Maria Gordon: "It's Very Easy To Burn On Wall Street "

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Maria Gordon: "It's Very Easy To Burn On Wall Street "
Maria Gordon: "It's Very Easy To Burn On Wall Street "

Video: Maria Gordon: "It's Very Easy To Burn On Wall Street "

Video: Maria Gordon: "It's Very Easy To Burn On Wall Street "
Video: NEXTA – главное медиа белорусского протеста (Еnglish subs) 2023, June

I would like to retell her resume in a heroic genre. One girl from Vladikavkaz decided to go to the journalism department of Moscow State University. She herself found tutors and entered with brilliance. Almost immediately, on the advice of a friend, she began to collaborate with the Washington Post. From the third year on a grant, she left for the USA and continued her studies. While working for Wall Street, she became one of the key professionals in Emerging Markets Investments. She married a British politician, and during the second decree she became seriously interested in rock climbing - although she was always on the bench in school and university physical education. She changed the post of fund manager to a "portfolio" career, in which she left a place for her family, climbing records and her own charitable foundation. Last year, she climbed Everest, spending two days in the "death zone" above the 8 thousand meters mark. Walked to both poles and intends to conquer all the "eight-thousanders" of the world … Meet Maria - "student, Komsomol member, sportswoman and just a beauty."

Maria Gordon laughs: “What are you, my biography is a comic! The heroic drama develops too linearly: at some point a person has a midlife crisis - and then that's it, Anna Karenina rushes onto the tracks. And in a comic, everything moves along unpredictable plot twists. You never know what will happen around the corner. Perhaps a non-standard solution will come and become your life."


MC: Maria, just from listing everything that you do in life, you already feel dizzy - probably like in the highlands, where I have never been. Diamonds and billions of dollars in investments, mountaineering and an associated charity that helps teenage girls believe in themselves, family and raising their own children - which of this list do you put first?

Maria Gordon: Everything. Maybe an answer like this doesn't really fit your @Work column? Back when I worked for Goldman Sachs or Pacific Investment Management Company, the job really was the most important. And now I have three priorities - family, mountaineering as a personal passion and a professional path.

And do you manage to keep the balance between them?

We must try every day! Sometimes it turns out to combine - for example, the roles of a mother and a climber. My children and I spend a lot of time in nature, in the mountains. But in general, these three worlds are very different. And each one is addictive, each one is interesting and attractive. When a climber spends 2–3 weeks on the route, he goes on an inward journey - almost a religious experience. At such a moment it is difficult to imagine some other part of the world - everything seems gray, ugly. But then, for example, you go on a business trip to Moscow, delve into the issues of stock exchange management or corporate management - and this is also incredibly interesting. And when you are at home - what can be more important and interesting than children who endlessly ask crazy questions?

Is one sphere feeding another?

Of course. And then you don't have emotional burnout. For almost 20 years I have been working on Wall Street, investing in very serious amounts, about 10 billion dollars. When you are only in this, you are always chained to the Bloomberg news feed, to the movement of stocks. And it's very easy to burn out here. Because the world is shrinking to numbers on a small screen. And it's good when there is another environment where you can go out, open up. It seems to me that in order not to get depressed, not to reduce yourself to one number, you need to soberly assess your condition and have such a way out. For me, for example, these are mountains. These are the cathedrals of nature!


Komsomolskaya Pravda

Well, it seems that you strive for the heights in everything - perhaps you were an excellent student from childhood?

Of course. And the Komsomol organizer of the school. It seems to be called "type A" - a person who has ambitions. Driven, wound up.

Where do you get your drive from?

I guess I've always been an inquisitive person. Interest in the world in general is at the heart of everything. It's important not to be afraid to ask questions and try new things. This leads you through life. I think in our family, flexibility in everyone in character is precisely flexibility, not lack of principles. For example, my grandfather was a party and economic leader all his life. And it struck me when, in the late 1980s, he reconsidered his views and became a Democrat. Imagine changing your perception of the world at almost 80 years old! If you are ready to change, there is no sunset of life. In my opinion, beauty in a person is the ability to keep an open mind.

You yourself left Wall Street three years ago. So take and change a brilliant career - isn't it scary?

You know, change is always painful. But when you realize that at this stage of your life your curiosity has already been exhausted, you need to somehow reinvent yourself. This is not a tragedy, this is a normal process. At such a turning point, many doors open - even if you don't know which one to enter. But still, God gave you intelligence, your parents gave you education, and you yourself gave you life experience. If you try to open several doors, capitalizing on what you already have in your assets, you will definitely achieve something.

And how did you open these doors?

Leaving PIMCO, I already knew that I wanted a so-called "portfolio" position, to join the board of directors. I was 40 years old. I remember how one headhunter in New York, having studied my resume, advised me so tenderly: “You better go and have another child. Well, what are you going to do on the board of directors? " It was as if a button had been pressed inside me: it was insulting, but this insult was transformed into a challenge. I said to myself: I will prove that I can do it. I began to think and realized where I have a unique experience: at the intersection of the roads of Russia and global business. I have two passports, two cultures, and a solid reputation in dealing with foreign investors. Therefore, I can enter the board of directors of a Russian company not with the help of the Russian government, but as a person representing the interests of large institutional investors. As a result, it happened. But before that, I tried different options. One semester taught at the university - it was interesting, but I realized that this was not my path. I tried to look at the world of investment in social capital - and there I found no use for myself. You had to knock on many doors before getting the corporate director portfolio. Each of us has a logical line of experience, which is then transformed into new responsibilities. The route is built as you progress. And we ourselves draw luck for ourselves.which is then transformed into new responsibilities. The route is built as you progress. And we ourselves draw luck for ourselves.which is then transformed into new responsibilities. The route is built as you progress. And we ourselves draw luck for ourselves.

"Portfolio" career is becoming a fashionable concept today. What are its main advantages for you?

I like it when there are several lines in life, otherwise everything will be boring and one-dimensional. In fact, such a career is not easy - it involves self-determination of goals. You have no boss, no one tells you what to do. Therefore, you need to be honest and tough with yourself. And get up not at 11, but at 7 in the morning.

Yes! I was amazed when you said that you would be ready for the interview at 8 am. Do you always start so early?

Of course. Because I know that at two I have a meeting with the head of the audit committee. And at five - a discussion of compensation on the Moscow Exchange. And at seven in the evening - ballet at the Bolshoi Theater. The day is scheduled. Sometimes in Moscow it annoys me that nothing starts before eleven. Another thing is that the festivities never end later, and this is wonderful … But it's a pity when people don't appreciate these 2-3 morning hours.


Sportswoman and beauty

After building a career, climbing Everest and conquering both poles, you also founded a charitable foundation to introduce 13-15-year-old girls to mountain climbing. When and why did this idea arise?

Two years ago, I walked through the Antarctic snow to the South Pole. I was already a rock climber, but when you go for the Explorers Grand Slam record, you need completely different qualities. Not flexibility, not lightness, but on the contrary - the ability to pull a large cart. Arctic expeditions are tied to self-sufficiency: all participants carry the same load on their sleds. Moreover, 50 kg for a man may be 50% of his own weight, but for me it is 100%. It was very difficult to carry the sled, but where can you go? After 2-3 days, I figured out how to carry them correctly. I started listening to music, and not worrying about how hard everything is. And one of my team members - a man who has already been to Everest - was just evacuated from the route. And I thought: why can I, a girl who “flunked” physical education at school, cope with it, but he could not? Maybe,difference in willpower and mindset. For me they were developed by years of Soviet experience and hard work. Such overcoming nature rewards victories. But is there any feedback? Is it possible to develop willpower through mountains and mountaineering? The answer is yes. So the idea arose to create a fund that would develop teenage girls. Statistics confirm that they are much less likely than boys to believe that they are able to do something new in life, are ready to take risks. From this difference in self-confidence then comes a big difference in the achievements of men and women in the corporate world. At the end of my record, we got a sponsor, and I invested in a charitable foundation. I don't like the gender balance in the mountaineering world. The highest award, the Golden Ice Ax, has been won by women only twice over the past 25 years. This is probably wrong. How can this be changed? We must give women the experience of expeditions.

But what joy to you personally from this?

The greatest joy is when you can make your skills, abilities and some money a catalyst for change. Do you understand? I saw how, in the business world, combining intellectual capital with money suddenly gives a boost and changes everything. Pleasure is when you change something. They made a revolution - but not through rebellion, but with their own mind.

Do you raise children in this spirit?

You know, they have a completely different beginning in life. We grew up in a world of lack of … everything. We were moving complexes. To break through, one needed ambition, some kind of fearlessness, restlessness. How to convey this to children who, in principle, have everything? I try - through sports or mountains. To give them this greed for life, to cultivate curiosity and openness to the world, it is necessary to show how to go forward and overcome. It will be a shame if the daughter and son grow up closed in their little world. I would like to give them an understanding that life is not black and white - it has a lot of colors and different paths.

And that's all about her: Maria Gordon

Age: 44

Family: husband, daughter (10 years old) and son (8 years old)

Education: Faculty of Journalism, Moscow State University; BA in Political Science, University of Wisconsin; MA at Tufts University

Career: Freelance Correspondent for the Moscow Bureau of the Washington Post; after studying and working in the USA - managing director of the investment bank Goldman Sachs; portfolio manager of the Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO); independent director, member of the boards of directors of the joint stock company Alrosa and the Moscow Exchange

Clothes: for sports - Arc'teryx, Prada, BottegVeneta

Beauty must-have: Masque Multi-Régénérante, Clarins

Perfume: Pomegranate Noir, Jo Malone

Reading: Julian Barnes, Elena Ferrante

Music: Florence + The Machine, Blind Pilot, Renaud, Russian bards

Relax in the city: walk whenever possible

Photo: Ilya Vartanyan

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