AVP, ESG Product Specialist, Strategy
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Preqin is a very innovative place to work, and you can feel that every day as the company welcomes and supports employee-driven initiatives and ideas.
How would you describe your role?
I am Preqin’s global ESG Product Specialist. As the interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is growing in private financial markets, and in particular in the alternatives assets industry, Preqin is responding to our clients’ demand for high quality, comparable, standardized and comprehensive ESG data.
Preqin now has a dedicated ESG team working across different departments, and I am part of this cross functional team. In my role, I am responsible for two main domains:
What is it about your role in the ESG space that you enjoy the most?
Everything! I started working in sustainability six years ago and I have loved it ever since day one. I know I am lucky to be able to say that I love what I do. Six years ago, I was working in designing and implementing social innovation projects across countries in Latin America. Today, I am working with the pioneering team creating and providing the first at scale solution for ESG data in the alternatives assets industry. What is there not to like?
ESG takes many shapes, labels and forms, but as I see it, each of us can be working in ESG from our different domains. For me, ESG is so comprehensive and adaptable, it is about how to make sure our economic activity is as prosperous, productive and efficient as possible, without negatively affecting the world and the societies we live in. It's about caring for our world and communities so much, that we want to do good and do well.
How has your career progressed since you joined Preqin?
Fast and steady! Preqin is a very innovative company, and you can feel that every day as the company welcomes and supports employee-driven initiative and ideas. The company works by goals and results, which is amazing in my view. If you know exactly what the company is expecting from you, it is easier to plan your time so you can achieve the best results and have some extra time to allocate to other things that you like! In my case, I have had outstanding performance every month I have been at Preqin. Plus, I have had the time to allocate to projects I like, such as being an active member of the diversity and inclusion committee, driving the DEI agenda forward at Preqin.
As for the roles I have performed, I started as research analyst, quickly moving to senior research associate. Preqin supported my studies in ESG investing and data analysis with Python. Now, I am ESG Specialist with very exciting prospects in the future.
What advice would you give to someone looking to progress within their company - to transfer internally, learn new skills and move up the ladder?
My suggestion would be to move away from your comfort zone and intentionally decide to be in your growth zone. If you have an idea, go for it! If you want to get involved in something, go for it! If you want to learn something new, go for it! If there is a topic of your interest, go for it and speak up.
I would say, find something that you really like and feel excited about, the kind of thing that you don't mind dedicating part of your weekends to. Then, try to find the support that your company can provide for you to grow in that area. In my case, I like everything related to sustainability. Preqin provided an opportunity to join great internal initiatives, such as the D&I committee, so I joined. Preqin also has an educational budget for employees to grow their skills, and I used it to enrol onto the CFA ESG training.
Also, find a mentor, or someone internally, who can help you in your ambitions. You will find, more often than not, that people in your company want to support you, give you advice and open up spaces where you can grow.
As everything in life, it is a process. Be patient and love your process.
How did you first get involved in financial services?
My first role in a financial institution was a 9-month internship in a Latin American multilateral development bank. When I started this internship, the Colombian office was fundraising for an infrastructure fund as part of the highways’ investment program. Part of my role was to help in the due diligence process where I had to do loads of internal research and work with our fund manager partner. I then moved to the social innovation department where I saw a different side of the financial sector, the one more closely related to sustainability and socioeconomic development. I was involved in financing social impact projects in countries in the region, working with so many different stakeholders from the private and public sector, NGOs, academia, etc.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I always struggle with this type of question, the reality is that I feel very proud of all and every single decision, step, activity, mistake, endeavor I have taken in my life, that have made me who I am today… Life is a learning path with ups and downs, we should all be proud of our own process. If this was a job interview I would of course highlight the impressive things I have done - swimming at world championships, excellent academic results, social innovation projects I worked on, team work or initiatives I led that produced great results. However, as it is not, this is the perfect opportunity for me to say be proud of yourself and everything you have done!
What’s your favourite thing about working at Preqin?
My favourite thing about working at Preqin is that I am learning new things every day! I learn about our clients and what they are doing in their ESG journeys, I learn about my colleagues, their diverse backgrounds and experiences, I learn about the alternatives assets industry. Every day is a knowledge journey!
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To learn more about the alternatives industry, discover the lessons on Preqin Academy.