Most Powerful Women in Finance: No. 13, New York Life's Yie-Hsin Hung

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CEO, New York Life Investment Management

The entire room was applauding in approval, except Yie-Hsin Hung’s son.

Hung, the chief executive of New York Life Investment Management, had brought her family to an industry event that was celebrating accomplished women.

“I vividly remember one of the award recipients highlighting that one-third of her firm’s employees were female,” she said. “For those in the audience, myself included, who have been in the financial services industry for a long time, we saw that achievement as a significant accomplishment.”

Yet her college-age son was not impressed. “He turned to me and asked, ‘Why is everyone clapping? The time for applause is when it’s 50/50.’ ”

It was a proud moment for Hung as a mother, but it was also a call to action — to redouble efforts to make her industry more attractive to young women.

In 2018, Hung and senior women on her team founded an employee resource group that helps other women prepare for leadership roles through networking, professional development and community outreach.

“I have found that one of the most important skills great leaders possess is the ability to inspire and motivate a team to come together to achieve a greater common goal,” Hung said.

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She encourages young professionals to learn how to engage others with their ideas by speaking up more and taking the opportunity to present to larger audiences whenever possible.

“It’s especially important to do this early in one’s career journey and to take time to develop an authentic voice, even as we build relationships and become the best at our craft,” she said.

Hung’s efforts on behalf of gender equity are rubbing off on clients.

Last year, she tasked her team with developing new ways for the company’s financial advisers to serve and retain female clients. After a year of research, meeting with financial advisers across the country, looking at competitor programs and conducting a study of 800 female investors, her team devised a new program offering practical strategies for financial advisers to engage female clients and prospects.

“The greatest insight we discovered through our research study of female investors, whether a married breadwinner or a suddenly single woman, is that they want a deeper, more encompassing relationship with their adviser,” Hung said.

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