For Women’s History Month, Nasdaq is spotlighting women who are advancing inclusive growth and prosperity within the asset management industry.
We spoke with Alyssa Rieder, Chief Investment Officer of CommonSpirit Health, about the benefits of diverse teams and leading by example.
As CIO, what does your day-to-day work entail?
In my day-to-day responsibilities, I oversee the almost $50 billion CommonSpirit Health investment program for the country’s largest nonprofit hospital system, which seeks to broadly provide high-quality, affordable health care. The investment program comprises multiple institutional pools of capital, including various operational, retirement, foundation, and self-insurance assets, which can entail different risk/reward requirements and constraints. Working closely with the investment team, I am the key decision-maker overseeing manager selection, retention, and termination, leading portfolio rebalancing and strategic tilts.
How did you get started in the institutional investment business?
My first exposure to investments was in elementary school, where I enjoyed reading through ValueLine reports and debating companies’ value propositions with my father. At the time, I was fascinated by the wealth-building power of compounding over time and told friends on the playground that I planned to be a stockbroker when I grew up. My first job at an investment management company was during the summer between my years at business school, where I had the opportunity to cover commercial aviation and aerospace companies as a buy-side analyst.
What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned during your career?
People are happier and more productive if they can connect a true purpose and meaning in their work and if they feel valued and appreciated for their contributions.
Historically, there has been a dearth of women in senior roles within the industry. What are you and your firm doing to increase diversity at the senior levels?
Our investment team works to raise awareness of issues and advance DEIB in our own internal group, within our existing and prospective investment managers (and, where relevant, their own portfolio companies), and across our industry as a whole. We appreciate and promote the academic literature that documents the benefits of diverse teams in delivering strong financial returns. The makeup of our team is almost two-thirds women and half people of color, and we hope to lead by example through our success in delivering strong, long-term, risk-adjusted returns.
What advice would you give to other women looking to succeed within the investment industry?
- Set yourself up to succeed by establishing a strong foundation of people you respect and admire, who advise, support, and promote you and your success – this should include your spouse as well as select family, friends, mentors, and colleagues.
- Utilize help where you can, find ways to outsource or offload certain tasks to better leverage your time, help your well-being, and maintain your sanity – remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself.
- Find meaning and keep learning. Find a career and workplace you can be proud of, where you can see and value the impact you are having; consistently seek out and find opportunities to learn, grow, and develop.