Trailblazer: Ali Hackett, London Stock Exchange Group
Ali Hackett was recognized as a Trailblazer at the 2016 Women in Finance Markets Choice Awards.
Describe the highlights of your career to date and your current role/responsibilities?
Currently, I am the US Country Head for London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), the diversified international capital markets infrastructure company, and also serve as both the Global Head of Sales and Relationship Management and Head of US Office at the market leader clearing house LCH. In these roles, I am responsible for maximizing the value, reach and range of the Group’s existing customer relationships while pursuing new member and client business opportunities. In addition to LCH, we have a number of businesses with a large presence in North America now, including FTSE Russell, UnaVista, MTS Markets International, MillenniumIT and the LSE itself, where over 120 US and Canadian firms are listed today. At LSEG, I also co-chair the Women’s Inspired Network (WIN) for employees in North America and am part of the Group’s Customer Partnership Program to enhance the client experience across business activities.
This year at LCH, I oversaw two key successful initiatives: (1) the go-live of LCH Spider, our innovative new portfolio margining tool for interest rate derivatives; and (2) the brand repositioning and identity of LCH as the Markets’ Partner. In terms of career highlights, I was the first woman global head of prime finance, working in partnership with the co-head to build the fastest growing prime brokerage in both market share and profitability. In particular, I was noted for hiring a diverse group of managers and developing and leading several initiatives and mentorship programs for women, African-Americans and the LGBT community. I am also grateful that I have worked with people who have developed fabulous careers while being true to themselves and their communities. This is in finance, in charitable institutions and in technology. Case in point, Silicon Valley companies are trailblazing every day.
What do you — and by extension, your firm and industry — do to ‘blaze trails’ for others?
This award is absolutely shared with every female who has gone before, after and with me. It is an honor to be considered a trailblazer but it is important to express that I would not be where I am without the support of the financial services community. We all own this together, and I believe it is exciting to take risk and help drive the innovative changes that are critical in order to accelerate growth not only at my company but also for the industry as a whole. I also pride myself on attracting and retaining top talent, fostering a fair and productive work environment and spurring innovation by promoting original thinking and new product development.
What is your perspective on being a successful woman working in financial markets, and what is your advice to those who may strive for this?
Be brave; brave enough to embrace diversity and stand up for what is always right. I think it is also important to note that, however “bold” I may have been in my career, I did not do it without embracing kindness at every turn. One piece of advice I offer to women at whatever stage they are in their career is to give back. Giving back makes you feel better about yourself. Anything that gives you positive reinforcement and confidence is a positive in my eye.