Jonathan Bell Lovelace believed that fundamental research is essential to achieving superior long-term investment results. The small company he founded in 1931 has grown into one of the world’s most respected financial institutions.
Life at Capital Group
LeAnn Trejo says she’s “had a great run” at Capital. Now a Senior Manager in Shareholder Services, she started working on the phones in 1998, at the tender age of 19.
“During my first fall semester out of high school—mine had a business focus—I was at University of Texas San Antonio,” LeAnn says. “I was looking for a part-time job, and I saw a notice about a job fair for new graduates. It was on my way to class, so I grabbed my resume. [Capital Group] was there, and when the recruiter asked whether I knew anything about mutual funds, I said, ‘I think I remember something from a Junior Achievement class.’ They said, ‘No problem, we’ll teach you.’ I was hired a few months later. They only had full-time openings, which wasn’t what I was looking for, but the benefits won me over.”
“I’ve had great fortune”
Four years later, LeAnn began a 14-year stint on the sales side in NAD. She relates, “I had the opportunity to work in all areas—I joke around and say I did a tour of duty within NAD! After learning a lot about retirement plans as a Territory Support Associate, I decided to challenge myself as a Retirement Plan Specialist, selling retirement plans with an external partner. I did that for a couple of years. All along the way, I’ve had the great fortune of having frank conversations about my development with my senior managers and managers. I let it be known that I wanted to be a manager.”
Eventually, LeAnn moved into the role of Manager of the Retirement Plan Sales team. She did that for a few years, and then was presented with the opportunity to manage our Area Sales Representatives (ASRs). “That was probably one of the biggest growth opportunities for me,” she recalls. “It was a big stretch. I went from selling retirement plans to learning the complexities of the mutual fund industry, selling to advisors, and coaching ASRs how to do that as well.”
LeAnn credits open dialogue and being proactive in finding ways to challenge herself as reasons why she’s had so many opportunities to gain valuable experience from a variety of roles within NAD. In addition to working with retirement plan sales teams and ASRs, she also gained experience with the National Accounts team as both an individual contributor and manager. She participated in a senior manager internship, which provided experience working with our external sales teams; she was eventually promoted to a senior manager position in NAD.
Even after that role, LeAnn felt there was lots more to do at Capital. Her experience managing was only with our sales teams in NAD, and she wanted to continue to develop and grow her overall business understanding of CG. To do that, LeAnn knew she needed to understand how we manage the operations side of the business.
“So here I am, back in Shareholder Services,” LeAnn reports. “In addition to being a personal development opportunity, it’s helping me understand things more broadly—we can’t have great sales without great service, because they move in lockstep. Managing on both sides has given me that awareness.”
LeAnn’s favorite advice is to never say “no” to an opportunity—even when it feels like a bigger stretch than you can imagine. “My most significant growth has come from roles I was hesitant about,” she offers. “Explore and research opportunities. When people come to you, they’re seeing something in you that you might not yet recognize. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few tears along the way! But Capital is always good—even if something doesn’t work out in the best way, it’s still viewed as a useful learning experience.”
LeAnn is an advocate for the learning resources Capital provides. “If you want to learn more, there are plenty of resources available at your fingertips,” she points out. “They’ve really provided me an avenue to learn more without waiting for something to open up. Even two-minute video clips and refreshers on time management are useful.” LeAnn also credits her informal mentors as very important. “They’ve had great open-door policies. They’d give me insight, and help me make decisions about my career path.
“I say it a lot,” confirms LeAnn, “because I know it’s true: You have to take control of your own development. You can’t sit back and wait.”