Mandy DeFilippo: Setting new goals

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By:
Louise Bowman
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As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our April capital markets focus.

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“After the crisis, people realized that, in hindsight, at least in relation to some areas of the capital markets, market practice around disclosure and process was not as rigorous – or consistent – as it perhaps could have been,” says Mandy DeFilippo, managing director and global head of risk management for fixed income and commodities at Morgan Stanley, who had a baptism of fire when she joined the industry in early 2007.

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Mandy DeFilippo, Morgan Stanley

Today, DeFilippo sits on the regional and global management committees for the fixed income division and on a number of other governance related committees at the bank. She also joined the board of the International Capital Market Association in 2016 and was elected chair in May 2018, the first woman to hold the position.

“In Europe today, we need to guard against market fragmentation – especially against the backdrop of Brexit. For years, EU regulators and market participants spoke aspirationally of the potential harmonization of standards in certain areas of the capital markets. This had been raised internationally as well, for example between EU and US standards in certain respects. But true and full harmonization hasn’t really happened – and now, for the time being, Brexit and its implications has taken over the dialogue. Retrenchment into parochialism – and with it, fragmentation – is a significant threat to the efficient functioning of the capital markets in Europe,” she says.

Gender balance

DeFilippo is an active participant in industry-wide organizations in the European market, including initiatives to establish market standards for the industry. She is also focused on the need for greater gender balance and diversity in banking.

“Over the past decade, the financial services industry has certainly recognized that it needs to do better in relation to gender balance and diversity,” she says. “There is still work to do, but, from my own experience, I can say that I see many more senior women in sell-side firms now than when I started my career.

“These women are also starting to come into leadership positions – both in their own firms and in other contexts in the broader market. This is really important, as it gives younger generations of women coming into the industry a goal to shoot for, which looks much more realistic and achievable than before. Plus, more senior women in the industry means that, as senior women, we are ourselves a more diverse group. For example, when I appear on a panel of senior women at an industry event, we look different from one another, in many ways. That wasn’t always the case and I think it’s a real positive as it makes us much more effective role models for younger women today.”