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"When hiring, I specifically look for people who think differently than those already in my group," said Delaine Omonaka, global head of product services, Russell Investments.

Women in Asset Management Award Winner Delaine Omonaka

Her job doesn't come with a crystal ball, but over her career Delaine Omonaka has learned to forsee change before it comes her way.

As global head of product services at Russell Investments, Omonaka is chiefly responsible for managing the product offerings that contribute toward Russell's $266.4 billion in AUM.

To achieve that goal, Omonaka delves deep into strategy in tandem with the firm's global business units, examining the lifecycle of every product, evaluating industry trends, competitive environments, client needs, investment capabilities and mapping out any requirements a product may need to be developed.

Reflecting her global business outlook, Omonaka says hiring a diverse group of people for her team is key in the execution of changes in product portfolio and strategic planning.

"When hiring, I specifically look for people who think differently than those already in my group," she says. "On my team currently are people with actuarial, finance, investment, fund administration, legal and engineering backgrounds. When you look at a problem from all angles, it leads to a better outcome."

Before joining Russell Investments in 2002, Omonaka was the program manager with ING North Annuities for five years.

She got her start in the industry in 1989, working her way up several positions while at GE capital Assurance.

Her advice to women working in finance is to "learn and explore as much as you can, so you can find your voice and [see] where you excel," and gather allies.

"Find a trusted mentor who will push you to expand your capabilities."