Diversity Spotlight

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Broad Diversity as a Driver of Meritocracy

Broad Diversity as a Driver of Meritocracy

Hear from Invesco leaders as they share their thoughts about the history of diversity, its relationship with meritocracy and its capacity to impact positively on organizations and their stakeholders.

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Q&A with Donna Zill, Product Manager, Municipal Strategies

Describe your role with Invesco

How did you first get interested in the asset management industry?
During my education at the University of FL in Economics & International Business, I explored several industries through internship programs and decided that asset management was the best fit for my skills and interests. I began my career as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley (Smith Barney at the time) in FL.

What led you to choose asset management and working with Invesco?
After five years as a Financial Advisor, I took a leap of faith and relocated from FL to Chicago to join Invesco. During the interview process, I got the sense that Invesco was the type of firm that focused on developing young professionals. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the sales desk – the drive to succeed from my manager, peers, and external partner was something I appreciated. 
 
How long have you been with the firm?
I joined Invesco seven years ago, in January 2012. 
 
What other roles have you held?
I was an Internal Sales Consultant in the Downers Grove office covering the Carolinas for five years reporting to Shaun Palmer.
 
What is your involvement with IWN, Cares or other programs/committees?
I am active within the IWN New York Chapter, IWN Membership Committee, and recently joined the Women's Bond Club of NY.

How did the IWN iMentor program help land your "dream job" in municipal strategies (munis)?
From the beginning of my tenure with the firm, my manager was active in discussing goals and long term opportunities to work toward while improving upon my sales and technical skills. He was very supportive and nominated me for the iMentor program. Once selected, I was partnered with Lisa Kueng, Director of Creative Campaigns (Consulting Group). Through my relationship with Lisa I was able to structure plans to achieve specific goals I had in mind. One of those goals was to work with the Muni Team.

Lisa encouraged me to seriously consider moving to New York. While the idea had crossed my mind in the past, it seemed more like a lofty aspiration than something I would do in the near future. The idea of working with the Municipal Bond team paired with living in New York made it clear that this was the perfect opportunity for me to start a new chapter.

While I was ready to pursue this next step, there wasn't an open position on the municipal team, so this is where I realized I would have to be patient. As I waited for something to become available, other opportunities came and went both in Chicago and locations of the firm. While I was happy with my current position, it had been five years and I was ready for a new challenge. Then in July 2016 the municipal team's Product Manager decided to leave the firm to pursue an outside opportunity and I jumped at the opportunity feeling well-prepared.
 
What do you love most about your job?
The best part about my job is I get to work with and learn from extremely talented people. After observing the muni team as a salesperson, I realized that they were not only well-respected by the market, but they were able to show their intelligence without making anyone feeling alienated. I felt strongly about their straightforward messaging and was having productive, well-received conversations with FAs. Now, in working directly with the team I have a deeper knowledge of the asset class and am developing new skills through hands on experience.

What would you tell a colleague about how the IWN helps strengthen Invesco's commitment to diversity (and especially gender diversity)?
IWN has created a community within Invesco that has brought significant growth and awareness to significant issues both women and minorities face within the financial services industry. This has nurtured an environment of acceptance and equal opportunity which promotes Invesco's commitment to this effort.

What would you tell someone considering a career at Invesco?
Working for one of the largest investment firms in the industry has been a positive experience, especially in comparison to previous employers where opportunities were limited or internal promotions were discouraged. I believe the ability to grow within the company helps to attract and retain talented individuals and I have always highly recommended Invesco.

What are some of your personal hobbies and interests outside your career?
Exploring NYC, trying new restaurants, spending time in Central Park with my dog, cooking, staying active, and traveling.