Dana D'Auria is thankful for the many mentors she says helped shaped her career, particularly at Symmetry Partners, where she has worked for 12 years and is now a managing partner.

"I do think that having a mentor is a way that you're going to increase women participation in this industry," she says. "It doesn't have to be a woman, but if you have somebody in an organization who takes an interest in you and sees the potential, that's key."

She takes an active interest in everyone who works for her and puts a lot of thought into how to guide them.

“I don’t think there’s necessarily the same view on smart beta and factor investing across the whole organization,” said Dana D’Auria, director of research at Symmetry Partners.

As an avid lifelong learner herself, she believes it's important to continue learning. Thus, she always has her hand in some kind of academic enterprise.

For one, she serves on the selection committee of the Michael R. Heeks Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in memory of a Symmetry Partners employee who died in a car crash.
One thing that excites her about the industry right now is factor investing, which helped draw her to Symmetry.

"You're seeing more interest in it now," she explains. "In a certain sense, it feels like the world has come to us, finally. Technology and research have brought a certain refinement to how we invest."

She says she will be following how technology and the availability of data continue to change asset management and other financial industries.

D'Auria adds that Symmetry has a robust internship program for students who want to learn more about investing.

Her best advice to anyone who is interested in asset management is to be willing to put in the time to help out wherever it's necessary.

"I think the way you succeed is staying current and academic, getting another degree, keep working on making yourself a better contributor," she says. "Be willing to put the time in, differentiate yourself by demonstrating your talent."

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Carmen Reinicke

Carmen Reinicke is a reporter for Financial Planning, On Wall Street and Bank Investment Consultant.