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“To be an effective leader, you need to know what you don’t know. We need to focus our time on what we don’t know and don’t see, which is an incredibly important quality for any leadership position.” – Katina Stefanova, CEO and CIO of Marto Capital.”
How Katina Stefanova began with her journey in the financial services industry
Katina Stefanova is a strategic leader in asset management and financial service. She has extensive global investment and management experience in the asset management market. Being a versatile keynote speaker, she attended many conferences and events across the globe and spoke on topics including investing, technology, and entrepreneurship. As a result, she came up as a thought leader in the asset management industry. Stefanova possesses an investment management genius with 20 decades of experience in this discipline. Presently, she is serving as CIO and CEO of Marto Capital.
Originally belonging to Bulgaria, Stefanova came to the United States at 18 with a one-way ticket purchased by her grandfather and $200 in her pocket. After arriving in America, she studied in a college with all the profound training in English. In 1998, she received a bachelor’s degree in Faculty of International Relations from Brigham Young University. Then she planned to study the areas concerning finance and technology.
According to Stefanova,
“I was in the right place at the right time, on the West Coast during the dot-com boom,”
Continuing to gain her knowledge in asset management, investment, and the market world, Stefanova joined the master’s program the Harvard Business School.
A Career in International Business Development
After graduation, Stefanova began her career by joining a global organization named Arthur Andersen’s M&A division. Working in an accounting firm, she specialized in mergers and acquisitions, advisory services, and valuation. To accelerate her business and management skills, she worked for Ad Relevance in 1999, leading international business development for a media startup. The company was eventually sold to Media Metrix. Stefanova served there for two years, following the sale of the company compelled her to move to London. Her next initiative was to become Director in IBM’s Business Strategy team in the EMEA region. At IBM, she led large post-merger integration initiatives for financial services clients in Europe and Asia. She also engaged in IT and consulting solutions and advised the tech companies to acquire dot-com businesses.
Since 2005, Stefanova began initiating investment goals. She served as an advisor of an investment finance Berkeley Capital Partners in Russia. Being a senior investment associate at Account Management, she fulfilled her duties as account management. She reported directly to the CEO and Founder, Ray Dalio, overseeing various departments, including customer service, fund accounting, core management, and operations. She also managed back and middle office teams during major transformation and outsourcing. By coordinating the management committee, she developed an investment strategy that brought revenue and profit to the company. She worked with the commitment that led this firm to grow from approximately 20 to 160 billion dollars, increasing its efficiency by 30 percent.
Her career goals took a new turn as she launched Marto Capital in New York, a multi-strategy asset management firm. Her new small business goal was to meet the unmet demands of investors by providing systematic, efficient, and cost-effective investment options.
Launching Marto Capital
From 2016 to the present, Stefanova has served as the CEO and CIO of the New York Marto Capital. Along with making significant strategic decisions and ensuring sustainable development of her company, her responsibilities include solving the organization’s technological problems and ensuring information security. By establishing this company, she strives to understand how a changing world works. She initiated a new way of thinking for investment success. The new investment process based on dynamic models captures economic linkages, technology, social disruption, and structural market flows.
Stefanova, a systematic multi-strategy asset manager, an investor, and a strategic adviser, sees a misalignment of interests between asset managers and investors, particularly a lack of transparency and a lack of alignment of economic incentives. Her goal is to rebuild a sense of trust by developing a comprehensive business model. The corporate governance mechanisms include a system of controls intended to help align managers’ incentives with those of shareholders and other stakeholders. Being the owner of Marto Capital, she acknowledges that the goals set by the company and the fellow shareholders enable the company to make changes and align goals. Putting faith in her ability to make wise decisions, many investors have trusted their funds and investments with her.
Having a team of experienced investment professionals with state-of-the-art technology in an adaptable investment ecosystem, Stefanova focuses on limiting the downside risk of her clients while maintaining maximum profits/returns. All the assets get maximum exposure to calculated risks but are aligned with the client’s objectives. These risks are taken based on multiple market signals. Her analytical skills and extensive experience have attracted investments and created customized portfolios for several clients.
Stefanova shared her formula for investment success that beat the market competitors and created customizable solutions for its clients.
Emphasizing the role of Marto Capital, she said,
“Historically, when you consider successful asset management firms and financial institutions, you think of optimizing for financial capital,” she points out. But at Marto, they add social capital into the equation. Through that prism, they are working to address current problems such as underfunded pension systems by implementing smarter investing for pensioners and retirees.”
Having strategic and management experience, Marto Capital has been able to tap into various fields and industries, gaining insight into every aspect of the marketplace. The leading practices from software engineering to the design of our investment platform, the investment professionals of Marto Capital, specializing in research, portfolio construction, and trade execution. This allows investments in lucrative opportunities, benefiting the organization as well as the clients.
Further stating she said,
“Everything else follows if you keep positive social outcomes as your goal. We are here to make money for our clients, but we also are focusing on operating with a level of integrity and transparency that allows us to avoid prevalent ethics issues.”
At present, Stefanova has successfully built her investment and consulting company through Marto Capital and AcordIQ, where she is presently a co-founder. In addition, she knowingly practices conducting masterclasses and briefs at conferences and pitch meetings, where she shares her experience in consulting investments and businesses.
In her interview with EURObiz magazine in 2015, she said,
“Our team has applied the same lessons that I have learned from my experience at Bridgewater Associates. AccordIQ was spun out of Oktay Technology is working as a strategic technology advisor to the financial services firms, large banks, and asset managers.”