Growing up amidst the buzz of the start-up movement in Silicon Valley nurtured an interest in the world of finance and technology for Bloomberg Australia’s Head, Emily Gordon. On moving to Australia in 2011 – along with learning a few things about the Australian sporting culture – she also discovered a “sophisticated investor market.” This week she speaks with Industry Moves about Bloomberg’s “unique culture”, shares her thoughts on the makings of an effective CEO and tells us about a powerful role model in her life.
What initially drew you towards a career in finance research?
I have always been fascinated by the dynamism and fast-paced nature of financial markets. I grew up in the Silicon Valley and was surrounded by technology and the start-up movement happening there, so working for Bloomberg, the original Fintech, seemed like the perfect place to fulfil my interests in finance and technology.
What excites you the most about your job?
There’s never a dull moment or one day that is the same as the other. As markets change, our product is constantly evolving and so are the needs of our customers. As a technology company at heart, we are always innovating our product and technology to help drive better investment decisions, enhance market transparency and build communities. We are constantly seeking new ways to support the development of Australian corporations and financial institutions and anticipating market needs. Every day I come in to something new which has kept the job exciting since I started with Bloomberg in 2009.
Having joined Bloomberg in 2009 and then becoming head of Australia and New Zealand in 2015, what would you say are your top tips for climbing the ladder within an organisation?
Building a strong network (both internal and external), working hard, being dependable, being authentic, and giving people recognition.
After two years in the top job at Bloomberg, what’s the greatest lesson that you’ve taken away so far?
People and culture are the most crucial elements for success. Bloomberg has a unique culture that is the foundation for driving innovation with our products and instilling an open and transparent environment; this permeates the organisation globally. In Australia, I have an incredibly strong team of managers and employees who are highly intelligent, driven, and motivated; they keep the ship moving and progressing in a positive direction.
What was one of the biggest cultural differences that you noticed when you made the move from the US to Australia in 2011?
Apart from replacing my Starbucks with a skinny cappuccino and trying to learn the basics of cricket and rugby, I noticed early on in my move that the Australian market is a sophisticated investor market where senior relationships are key. Our Australian customer base is highly sophisticated and looking for result-oriented solutions, so it is imperative for my team and I to have a deep understanding of our clients and their workflow, and the global best practices that may be applicable to them – whether it may be across financial regulation, the future of buyside technology or the latest trends in enterprise data management.
In your opinion, what makes for an effective CEO?
To me, an effective CEO needs to be authentic, approachable, and capable of reflection. An effective CEO needs to have a clear strategy and stick to it so employees have clarity on what they are working towards and why. He/she needs to have an eye for talent and appoint great talent whom he/she can trust and give autonomy to make decisions.
What has been the best piece of advice that you have received?
The Chairman of Bloomberg, Peter Grauer, once told me that “you can do anything if you believe you can do it.”
What was your very first job?
At age 15, I became a lifeguard for the local swim club in California where I grew up. Luckily I never had to do any rescues. Being a lifeguard comes with an immense amount of responsibility; so the job taught me how to be attentive and react calmly in stressful situations which are important tenants of customer service and something that remains important in my current role.
Who has had the biggest influence on your life/career so far?
My aunt was a role model to me growing up and still remains a big influence in my life. My mother was a teacher and my father was a doctor, so it was my aunt, who was a successful Advertising Executive in New York City, who exposed me to the corporate world and demonstrated what it means to be a strong and powerful female executive. I am glad that Bloomberg is a company that embraces diversity and inclusion, which it views as a business imperative.
Can you tell us a little more about Bloomberg’s Square Mile Relay?
This is the second time we’ve hosted the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay in Australia, a unique corporate relay race which this year saw over 500 runners from Sydney’s biggest businesses participate. Established in 2007 in London, the Bloomberg Square Mile is now an international series, where corporate companies form teams of 10 runners who individually race around a one-mile course. After crossing the line, runners enjoy world-class hospitality during the race’s official after-party. This year in Sydney, Macquarie took the title in a time of 53:38, setting the city record. Every team’s participation in the Bloomberg Square Mile helps fund a local revitalisation project that will allow runners to volunteer with the local Square Mile Relay community and have a positive impact on the city.
What’s something that most people wouldn’t know about you?
I love to run and completed my first full marathon in Sydney in 2013 and beat my goal of finishing in under 4 hours. I also enjoy cooking and have participated in the Oz Harvest CEO Cookoff for the past 2 years.
This article is written by Industry Moves Australia, link to original post.
Read more from Emily Gordon on our Bloomberg Professional Services blog: