Candace Browning
Head of Global Research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

This past year, Candace Browning and colleagues from various parts of Bank of America Merrill Lynch participated in a "Thought Leadership Steering Committee" whose findings sound more philosophical than financial.

Investors, the group found, should build their portfolios around five key themes: Markets, people, earth, government policy and technology. For example, Browning says, under the category of "people," the longevity revolution is changing the world and creating investment opportunities in areas such as dental implants.

"The idea was to identify major forces reshaping the world," says Browning. "And we created investable portfolios for clients based on these themes."

The global research group provides recommendations on more than 3,500 stocks and 1,100 credits, as well as forecasts for nearly 60 economies. Under Browning's leadership, it has been named the top global research firm by Institutional Investor magazine for three consecutive years.

Browning also serves as the executive champion for Vital Voices, which helps emerging female leaders in other countries develop the skills to succeed. She has traveled the world mentoring these future leaders — and has learned a lot from them too. Most memorably, women in India taught her how lucky she is to live in the states. "Many women said they could not work late because it was dangerous to travel on public transportation," she says. "I had never thought something like that could be an impediment to success."

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