Dina Santoro, Top Women in Asset Management Awards winner

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Growing up in New York, Dina Santoro was always fascinated by Wall Street.

“Over time,” she says, “I sought an area of the industry where I could feel more connected to a purpose.” A mentor introduced her to asset management and she found her niche.

She was the first person in her family to work in financial services. Today she is responsible for leading and executing the strategic product and marketing agenda for Voya Investment Management, including product development and management.

Over her 20 years in asset management, she says, “the markets, our clients’ challenges and the industry has changed so much … that it has produced new and different problems.”

She adds, “I’ve had my share of being the first person, not just woman, to hold a role where I helped define a new area of growth, or addressed a series of challenges to be solved. The triumphs of which I am most proud have always been accomplished as part of a team.”

At Voya, Santoro is a proponent of diversity and is actively involved in providing opportunities for women and others to grow within the firm.

“Having visible role models is important for any individual to see what’s possible for their own career,” she says. “While we still have a lot of work to do in this regard, I’m optimistic that the focus at firms is moving from awareness to tangible actions that result in more women being attracted to financial services.”

Voya’s Atlanta office partners with the MOM Project, a digital marketplace dedicated to helping women remain active in the workforce.

Looking ahead, Santoro says the “Amazon effect” on the industry is something of which she is mindful. Given tech’s key role in disrupting client expectations, she explains, “delivering a seamless end-to-end client experience will become table stakes, if it’s not already. It is not enough to make information available quickly and easily. Making information resonate within the context of each client’s objectives is absolutely critical.”

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