What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I am a senior research executive at J.P. Morgan. I lead the firm’s research effort covering all fixed income asset classes (global credit, FX, rates, Emerging Markets, securitized products, public finance and global index research) for both developed and emerging markets. I began following Emerging Markets (then known as Third World or Less Developed Countries) in 1989 in the aftermath of the Latin American debt crisis, joining Salomon Brothers as a graduate student at Princeton studying for a degree in development economics. I had previously worked for the US Agency for International Development in the Philippines, Jordan and India. At the time, most EM debt consisted mainly of non-performing loans trading at a deep discount. Loans, not bonds, were in circulation and the business was dominated by commercial banks. Information was very scarce and most EM countries were not rated. At Salomon Brothers, I created some of the first primers looking at Emerging Markets as an asset class as defaulted EM sovereign loans were securitized into “Brady bonds” in the early 1990s.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
The biggest challenge is time management, balancing the time to do actual research, meet with clients, manage my teams and also make sure that everything is running smoothly for my family. The 270 research strategists and economists in my groups are located in 13 countries so I am so the road a lot of the time. My children are 11 and 14 years old.
What is your proudest achievement?
I am proud to see the current achievements made in emerging markets countries over the past 25 years. EM countries have emerged from crises and come full circle, with some now seen as the flight to quality over US markets. When I started covering emerging markets, hyperinflation was rampant, many countries were still in default and ruled by corrupt autocratic governments.
J.P. Morgan has ranked #1 for fixed income research for the past four consecutive years in Institutional Investor’s All-America Fixed-Income Research survey. I have held top individual rankings in industry surveys for Emerging Markets sovereign and strategy research since the mid-1990s.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I admire the emerging markets leaders who brought lasting change to their countries, both economically and politically, like Nelson Mandela
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I hope that I am still working on emerging markets and public policy issues.
What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
Make sure that you work on something that you are passionate about and have been long and personally interested in.