Shivani Tannu

India

Analyst, Institutional Sales Fixed Income – JP Morgan & Chase

Shivani goes above and beyond her daily responsibilities to lead, support and take part in inclusion initiatives, particularly in the improvement of gender diversity within investment banking. Equipped with the knowledge and expertise, Shivani also utilises her lived-experiences as motivation to foster diversity and inclusion within business and is paving a path for others to follow.

In a nutshell, please tell us a little about your career journey until this point.

Currently, I am an Associate at JP Morgan’s Institutional Sales Fx and Rates desk. Prior to this, I earned my MBA at the IIM Bangalore. I have also completed all levels of the Chartered Accountancy course in 2015. Being a strong supporter of inclusivity, I was associated with WinPE, a not-for-profit platform to bring about transformation in the investing world in favour of gender diversity as an ‘Ambassador of Change’. I am skilled in Financial Analysis with a demonstrated history of working at Accenture (FP&A) for 15 months prior to my MBA & at Avendus Capital (investment banking) for around a year post MBA.

“Interacting with people from other countries has expanded my thinking and made me more sensitive to cultural differences.”

Who is your role model and why?

I am really inspired by Nykaa’s founder, Falguni Nayar who took the entrepreneurial plunge in 2012 at the age of fifty with about twenty years of experience as an investment banker. Her story has helped me realise that gender nor age is a bar when it comes to starting new journeys.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

While growing up I always wanted to be teacher since I liked explaining new things to my peers. Although I did not pursue this dream of mine, I have recently started mentoring candidates who want to break into the field of finance. Mentoring gives me joy and helps me connect with younger people.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken, and what’s your greatest career achievement?

The biggest risk I have taken is leaving a well-paying job to prepare for MBA entrance exam at the age of 25 years while facing pressure from the society to get married instead. Making a switch from Investment Banking to Markets is my greatest achievement since it required some amount of networking & persistence.

“As I networked, socialised and made connection at work and at college, it opened opportunities for me that I wasn’t aware of.”

What would you tell your 18-year-old self if they could see you now?

To continue believing in herself!

How has your personal journey informed the way you navigate your career?

I feel my personal journey has influenced my career quite a lot. As I networked, socialised and made connection at work and at college, it opened opportunities for me that I wasn’t aware of. Teamwork and group assignments gave me a chance to show my work ethics and learn from others.

How have your lived experiences helped you in your industry today?

A career in finance is intense and requires high ownership. My experiences at my previous organizations and at college helped me understand how people manage multiple tasks at the same time without it affecting the quality of output. Having watched them do it closely, I feel more confident taking on more responsibilities at work.

“Mentoring gives me joy and helps me connect with younger people.”

How has connecting globally with people in other countries influenced your thinking or approach?

Interacting with people from other countries has expanded my thinking and made me more sensitive to cultural differences.

How do you think driving inclusion in your region differs from other parts of the world? Are there unique challenges or opportunities?

Inclusivity in an Indian workplace setting comes with its own challenges where cultural setting expect women to be timid & shy, speaking up in meetings and at work place is all the more difficult for a woman. However, having female role mentors within the team changed this for me & I have managed to find my voice.

We often reflect on you can’t be what you can’t see, how far does this resonate with you and your own experiences?

This is true to some extent, although I wanted to be a woman in finance, not being able to see women having a successful finance career in my immediate surrounding really made me doubt myself. While interning at Citi Bank, I came across quite a few women who were part of the team full time, this made me reach out to them and try and understand their journey which ultimately turned things around for me too!

“Gender nor age is a bar when it comes to starting new journeys.”