Women Investment Professionals

REGISTRATION OPEN: Professional Development Event: Rejuvenate and Recharge Your Career

October 5, 2023 @ 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM America/Chicago Timezone
Central Standard Building, Lower Level
231 S. LaSalle
Dee Farris

Career Freedom – Let’s get REAL

Our careers are not just boxes checked and endless emails sent, they are real life, dynamic experiences with challenges, twists and turns, unexpected circumstances, and joyful successes. This year the Professional Development Committee will focus on reinventing the traditional perception of networking, reflect on how to maximize career opportunities, and explore how to rejuvenate and recharge our careers. Across all of these topics, we will get real and share our actual stories, drawing inspiration from our collective experiences.

Rejuvenate and Recharge Your Career

What year is it again? Between the pandemic, work-from-home and countless other hurdles thrown at us on the daily, we all need a little R and R – rejuvenate and recharge. This session will focus on sharing stories around how to pivot when you do or don’t want to, reinventing yourself in an unforeseen career challenge, and navigating a change in careers.


Kristen Doyle, CFA
Head of U.S. Institutional Market Strategy
Lord Abbett

Kristen Doyle is focused on market  strategy for the Lord Abbett Institutional business, including the development of views of investor needs by channel and the implementation of those views. In strong collaboration with the Head of U.S. Institutional, she is responsible for developing and adapting the go-to-market strategy for investment products in different client, channel, and market segments. This includes developing a messaging strategy and optimizing current products as well as identifying new opportunities to meet investor demands. Additionally, she works closely with the Product Strategy team and Chief Operating Officer for Client Services in order to form and implement these strategic initiatives.

Ms. Doyle joined Lord Abbett in 2022. Her previous experience includes serving in various roles at Aon Investments (global investment consulting firm) including Partner & Global COO, Public Sector Solutions Leader, Lead Investment Consultant on some of the largest and most sophisticated institutional investment programs, and Lead of Trust Services Research Team. She has worked in the financial services industry since 2001.

She earned a BA in economics from Denison University and is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation.


Jessica Fox, CRPS
Head of Strategic Accounts
Nuveen Retirement Investing

Jessica is the Head of Strategic Accounts for Nuveen Retirement Investing. She leads a team of dedicated retirement investment professionals focused on meeting the growing demand for Nuveen investment and TIAA Lifetime Income Solutions in the defined contribution marketplace.

Jessica has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, and over a decade of experience in defined contribution, defined benefit, and nonqualified executive benefits, contributing to thought leadership and industry publications while frequently speaking at industry events. Prior to joining Nuveen, she was Vice President of Strategic Relations at Prudential Retirement responsible for broadening and strengthening partnerships with key intermediary firms across the country. Previously she held various business development and funding analytic roles at MullinTBG, a leading provider of executive benefit solutions and financing strategies. Jessica began her career in the mortgage industry at Citigroup.

Jessica graduated with a B.A. in Communications and B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and holds the FINRA Series 7 registration, a CRPS designation, as well as life insurance and annuity licenses. Jessica also serves a Co-Chair for the Chicago Chapter of WiPN (We Inspire, Promote, Network) and as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ambassador and committee member for the organization.

Cara Esser, CFA
Managing Director, Research & Portfolio Management | Retirement Advisory Services
Mesirow Retirement Advisory Services

Cara Esser is a Managing Director, Research and Portfolio Management and an Investment Committee Member in Mesirow Retirement Advisory Services. Her quantitative and qualitative due diligence skills combined with her investment consulting expertise, helps qualified plan sponsors build and maintain a sound fiduciary process.

Cara has 19 years of financial services experience. Prior to rejoining Mesirow in 2020, she served as the Director of Investments and Retirement for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, where she led manager due diligence for $15 billion in assets across multiple defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Prior to that, she was the Director of Research at Mesirow Retirement Advisory Services, following her work as Associate Director of Fixed Income Manager Research at Morningstar, Inc. Before that, she served as a Financial Analyst at the American Association of Individual Investors.

Cara is a member of the Mesirow Speakers Bureau. These recognized subject area experts provide perspective on the markets and what is top of mind for institutional and individual investors.

Cara holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Missouri and a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

Neetika Singh
Managing Director

Neetika Singh, Managing Director, is Co-Head of BlackRock’s Global Consultant Relations Business and Head of Platform and Scaled Distribution for the Americas Institutional Business. In these roles, she leads business growth through teams that build partnerships with investment consultants, develop relationships with institutional clients and set strategy with BlackRock’s investment teams. Neetika also serves as Head of the Chicago office for BlackRock. She is a member of the firm’s Global Operating Committee and the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee and also serves on the Americas Institutional Leadership Committee and the Americas Office Leadership Committee.

Prior to taking on her current roles, Neetika’s responsibility was in leading BlackRock’s Consultant Relations business for North America with coverage for several investment consultant firm relationships, some of which she still maintains. Since joining BlackRock in 2002, Neetika has led various relationships while also assisting in the firm’s marketing and new business development efforts. She has been based in both the New York and Chicago offices for the firm during this time.

Earlier in her career, Neetika was at The Rohatyn Group, an asset management firm focused on investments in the emerging markets, where she worked closely with the founding partners on the firm’s business plan and financial model. Prior to this, Neetika worked within LabMorgan, the venture capital group within JP Morgan and began her career in the investment banking business at JP Morgan within Public Finance, working closely with corporate and healthcare clients.

Neetika serves as a member of the Chicago Chamber Board of Directors and the Chicago Children’s Museum Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Women’s Investment Professionals (WIP) organization in Chicago. Neetika earned a B.S. degree in Finance, with a concentration in Spanish, from Babson College.