Nuveen, a top US global asset management company, appoints Saira Malik, a Pakistani-American, its Chief Investment Officer (CIO). 

Saira joined the company in 2003 and has worked at various designations before becoming the CIO. Before getting appointed as CIO, she was working as the head of global equities portfolio management at Nuveen. Before having this position, she was working as the head of global equities research. She has performed very influential leadership roles during her work at Nuveen and she is continuing her legacy by becoming Chief Investment Officer. It is the responsibility that only a person like Saira can handle. She has also worked with JP Morgan Asset Management as a vice president and her roles included small-cap growth portfolio management and equity research analysis. 

She is often required to give her expert opinions about the market on financial news channels like Fox Business and CNBC, etc. This is not all about her role in the US finance market. She has also been ranked among the top 100 most influential women in the category of US finance in Kiplinger’s and Barron’s. This makes her one of the biggest names in the US market. 

Saira Malik was a Pakistani citizen before her parents moved from Pakistan to the United States. She studied at Lincoln High School and grew up in Stockton, California. She explained about her journey at the Nuveen website saying that she was advised by a career counselor to join a community college and not to go to a university. However, she was persistent in her aims so she didn’t listen to the advice. She did her graduation from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Economics. After her graduation, she completed her MS in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

Her journey to this position was not very easy. she explained that she was rejected from every Wall Street firm to which she applied after her graduation. However, she was accepted at a big firm after her master’s. 

She is also quoted at the website saying, ‘It is important to be persistent and it is fine to reject bad advice. My grandmother was among the first-class women admitted to medical school in India. She graduated with a medical degree in 1934. Her diploma wasn’t written for a woman; it was written for a man. On it, administrators crossed out already written words ‘him’ and ‘his’ and replaced them with ‘her’ and ‘hers.’ Her diploma hangs on the wall of my house and it inspires the women in my family.’

Saira, at Nuveen, also leads GIC, the Global Investment Committee. She, through her position, brings on board the senior investment officers at Nuveen and makes them perform to the best of their abilities and bring on innovative ideas for the clients. Her roles are still diverse at the company and she is performing the best of her capabilities to drive the market and investment insights. Among many of her responsibilities, she is also solely managing a $5 billion global equity portfolio.

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Ayesha Areej is a staff writer at The Academia Magazine

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