Women in Finance Awards Q&A: Peggy Sullivan, Vela


Peggy Sullivan, Chief of Staff at Vela, won Excellence in Service Providers at Markets Media’s 2019 Women in Finance Awards.

Which mentor(s) have helped you most in your career, and how?
My father continues to be a great influence. Having attended an all-girls high school, I was able to find a voice but not without the support of my father. He always supported me, whether it was running for office, participating in sports or joining clubs. His message was the same — that I can achieve anything when I commit my time and energy. He has a very strong work ethic.

How do you strike a work-life balance?
This is the most challenging question for working women. The quote “it takes a village” applies here. Amazing teachers and caregivers have helped change the direction of my family life over the years. Perhaps now is the right time to thank them. During my children’s elementary school years, teachers including Mrs. Helene Vecchonie, Mrs. Joanne Klein and Mrs. Marisa Lanteri were instrumental. As for caregivers, we were truly blessed with Nanda Ramrattan and Sara Parda Costa. At different times, these women entered our lives and I am eternally grateful for their presence and the impact they had on me.

How important is it to recognize women in the financial industry?
It is extremely important to recognize women in finance. We need to continue to focus on improving young women in STEM. Jen Nayar, Vela’s CEO, focuses and celebrates the women in our organization and I am proud to be part of that heritage.

Which award winner(s) from the event impressed you most?
Kathryn Zhao of Cantor Fitzgerald, who won the award for Innovation in Quantitative Trading, is an inspirational leader and someone I admire. Her undeniable market knowledge and commitment to her firm are both impressive and inspiring.

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