Christine Hurtsellers is a member of a small club of women: those who sit at the head of the table in the C-suite.

For the past two years, Hurtsellers has been CEO of Voya Investment Management.
After joining the firm in 2004, Hurtsellers distinguished herself from among her colleagues, and by 2009 she was the CIO of Voya's fixed-income unit.

It was a challenging time to take on the role, as the firm's fixed-income track had taken a major dip, largely as a result of the global financial crisis.

Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers is a member of a small club of women: those who sit at the head of the table in the C-suite.

Hurtsellers rose to that challenge. Under her leadership, the firm's fixed-income assets went from outpacing their respective benchmark or category peers by just 19% over five years in 2010 to nearly 93% in the fall of 2016.

It was this turnaround that ultimately led this self-described "history nerd" to be named CEO.
"I started on the investment side for multiple years, running portfolios at a lot of different business types," Hurtsellers says of her path to becoming CEO.

"I have a really broad blended skill set as far as managing assets with different types of client objectives," she adds. "I think that helped me became a better strategic thinker around market demands, technicals, client needs and what really helps drive client outcomes."

Taking on a leadership role allows Hurtsellers the opportunity to mentor those who work under her. This is one of her passions, particularly when it comes to guiding the women on her team.

In the long run, Hurtsellers hopes to set an example through her own success, and help assure women there is a place for them in asset management.

"More than once, I felt overlooked based on a gender issue," she says. "I want my legacy to be that, within our industry, it's much easier for women today than what I experienced."

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Amanda Schiavo

Amanda Schiavo is an associate editor for Financial Planning. Follow her on Twitter at @SchiavoAmanda.