Women Investment Professionals

REGISTER NOW: Trailblazer Dinner

October 13, 2022 @ 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM America/Chicago Timezone
Chicago Cultural Center, Yates Gallery, 4th Floor
77 E. Randolph Street
$100/members; $175/non-members

The Trailblazer Dinner is a high point of WIP’s annual calendar of events. Each year we focus on women who inspire us in achieving personal and professional excellence.

Photo Link from 2022 Trailblazer Dinner

Keynote Speaker:

Emma Rodriguez-Ayala
General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Board Secretary
LGIM America

Emma is an accomplished investment management professional, board director, community leader and speaker.  She is the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Board Secretary of LGIM America, the U.S. arm of LGIM, the 6th largest institutional asset manager globally, managing over $1.8 trillion.  LGIM America focuses on pension stabilization, retirement income generation and ESG and sustainable investment solutions. Emma leads the risk, compliance, legal and governance functions. She chairs the LGIM America Risk Oversight Committee and is a member of LGIM America’s Executive Committee and ESG Steering Committee.  Globally, she is part of the LGIM Global Senior Leadership Team and serves on Legal & General Group’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council.  She also serves as a board director of First Bank of Chicago, the 5th largest privately held bank in Chicagoland.  She was previously an investment management partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, among other in-house and private practice experiences.  Emma is actively involved in the community, serving on the boards of WTTW (Chicago PBS) and Angeles Investors (the only Latino-focused angel investing group in the U.S.), and is member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association.  She co-led the ESG and Green Economy Sub-Committee of the Volunteer Economic Policy Committee for the 2020 Biden for President Campaign, focused on developing ESG strategy and policy proposals for the campaign and the new administration.  Emma has been previously recognized as a Top Latino Leader by the U.S. National Diversity Council, as a DEI Leader by the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association, and as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, among other honors.

Distinguished Investment Professional Award Recipient

Johara Farhadieh
Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer
Illinois State Board of Investment

Johara Farhadieh serves as the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer dedicating over 15 years of her career to the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI). She oversees a $25.0 billion-dollar defined benefit fund and a $6.0 billion-dollar defined contribution plan on behalf of 156,000 beneficiaries. In this position, Mrs. Farhadieh is responsible for leading ISBI including all investment operations, managing and executing ISBI’s investment policies and assisting the Trustees in the strategic direction of ISBI. In addition, Mrs. Farhadieh also leads the continued effort of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within ISBI.

Under Mrs. Farhadieh’s leadership, ISBI developed into one of the nation’s leading pension funds with key accomplishments including the restructuring of the defined benefit fund, as well as a full re‐ enrollment of the defined contribution plan. Most recently, the American Investment Council ranked ISBI’s private equity portfolio performance #1 amongst public pension funds for the third year in a row ending June 30, 2021.

Mrs. Farhadieh continues to be recognized as a thought leader on institutional investing as well as, a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the financial industry. Johara Farhadieh was the recipient of the 2021 P&I Excellence & Innovation award.  She was also recognized by Trusted Insight as a 2020 All-Star Chief Investment Officer. In addition, she was named in Crain’s Chicago Business 2018, 40 Under 40 list and Notable Executive of Color in Finance 2022.

Mrs. Farhadieh received her Master of Business Administration with honors from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the DePaul University College of Commerce.

Joanne Hickman Dodd Award Recipients

Paulina M. Ksiazek CFP®
Financial Advisor
Savant Wealth Management

Paulina is currently a financial advisor at Savant Wealth Management. Savant holds more than $12.43 billion in assets under management and assets under advisement as of June 30, 2022. A fee-only independent RIA firm, Savant offers investment management, financial planning, retirement planning and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Prior to Savant, Paulina gained her financial planning experience at Huber Financial Advisors, which merged with Savant in 2020. She is a member of Savant’s women’s initiative, Cents of Self, which seeks to provide our female clients and prospects with educational materials, events, and resources for helping women take control of their financial future.

Paulina is passionate about empowering her clients to make smart financial decisions. She not only advises but also educates them about the financial fundamentals to help them feel more secure. Paulina enjoys developing a meaningful partnership with clients as their trusted advisor as she supports them through life’s transitions.

Paulina is active within her community, a member of the Barrington Junior Women’s Club and DePaul’s student mentoring program, Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK).

Paulina earned her Bachelor of Science in Finance from the DePaul University’s Richard H. Driehaus College of Business and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Rebecca Norman, CFA
Head of Investor Relations and Client Services
Kabouter Management, LLC

Rebecca is responsible for leading Kabouter’s Investor Relations and Client Servicing functions, including creating portfolio commentary, providing clients with portfolio updates, and working with prospective investors. Prior to joining Kabouter in 2018, Rebecca was a Managing Director at Eagle Capital Management in New York where she was responsible for investor relations and portfolio analysis. She spent her first year at Eagle Capital as a Research Associate on the Investment Team where she conducted fundamental, bottom-up equity analysis. Prior to that, she was a Portfolio Analyst in the Risk Management group at Wells Capital Management and an Investor Relations Associate at Sterling Capital Management in Charlotte. Rebecca graduated cum laude from Furman University with a B.A. in Business Administration and is a CFA charterholder.


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