Pakistani-American Saira Malik has been appointed as chief investment officer (CIO) of Nuveen — a leading global asset management firm.
Nuveen is a wholly owned subsidiary of financial planning firm TIAA, itself known for its legacy focus on managing money for not-for-profit institutions such as universities and their employees. Nuveen manages $1.2 trillion in equities, fixed income, real estate, private markets, natural resources, other alternatives and responsible investments.
In this role, Saira drives the weekly market and investment insights and delivers client asset allocation views from across the firm’s investment teams.
Saira also leads the Global Investment Committee (GIC), bringing together Nuveen’s most senior investment leaders to deliver the best thinking and actionable portfolio allocation ideas for our clients across institutional and wealth channels.
As Chair of the Equities Investment Council (EIC), she authors a quarterly market commentary. Additionally, Saira is the lead portfolio manager for the $120 plus billion CREF Stock strategy and a listed portfolio manager for over $30 billion CREF Growth and over $20 billion CREF Global Equities strategies. She also serves as the sole manager of a $5 billion global equity portfolio.
Ms. Malik has 26 years of investment management experience in portfolio management, global research and analyst roles. Since joining the firm in 2003, Saira has held a variety of positions. Prior to being named CIO, she was head of global equities portfolio management, and before that, head of global equities research. Previously, Saira was with JP Morgan Asset Management, where her roles included vice president/small-cap growth portfolio manager and equity research analyst.
“Saira is dedicated to Nuveen’s mission of delivering strong returns to help secure the financial futures of clients and has been an essential part of the firm’s proud history and culture of deep investment expertise for nearly two decades,” said William Huffman, head of the firm’s fixed income and equity platform.
Saira holds the CFA designation and graduated with a BS in Economics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and an MS in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
She frequently appears on financial news networks such as CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business. Saira has been profiled in Kiplinger’s and Barron’s, which ranked her among the top 100 most influential women in US finance.
Saira Malik’s parents migrated to the United States from Pakistan. She grew up in Stockton, California where she attended Lincoln High School. “My parents are Pakistani immigrants. As a high-school senior, I was advised by a career counsellor to skip university and go to community college”, she is quoted as saying on a Nuveen website.
“I didn’t listen and went off to university instead, earning my series 7 and 63 registrations (investment broker licenses) by age 19. After graduating, every Wall Street firm to which I applied rejected me. Then I earned a master’s in finance and finally, a large firm hired me.
“It’s important to be persistent and it’s fine to reject bad advice. My grandmother was among the first class of women admitted to medical school in India, graduating with an MD in 1934. Her diploma hangs on a wall in my house. It wasn’t written for a woman; it was written for a man. On it, administrators crossed out the preprinted words ‘him’ and ‘his’ and replaced them with handwritten ‘her’ and ‘hers.’ To this day, that diploma inspires the women in my family.”