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Spotlight on AIM Alumni

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Lyman Amy squareLyman Missimer and Amy Johnson.

Lyman Missimer, pictured with Amy Johnson, is enjoying retirement, particularly the fact that he no longer gets up at 5am to commute from downtown Chicago to the suburbs. “We spent a wonderful summer in Chicago, and we will be in Houston this winter. I also look forward to going to the 2018 AIM Alumni happy hour,” said Lyman. 

After being through many other different situations, AIM was always the best. The company is near and dear to my heart.

Lyman Missimer

Lyman was working at a bank in Chicago in 1995 when a head hunter contacted him. “When AIM recruited me,” recalls Lyman, “all I knew about Houston was that it was warmer and cheaper than Chicago. My wife was also able to transfer with her company, so we looked forward to the new opportunities. I was hired to be Karen Dunn Kelley’s eyes and ears. She lived in Houston while her husband Joe completed his residency. When they relocated, Karen commuted from Pittsburgh. It was a struggle to run the money market desk day to day, but Ted and Gary did not wish to lose Karen which created a role for me,” said Lyman.

“My first impression of AIM was my interview day in the summer of 1995. Karen flew me to Houston and I remember it was a long and grueling nine-hour day of interviews. I had worked at banks so far in my career; I had never met or even been on the floor with a bank chairman. On my interview day, I was invited to lunch with Ted and Gary.

On my interview day, I was invited to lunch with Ted and Gary. It was incredible that I met the founding father of the firm that day. 

Lyman Missimer

We all worked together on the 19th floor. If the founding fathers spent time with employees, that impressed me. The most important factor why I joined was Karen. I was impressed with her, her knowledge, her presence and her confidence. Karen and I have worked together for a long time, and I never regretted joining AIM.”

lyman missimer group photoThe money market team reunited in Houston in April; Lyman Missimer and Karen Dunn Kelley flew in from Chicago.

“Another memory I recall happened shortly after I started. There was an employee meeting, and I did not know what to expect. I had a conflict, so I was on my way to the elevator to go to my other appointment. Mr. Bauer asked was I going to the employee meeting; he told me if you don’t go to the AIM employee meeting you are not an AIM employee. So, I turned around and attended the meeting. I learned my lesson that Mr. Bauer cares,” said Lyman.

The family moved back to Chicago in 2013 as part of a restructuring that Greg McGreevey initiated. Lyman worked in fixed income and while most of the team moved to Atlanta, he was put in charge of the municipal business in Chicago.

In April of this year, both Lyman and Karen were in Houston to catch up with the money market team with whom they had worked in prior years. They planned the team event around the AIM Alumni happy hour. “Both events were fun,” said Lyman. “While I did not work for Karen all the time I was at the firm, we remained friends. I was at Karen’s son’s wedding this summer where I saw Dawn and other AIM folks.”

said Lyman. 

Karen Dunn Kelly was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Undersecretary of Commerce reporting to Wilbur Ross.

Karen also retired from Invesco in 2017, and was hired to work for Wilbur Ross in the Department of Commerce as Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. She started in August after her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Ross first connected with Karen and Invesco when the firm purchased his company. Through the negotiations, Ross got to know and respect Karen. Consequently, he reached out to ask her to join his team.

It’s a cliché, but AIM was more like a family than a business.

Lyman Missimer

“Ted, Gary and Bob worked in the three corner offices; you always saw them and knew they cared. As the firm grew, that changed but it was always a good time. I will always remember it” said Lyman.  

Lewis PennockLewis Forsythe Pennock passed away Saturday, October 21, 2017. Lewis was a great friend of AIM from its very beginning. He served as one of three independent directors on the board of AIM’s first fund, High Yield Securities, Inc., beginning in 1977 and continued to serve on the AIM Funds board until his retirement. A Memorial Service was held on Friday, the 27th of October.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests that memorial contributions be directed to the American Heart Association, 10060 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX 77054; or to the charity of one's choice.

Lewis attended the University of Texas as an undergraduate, and later, the University of Texas School of Law where he served as an editor of the Law Review. After graduation he moved to Houston where he married and raised his family, and where he also practiced law for nearly 50 years, retiring several years before his passing. 

Read Lewis' obituary.

Mike Cemo DoctorateWe are proud to share that Mike Cemo was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Houston. He joins other distinguished individuals including the Honorable George H. W. Bush (1994), The Honorable William P. Hobby, Jr. (1997), and our own Charles T. "Ted" Bauer (2001).

Renu Kahator, chancellor of the University of Houston and the thirteenth president of the UH, presented Mike with his honorary doctorate.

Mike's daughter Stephanie shared the picture and said "I am so very proud of my father and all he has achieved in his life so far. He came from humble beginnings, the only child of a barber and a housewife, neither having high school diplomas. I feel he has always valued education and he felt fortunate to have graduated from UH in 1968."

Stephanie shared that Mike was a school teacher and awesome husband/father. He helped to build a successful mutual fund company, served on many advisory boards in the past 30 years, was appointed to the Board of Regents at UH for a six year term by the Governor of Texas, his family foundation gives to causes benefiting education and he pioneered efforts to push the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston into the top 50 business schools in the U.S. Stephanie finishes, by saying "all while never missing a baseball game or birthday. You deserve this Honorary Doctorate more than anyone I know, Dad."  

There are a number of YouTube videos sharing the impact Mike has had upon the University of Houston including this one.

Click here to message Doctor Cemo

swabi uus 305Swabeera Uus recently joined T Rowe Price in Baltimore, Maryland and it is no coincidence that two other former AIM colleagues work at the company.

Also at T. Rowe Price are Donna Anderson, head of Corporate Governance and Socially Responsible Investing and Sheila Simmons Schubarth, head of Global Communications Compliance. Sheila sent Swabi a job description for the role Swabi now holds, which is within Sheila’s team. The women first met in 2004 when Swabi managed the internal sales desk for Mark McMeans and Sheila was in marketing. The two became friends, and when Swabi left AIM/Invesco for Eagle Global Advisors, they kept in touch.

“Over Mother’s Day weekend, I was in New York and Sheila sent me a job description for Senior Manager, Investment Communications Compliance. I found out later the position was written and available from the start of 2017. They were looking for the right person who would mesh nicely with the Investments team but report to Compliance. Sheila thought of me. I am embedded in the multi asset solutions investment team, sitting with investment folk. Being a learner, I like learning new things. No matter my age or experience, I am continually looking for new things to learn. I am using my investment knowledge and learning the investment advisory compliance landscape.” said Swabi.

Swabi loved her job at Eagle Global Advisors in Houston, where she worked for over ten years after leaving Invesco. “My professional life was very rewarding,” she shares. Her transition to T. Rowe Price in Baltimore is a change in many ways. “T. Rowe Price has over 6,000 employees and over 900 billion assets under management,” shares Swabi, while Eagle is a small firm. “I loved my job at Eagle. It is a privately-owned company with 32 plus employees and under $5 billion in assets. It was tough to leave. They were sad to see me go and I was sad,” but as Swabi shared, she likes to keep learning and this new role fills that objective.

In addition, Swabi is closer to her parents and brother. “With my daughter living in Florida and finishing her graduate degree, I am an empty nester,” said Swabi. “It is nice to be closer to my family.”

Sheila joined T. Rowe Price in 2013 and now heads up a group of 15 people in Maryland, Hong Kong and London. She is also raising her three sons. Donna has been with T. Rowe Price since 2007 and her daughter is 14, and an enthusiastic world traveler like her Mom.  

Cher Murphy was one of several former AIM colleagues who flew to Houston for the April Happy Hour. Cher was at AIM from 1999 to 2007, where her final position was Associate Product Manager.

AIM lunchCher enjoys hiking the Arizona desert with her dogs

Cher joined i4cp, Institute for Corporate Productivity, as Chief Talent Officer in October 2016 to build a retained executive search practice for this research/think tank organization. Cher advises CHRO’s from Fortune 500 organizations and innovative start ups on attracting the right talent and building their leadership teams. I4cp researches the people practices of high performing organization and uncovers next practices rather than best practices, which drive high performance and have bottom-line impact.

In addition to professional activities, Cher also enjoys hiking in the desert with her Irish setter and Flat Coat retriever and she is on the board of Aid International, a Haitian non-profit.

When Cher joined AIM in 1999 it was at the suggestion of her friend Teri Tansey, in marketing communications. “Teri said AIM hired a lot of young, smart people and if you work hard they give you an opportunity to grow and develop,” said Cher.

Cher’s current role combines her ability to build and be creative in the talent/people space. She feels she learned this at AIM. I learned early on at AIM to be creative. I was encourged to develop and grow into new roles. 

AIM lunchCher and Bob Cherichella stay in touch and catch up in person every few years

I worked for amazing leaders including Gene Needles and Bob Cherichella. I learned how to build relationships creatively that would best service AIM’s clients. Bob said listen and then ask another good question. His advice has been the foundation of my career beyond AIM.

Cher Murphy

Cher now works to help client companies attract the right talent, looking for strategic HR leaders, human capital analytics leaders, and transformation and change management leaders. Cher started in search in the investment management space with Heidrick & Struggles and helped place Gene Needles in his CEO role at American Beacon.

Her insights into people and cultural fit had an interesting twist when she was in Haiti on a yoga service trip. Cher met an inspiring woman whose non-profit supports multiple projects including an orphanage for 108 children in Jacmel, Haiti. The woman has one biological daughter who was visiting their home in Haiti after graduating from Harvard University and recently entered the asset management industry.

When I learned Vanessa had gone into the investment management industry and was working in Dallas, I thought of Gene Needles and Amy Neves as good mentors and people for her to meet while learning the industry.

Cher Murphy

A few years later, Vanessa now works for Gene at American Beacon.

AIM lunchCher in Nairobi teaching a program on the business of Yoga

Cher grew up doing service projects and helping others, a legacy her grandparents instilled in her. Cher has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 25 years. Cher traveled to Nairobi as an ambassador for the Africa Yoga Project. She created and taught a program, the business of Yoga, that taught African yoga teachers how to better build their yoga business and be a leader in their communities. It was after this project that Cher traveled to Haiti and she now serves on the Board of Directors of Aid International whose mission is to increase self sustainability in rural areas of Haiti. Cher is active in fundraising, advising the non-profit and helping them develop their board of directors.

Cher’s ability to observe, discern and communicate how people make the difference has been the hallmark of her career. AIM’s book “People are the Product” rang true for Cher, and continues to influence her, her clients, and the organizations she donates her time to.

AIM's book, People are the Product, rang true for Cher, and continues to influence her, her clients and the organizations she donates her time to.