Yale School of Management

Leading an Impactful Existence

As my first year as a student in the inaugural asset management program of the Yale EMBA comes to a close, I have to say that the ability to interact with some of finance’s greatest academic and industry contributors through the colloquium program has been the absolute highlight of my experience.

May 28, 2015

As someone who has spent her entire career immersed exclusively in the U.S. equities market, it has been eye opening, inspirational and refreshing to hear from all corners of the asset management universe. 

Even more gratifying, has been the diversity and caliber of the female financiers our class has had the pleasure of learning from and sharing a discourse with. They have imparted their forward looking views on the market, the industry, and the world at large, while also conveying some sage advice on how to live one’s best life.

Our latest speaker, Ranji Nagaswami ’86, was no exception, and left an indelible impression of the compelling paths we all have the potential to take. As a Yale alumna, her extraordinarily impressive career has included leadership positions as the CIO of Alliance Bernstein and as the Chief Investment Advisor to Mayor Bloomberg.

Outside of discussing her value investment style and “investor DNA”, as she eloquently put it, Ms. Nagaswami offered some welcome advice about humility, humanity, and lessons she has learned from continually testing her own strengths and weaknesses. She commented that she was never a “natural born manager” and had to accept critique and the assistance of other talented individuals to become the robust leader that she is today.

Above all, the message that leading an impactful existence—and a reminder that asset management isn’t really just a game of posting strong returns, but rather a means toward helping people maintain their stability and quality of life—framed the conversation and has continued to resonate with me.

Overall, I am grateful for, and humbled by, the opportunity to interact and learn from the incredible array of peers, professors, and professionals that the Yale EMBA program brings together.

About the author

Alex Esparza

MBA for Executives, 2016