Marta Cotton was recognized for Excellence in Client Development at the 2015 Women in Finance Markets Choice Awards.
What follows is a lightly edited transcript of a January 7 interview.
Markets Media: Describe your role at Matarin Capital.
Marta Cotton: I am one of the five principals of the firm. I lead client development. At the stage that Matarin is now, that means client service, investor relations, marketing and business development.
MM: How do you achieve excellence in client development?
MC: When I started at the firm, Matarin had $13 million. We finished last year at $680 million, so we’ve had some success. I have helped lead Matarin’s growth in picking up new clients, through good solid networking and a very solid, repeatable investment process that takes the emotion out of investing. Our process is a fundamental/quantitative blend that’s a tried-and-true process that is more than 30 years in the making. We grow assets by getting out there and explaining our process to people and showing them that we have an edge.
MM: What is your perspective on being a successful woman in finance, i.e. what has been your experience as a woman in a field that at least historically has been dominated by men? What is your advice for young women who aspire to a career similar to yours?
MC: My career started at Goldman Sachs, on the sell side. I was there for 16 years. I was a managing director in the securities division –I helped build the firm’s international equity business. I then switched over to the buy side joining Matarin, where I’m going into my 5th year in helping grow this firm, really from scratch. I’ve been at one of the biggest, most complex firms and now I’m firmly in entrepreneurial mode. Each type of firm has its merits and is interesting in its own way.
I’m keen to see more women in finance and on Wall Street. There are a lot of great opportunities and great things to learn in this business and I hope we can continue to encourage more women to enter our industry.
I’m hopeful that we will continue to see gender stereotypes diminish and go away. What do I mean by that? For example, one of the gender stereotypes that has had some truth to it, is that if there is a job description for something, a lot of times women may not apply unless they feel they can check every last box. A lot of men are like, “Oh, I can do that, absolutely.” They don’t check all the boxes. “I know I can do that job,” and they’ll go for it.
It’s elements like that that have had some grains of truth in the past, in terms of gender stereotypes, that I hope we can change. In that example, seeing women really go for something that they think and know they can do, even if they don’t check every last box.
I also think women need to be more vocal about trumpeting the good job that they’re doing, which I believe men do more of than women. I’d like to see women trumpeting more of what they’re doing, and also finding sponsors. Finding a sponsor for yourself is very important in finance, and hopefully that will be something that women will continue to do to help them progress.
Featured image by vacant/Dollar Photo Club