Tell us who you are!
I am an Executive Director in Equity Sales and Trading at Morgan Stanley. My primary role involves trading Equity Swaps both principally (on behalf of Morgan Stanley) and on behalf of clients. As one of only 7 female traders on the Morgan Stanley Equity Trading floor in New York, I spend a significant amount of time recruiting and mentoring women interested in finance and trading specifically. I am married and have two little boys.
Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of!
While I have been in Equity Sales and Trading at Morgan Stanley for the majority of my career, I have changed roles numerous times. I started in Counterparty Risk Management shortly before the financial crisis and later transitioned to a derivative trading role on the Equity Swap Desk. As a swap trader I have run books on a variety of products including swaps on custom baskets, swaps on broad based and sector indices, financing structures, put/ call combos, and certificates.
What makes you successful in life/current job?
A key to my success in recent years has been finding balance between understanding the limits of my current knowledge set while simultaneously being more confident in the areas that I have expertise. In a fast moving market, it is vital to be confident enough to make the quick decisions necessary to manage risk, but it is also essential that one knows when to escalate issues and solicit other opinions.
What is/has been your biggest achievement professionally and personally?
My biggest achievement to date has been finding a way to balance raising two active young boys while simultaneously continuing to progress in my career.
What skills, experiences or incidents helped you to get you to where you are today? What hindered?
Working in a risk role during the financial crisis definitely shaped my outlook. Not only did I get to see firsthand what happens when models break down, but I also learned invaluable lessons on the importance of being flexible in periods of extreme change.
What can you offer your 1World Mentee?
I have a keen understanding of what it looks and feels like to be a female in a predominantly male trade.
Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?
While a glass ceiling certainly exists in many fields, I honestly believe one of the biggest hurdles women have to overcome is a lack of self-confidence. When I ask male college students whether they could learn to be a trader they rarely, if ever, express any concern as to whether they could succeed in the role. Women, on the other hand, almost always apply for sales roles and when I ask if they would consider applying for a trading role, they immediately respond that it seems interesting but that they do not feel they are qualified for the role. Women need to stop starting the job search by asking themselves whether they can or are qualified to do a role and should instead first focus on whether they WANT to do the role.