Women Investment Professionals

SAVE THE DATE: What’s Important Now “WIN” Educational Series

October 1, 2020 @ 3:45 PM – 5:30 PM America/Chicago Timezone

The Impact of AI/Technology on the Investment Management Industry

Artificial Intelligence is impacting every function in our industry.  It’s most often associated with the investment process, but algorithms are also being used to mine the market for new clients and assess the retention risk with existing ones.  Technology is also automating significant portions of a firm’s back office and administration functions. In 2020 the Women Investment Professionals WIN series (previously Members Only series) will explore each of these functional areas and bring you up to date on the latest technology and artificial intelligence trends from the perspective of how it will impact your role at the firm and how you can make your human self an invaluable asset in reaching the firm’s goals.

Sirisha Gorjala
SVP| Head of Product Management, Digital Investment Advice| Asset Management
Northern Trust

With over eighteen years of experience in financial services industry, Sirisha Gorjala heads product management for Emotomy, a digital investment platform, at Northern Trust. In this capacity, she is responsible for defining and executing digital product strategy, with key focus on digital transformation and speed-to-market.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, Sirisha was a Managing Director at Charles Schwab, and held a variety of leadership positions leading Wealth and Asset Management line of products during her long tenure at Morningstar. Sirisha holds a Masters in Computer Science from the DePaul University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.


Ben Blaisdell, CFA, CAIA
Managing Director, Solutions Oversight & Data Analytics
GWIM, Bank of America Corporation

Ben Blaisdell is a Managing Director, and Head of Solutions Oversight & Data Analytics for Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM), a division of Bank of America Corporation.  In this role, Ben is responsible for systematic review of GWIM’s investment offerings across the firm’s portfolios and Investments.  This also includes the development of many of the Chief Investment Office’s quantitative functions including investment screening, analytical modeling, automation, data procurement, artificial intelligence and tool development.

Ben is a voting member of the Due Diligence Investment Committee (DDIC) which governs the firm’s ratings and recommendations on investment managers.  He joined Bank of America in 2005 and has been a member of the investment community since 1997.  Most recently he was charged with the third party offerings at U.S. Trust where he shared both platform and oversight responsibilities.  He also held prior positions at Commonwealth Financial Network and Morgan Stanley where he conducting portfolio reviews, advised on asset allocation and risk management, investment manager due diligence and alternative investments for both financial advisors and clients.

Ben graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations and is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society. Ben also serves as Co-President of the board at Pleon Yacht Club, the oldest junior yacht club in the country, and is a frequent public speaker for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

Kelley Conway
Managing Director

Kelley Conway is a Managing Director at Accenture, a member of the Financial Services leadership team.  She leads the Technology Advisory practice, partnering with clients to drive practical and rapid business impact by strategically applying new technologies and approaches such as Agile-DevOps, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Blockchain.  Kelley brings 25 years of experience, and is a recognized leader in financial services, regularly presenting at industry conferences and publishing thought leadership.  A passionate advocate of diversity, she is a member of Leadership Greater Chicago class of 2018 and sits on the board of Year Up Chicago.

Joanna Kanakis
Director of Enterprise Sales
Halo Investing

Joanna Kanakis is Director of Enterprise Sales at Halo Investing, LLC. In her role, Joanna is leading sales initiatives to institutional clients in the Americas, working to democratize and disrupt the world of defined outcome investing. At Halo, she is working to provide efficient access for investors to understand and purchase structured notes, annuities and structured ETFs.

Prior to Halo, Joanna was a Director in the Prime Services Division of Global Markets for Societe Generale. There, she lead Midwest sales efforts across global markets products for institutional clients and led sales development in Latin America including Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru. She also participated as Culture and Conduct Champion, America Women’s Network Co-chair of Client Events, Global Markets Future Leaders participant in 2016, and won the Global Markets Division Global Cooperation Sales award in 2015. Before Societe Generale Joanna worked as a Sales-Trader at Newedge and Credit Agricole, finding and fostering relationships with institutional clients to provide voice execution and direct market access to global listed derivatives and options markets, sitting on the front lines throughout the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath. Prior to working for the French, Joanna spent a brief 6 month stint in Anchorage, Alaska working for Rise Alaska as a Project Management Assistant.

Ms. Kanakis graduated magna cum laude from North Park University with a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy. In 2016, Joanna received the North Park Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Joanna current serves on the Advisory Board for North Park University’s School of Business and Non-Profit Management and she also serves as Co-Chair of Women in ETFs Chicago chapter. Joanna is raising her family in Ukranian Village and you may find her at the Empty Bottle catching a good show or running along the 606 in her ever narrowing free time.

The panel will be followed by a cocktail reception. Registration is required. 


Scroll to Top