Women Leaders

Lisa Muller, Sentinel Investments

Lisa Muller

Keeping Promises

Editors’ Note

Lisa Muller assumed her current role in July 2015. She joined National Life in 2008 as counsel, and was promoted to senior counsel in 2011. Prior to joining National Life, she was Assistant General Counsel for the Vermont State Department of Financial Regulation; Corporate Associate for Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; and a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Paul Plunkett with the U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois. She received her J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Colgate University.

Company Brief

For more than 168 years, National Life (nationallife.com) has worked hard to deliver on its promises to millions of people with their vision of providing peace of mind in times of need. It’s their cause, stemming from a deep passion to live their values to do good, be good, and make good, every day. Jackie and Kevin Freiberg, business consultants and best-selling authors, recently featured National Life Group in their book CAUSE!. The book explores the power and business case for creating a purpose-driven company.

How has Sentinel Investments evolved to where it is today?

We’re primarily an asset management company, although we have three legal entities under the Sentinel Investments umbrella. The asset manager was first registered with the SEC in the 1960s, although National Life has been around since the 1840s. We manage National Life’s proprietary assets for the insurance company general accounts, and have been managing outside money since the 1960s. We currently have about $5.5 billion in third-party assets through mutual funds and separate accounts.

Do you differentiate in terms of product?

In terms of product, we believe investment performance is very important given the competition in the industry, the number of products available, and the number of investment vehicles available. This is becoming more of a challenge, which is one reason we want to focus on the areas where we think we can deliver and offer a differentiated product.

In terms of products, they need to be relevant to today’s investor. We are looking to offer products that can satisfy a need – for example, our Multi-Asset Income Fund that seeks to deliver income.

Are there opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

Culture is an important aspect of attracting and keeping women. We need to make them feel comfortable in looking for these opportunities and stretching themselves in areas where they might not see an immediate fit.