The LA Times details the story of Jeannine Vanian in an article titled “Determination born of childhood hardship pushed a temp worker to chief operating officer of a top investment firm”
Vanian Talks to The Los Angeles Times About Determination and Building a Female-Friendly Workforce in a Male-Dominated Industry
Jeannine Vanian has been chief operating officer of Kayne Anderson Rudnick since October 2005, but her history with the firm began long before that, when Allan Rudnick brought a promising temp worker with him when he left his former firm to start KAR in 1984. Starting as an assistant, Vanian climbed the rungs to portfolio administrator, director of portfolio administration and managing director before becoming COO in charge of operations, trading, marketing, accounting, client services and human resources.
Born to an Armenian family in Ethiopia, Jeannine was determined from early on to succeed as an independent woman. She spent long hours at work and study to earn a business degree at American University in Cairo. She then followed family members to the U.S., where she met Rudnick. He and the other KAR founders recognized her value from the beginning. Vanian said her superiors always said, “‘You can do this, we know you can.’”
Vanian has always been team and mission-oriented. “I’m very passionate about the firm, and really believe in what we do here. [I believe in] Having the attitude of, we’ll do whatever it takes as a team.”
Vanian also believes it’s very important to “be willing to listen to other viewpoints.” In line with these values, Vanian has helped assemble a team unlike many in her industry. KAR employees speak 22 different languages. In addition, “we’re in finance, which is generally a male-dominated industry,” Vanian said, “and 41% of our employees are women; 53% of our managers are women.”
“My hunch is that we might see more women come through here than many other firms in our industry because when they go to the website, they see that there is a strong female presence here and they are attracted to that.”
Read the full article to learn more about what drove Jeannine to succeed and her abiding belief that the key to good leadership is “hiring the right people.”
Kayne Anderson Rudnick is an investment advisory firm with offices across the country and $42.2 billion in assets under management. The company manages assets for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as institutional clients and, with over 30 years of experience, is known for its commitment to high quality in its business practices, investment strategies and wealth solutions.