Martha (Marty) Boal Willis, C ’82, the chief marketing officer for OppenheimerFunds, will deliver a public lecture on Wednesday, January 27 at 4:30 PM in Gailor Auditorium. Willis is the Babson Center for Global Commerce’s Graham Executive-in-Residence for the 2016 Easter Semester.
The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception follows.
OppenheimerFunds is an asset management company with a portfolio of products that includes both mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Willis’ speech, titled "Going Against the Herd: How We Defied Conventions by Defining Our Brand,” will focus on her firm’s 2015 launch of a major rebranding effort that urges investors to focus on long-term optimism rather than short-term market negativity. The campaign, called “Invest in a Beautiful World,” stresses the value of long-term global investment.
Willis has fearlessly driven strategic changes and many new innovations for the financial services industry including: the mutual fund industry’s first share class of mutual funds, the first series of mutual funds for Retirement Income Distribution, Fidelity’s Personal Investments Review program, the first web-based mutual fund selection tool and the mutual fund industry’s first application of QR codes.
In her current position as Chief Marketing Officer at OppenheimerFunds, Marty plays an expansive marketing role overseeing Business Strategy development, Investment and Retirement Product management, Board Relations, Brand Marketing and Corporate Communications. During her five years at OppenheimerFunds assets have grown from $167B to over $250B. Her accolades include: the Fund Marketer of the Year Award (2010), Top Advertising Campaign by Institutional Investor (2011), and Top 25 Marketer by B to B magazine (2012 and 2013).
Prior to joining OppenheimerFunds, Marty spent 25 years at Fidelity Investments, rising to the rank of executive vice president and managing the firm’s retail and institutional marketing.
In addition to her responsibilities at OppenheimerFunds, she is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of BPA Worldwide, a not-for-profit organization that audits audience claims in the media industry and helps ensure that firms comply with government regulations and standards for privacy and data protection.
Willis has a long history of support for the University including a six-year term on the Board of Regents, serving as Chair from 2009 to 2011. She also chaired the University’s investment committee from 2004 to 2009. Willis and her husband, Bill, are the parents of three children; one, Caroline Willis, also attended Sewanee and graduated in 2011.
The Graham Executive Residencies are made possible by a generous gift from Diane and the late Henry H. Graham, Jr. The residencies bring distinguished business leaders to campus to offer insight into business leadership issues, teach classes, and advise students on career paths.