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Women in Finance Asia Award Winners "In Their Own Words"

Women in Finance Asia Award Winners

Markets Media Group presented the fourth annual Women in Finance Asia Awards on May 27, 2022. Congratulations to the winners!



What are your thoughts on the future of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion?


Rachel Lord, BlackRock:

“I moved from London to Hong Kong a year ago and seeing the level of enthusiasm and passion to make progress on DEI across both EMEA and APAC means I am incredibly optimistic about the scale and pace of change that we can achieve as a group. In an environment where politics and society more broadly is increasingly polarised, to me this is one of the few topics which unites us all today.” 

Rachel Lord, BlackRock:


What is the ‘secret of your success’, i.e. how do you maintain a standard of excellence day in and day out?


Mathilde SwierczynskaSMBC Nikko Securities:



“There is no secret and I am not sure there is success: there is hard work, there is a strong team and there are high ethical standards. I make decisions and propose solutions which I trust I would be able to stand by in 10 years’ time in front of a regulator or a judge – and this without blushing.”




Tassie BrakenridgeBlackRock:



“The secret to my success so far has been to listen to the problems my clients face, and help find a solution or direct them closer to one. No client expects me to have all the answers immediately; what they expect is a willingness to understand, a perspective on their core issue and clarity on when a solution can be provided.” 



YiLin LeeTradeweb:


“There’s no magic formula for a successful career. I’m a firm believer in constantly taking on new responsibilities, acquiring new skills and innovating in my field. That’s the best way to feel more empowered to realize my full potential.”







Mariko Ishikawa, Credit Suisse:


“I always keep two things in mind. The first is to build my ‘reputational savings’ by having a giving mindset, investing in supportive relationships and finding allies. These allies have then stepped in as advocates and supported me by acting as mentors or sponsors as I have strived to balance personal and professional priorities throughout my career. The second is to be aware of the impact of my words. The goal of a conversation should never be about defeating the other party; instead, I look to use positive words when engaging with others, thereby focusing on making connections and improving relationships.”



Vaisshali Babu, BNP Paribas Securities Services:



“Flexibility and agility have kept me on my toes. The world around us, whether professional or personal, is always changing and this impacts our working styles, strategies, goals etc. The key to success is to be aligned with these changes by having ‘your own’ unique, positive contribution.

Secondly, for me the solution to all problems has always been simple.  Simple thinking is key.”


Kristina Knoll Martinez, Citadel and Citadel Securities:


“I’ve been fortunate to work with a diverse team of global colleagues from across different industries – from bulge bracket firms to smaller prop shops and tech start-ups, it is a great mix of talent and experience. I learn something new every day – whether from someone I hired straight from their undergraduate studies who now runs a global business, to industry experts who chose to pivot and build businesses at Citadel. It is incredibly rewarding to have access to such an ambitious set of colleagues, and ensures I am constantly learning and experimenting with new ideas and ways of working.”


Who was/is your most influential mentor or role model?


Mari Kato, BofA Securities:


“Everyone. From those who have inspired me to better, and also to those who have given me a hard time – they all helped me shape who I am today. Thank you!”







Angela Leong, Liquidnet:


“My mother, for her relentless spirit towards life-long learning. At age 73 she is learning to bake macaroons and play the ukulele.”







Marija Janchovski, Vanguard:


“When I think of a person who has impacted my life the most (outside of my immediate family of course), in the sense of enabling the journey of where I am to where I’ve come from, my approach to risk and opportunities, and how I want to use the relatively fortunate position I feel I am currently in, it would be George Soros. 

 When I was finishing high school in Macedonia, I got a full scholarship from Soros’s Open Society Institute Foundation, to study at an American university in a neighboring country. It wasn’t just an opportunity to improve my English and get a good education – it was also a lesson that good things can happen when you dream big and work hard, even if it’s difficult to see the final result at the starting line. There were only a couple of spots for that scholarship. The process was not the most simple one, so a lot of people around me had the “not worth trying” attitude. I sometimes see that with women or minorities too – and yes the percentages in senior leadership don’t look good, it often is hard, there are systemic barriers. But taking a risk, not self-limiting, being tenacious, being open to getting help from people you meet along the way – you multiply your probability for success. And finally, help others along the way, pay it forward, lift up the chances and the benchmark for others following your footsteps.”


What challenges have you had to overcome in your career?

Caecilia Chu, YouTrip:


“The pandemic has been the greatest test of our resilience and adaptivity. And I am proud to say that it has also brought out our ambition and determination to be an all-weather company. Today, YouTrip is so much more than travel. We now have such a diversified set of businesses across consumer payment card, corporate payment card, corporate lending, remittances, and insurance. We are able to do that because of our focus and dedication to our core mission, that is empowering our customers with the most affordable and convenient financial innovations.”  



Individual Achievement Angela Leong, Head of Liquidnet Singapore, Liquidnet
Excellence in Banking Laurianne Curtil, Managing Director, Co-Head of Financing Distribution, 
Goldman Sachs
Rising Star Tassie Brakenridge, Product Strategist, APAC Regional Sustainability Lead for Active Investments, BlackRock
Rising Star Mari Kato, Sales Trader, Asia Pacific Electronic Trading, BofA Securities
Rising Star Natalie Lo, Vice President, State Street Global Advisors
Rising Star Shiho Miyanaga, VP, Technology, Media & Telecom Group, 
SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
Excellence in Marketing and Communications Cynthia Lin, Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific (ex Japan), Fidelity
Excellence in Operations Sherleen Tong, Head of Operations, Asia, Instinet
Best in Custody Vaisshali Babu, Head, Relationship Management, Product & Market Intelligence, BNP Paribas Securities Services
Excellence in 
Trading Platforms
YiLin Lee, Credit Product Manager APAC, Tradeweb
Excellence in Exchanges Jennifer Ilkiw, Head of ICE, Asia Pacific, Intercontinental Exchange Inc.
Excellence in HR 
and Talent Management
Kristina Knoll Martinez, Managing Director, Citadel and Citadel Securities
Lifetime Achievement Rachel Lord, Senior MD, Chair and Head of Asia Pacific, BlackRock
Best in Fintech Florence Kwan, Head of APAC IT Production, Sales & Research, BNP Paribas
Excellence in 
Asset Management
Cindy Lai, Executive Director, JP Morgan Asset Management
Excellence in 
Sell-side Trading
Kitty Li, MD, Head of APAC Agency Electronic Trading, UBS
Excellence in 
Buy-side Trading
Marija Janchovski, Equities Head Trader – Asia Pacific & Portfolio Manager, Vanguard Australia
Excellence in Hedge Funds Julia Tsai, Analyst, Citadel
Excellence in Legal and Compliance Emily Hengeveld, Legal & Client Onboarding APAC, Virtu Financial
Excellence in 
Mathilde Swierczynska, MD, Head of Private Wealth Compliance, APAC, SMBC Nikko Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Trailblazer Mariko Ishikawa, Head of Equity Sales, Japan, Credit Suisse
Crystal Ladder Malavika Shanker, Head of Asia Listed Derivatives Execution and Platform Sales, Morgan Stanley
Excellence in Leadership Laura Atherley, MD, Head of APAC Senior Relationship Management, Citi
CEO of the Year Caecilia Chu, CEO and Co-founder, YouTrip

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