Published : Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 7:26 PM
A local businesswoman who was widely quoted in news reports and appeared on national television to share her financial acumen, often with a dose of humor, will be remembered with a new memorial fund that gifts scholarships to women in finance.
Bonnie Baha was a senior portfolio manager and partner of DoubleLine Capital LP, an asset manager where she founded and led the firm’s Global Developed Credit group for investing in debt issued by corporations in developed-economy countries.
She died at age 56 after she was hit by a car in Virginia in 2016. She is survived by her husband Mustapha Baha, son Ayman and daughter Miriam.
The fund has been established by the Pasadena Community Foundation, a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people of Pasadena, to provide scholarships for women pursuing financial careers.
Baha was committed to promoting the entry and advancement of women in the financial sector, particularly in the field of asset management where women represent a small percentage of the industry’s portfolio managers, traders, analysts, consultants and other key professionals.
With the support of her friends and family, the Pasadena Community Foundation established the charitable fund in her memory to help address the underrepresentation of women in the financial sector.
“We are honored to establish a fund in tribute to Bonnie’s impressive career, supporting a cause which was dear to her heart,” said Jennifer DeVoll, Pasadena Community Foundation Chief Executive Officer. “Bonnie was a member of our Greater Pasadena community, and we are proud of her. Through this scholarship, her legacy of helping women in finance will continue.”
The Bonnie Baha Memorial Scholarship Fund will award at least one $10,000 scholarship each year to an outstanding woman enrolled in a full-time master’s degree course at the USC Marshall School of Business.
Baha received her Business Administration master’s at the University of Southern California.
With the Pasadena Community Foundation administering the scholarship fund, the USC admissions office disseminates application forms and information to eligible women accepted as master’s degree students at USC Marshall in advance of each school year.
A selection committee will review the applications and select the scholarship recipients. The members of the initial selection committee are Miriam Baha, Bonnie’s daughter, a marketing operations associate at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors; Monica Erickson, CFA, a portfolio manager and head of the investment-grade corporate bond team at DoubleLine Capital LP; Mary Childs, author and senior reporter at Barron’s magazine; and Melissa Weiler, an asset manager who’s managing director of Crescent Capital where she serves on the management committee and focuses on Structured Product activities.
Applicants should be women who have earned a BA or BS undergraduate degree and who have been accepted to or who are now enrolled in a master’s program at USC such as Business Administration (with emphasis on Finance), Finance, Accounting, Business taxation, or another related field.
Applicants also must have had significant work experience, a minimum two years, in the financial services industry and have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a career in finance, investment management or financial consulting. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate financial need.
This year, the deadline for applications is Thursday, May 17. The Pasadena Community Foundation expects to announce the scholarship award for the coming academic year in mid-June.
Pasadena Community Foundation also welcomes donors interested in contributing to the Bonnie Baha Scholarship Fund. Donors may visit Pasadena Community Foundation’s website to make a donation online at www.pasadenacf.org, or contact Dan Maljanian at email@example.com.
As a tax-exempt charity, Pasadena Community Foundation manages over $80 million in charitable assets, and works with individuals, families and organizations to establish philanthropic funds. It invests and builds endowment funds and provides grants to local non-profits, focusing on six areas of local interest: arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and youth.