is active and engaged in promoting diversity inside and outside the organization."

Director, Fund Operations
Thornburg Investment Management

Natasha Rippel

"Natasha was promoted last year to Director of Fund Operations from a manager role within the team. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and leads with a common sense, practical approach to solving problems and works hard to get things done. She develops the people on her team by setting goals, providing feedback, and developing career pathing plans. Natasha has demonstrated a commitment to Thornburg’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts through her membership on the DEI Committee, the Thornburg Pathways Program Committee, and Women of Thornburg."

Sr Manager, Investment Operations
Russell Investments

Alyssa Skrivan

Product Manager
SS&C Technologies

Whitney Smith

"Whitney is extremely passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion both inside and outside of the workplace and has previous experience with organizations in both areas. In addition, her favorite work activities involve being a change agent for personal, team, and organizational improvements! She is excited for the opportunity to combine these two passions to benefit the company and industry as a Rising Star."

Executive Assistant 
Amundi US, Inc.

Jessica Southam

"Jessica is an active member of the Amundi Diversity Ambassador Committee and participates in our global sustainability initiative related to climate concerns, all while thoughtfully considering how to benefit from and improve the DEI culture at Amundi."


Divya Tewari

"Divya Tewari is a Manager in the Wealth & Asset Management practice at EY. Her educational pursuits have enabled her to become a certified SAFe 5 Product Owner/Product Manager, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential holder. Divya's professional goals include developing technical expertise in the Talent, Operations, and Technology spaces of Wealth and Asset Management."

Portfolio Analyst
HSBC Asset Management

Joseph Tomic

"Joe has stood out as a leader and influencer early in his career. Joe is supportive of our inclusive culture and has sought opportunities to continue to develop our DEI initiatives."

Senior VP
Payden & Rygel

Stephanie Walker

Quantitative Analyst
Fidelity Investments

Stacie Ware

"Stacie stands out from her colleagues by being proactive in DEI efforts across the firm, leveraging her strong communication skills to help her connect with peers and leaders alike, and by being an effective advocate for breaking down barriers of difference and finding ways to promote our inclusive culture."

Manager, ICS Risk & Compliance 

Alfonzo Willoughby

"Alfonzo has shown a fearless commitment to challenge himself to always be better and take on additional responsibilities. In his six years at Broadridge, he has evolved from an individual contributor to a well respected manager of a team. Alfonzo enthusiastically participates in programs and networking opportunities to sharpen his leadership style and to help promote inclusion within the company."

Fund Reporting Supervisor
John Hancock Investment Management

Ahmed Zegnine

"Ahmed has emerged as a leader by constantly assuming responsibilities relating to managing our offshore Fund Reporting team. He is an excellent mentor for the staff by setting the bar high on standards and leading by example. In addition to his exemplary work responsibilities, Ahmed is pursing an MBA on Data Analytics."