After a decade of being the face of her firm's debt capital markets team in Latin America, Katia Bouazza last year was elevated to a post that now has her overseeing the debt origination business across the Americas for HSBC. Her track record in Latin America explains why. She helped push HSBC to the top of the league tables for Latin American bond sales the past two years (the firm was second in Bloomberg's July 2012 ranking) and she has raised the company's profile among business leaders in the region who are looking to attract investment from Asia and Europe.
Bouazza has opened up new funding channels for clients by helping them raise capital in different currencies. For example, she led Mexico's state-owned petroleum firm Pemex in a debt sale that raised Australian dollars, the first such Latin American corporate issue to do so. A client who has worked with Bouazza on more than two dozen transactions applauds her "comprehensive knowledge" of her customers and says her work ethic and down-to-earth sense of self "brings great credit to the banking industry."
Bouazza spent two years at Lehman Brothers before joining HSBC in 1996.
When Joyce Chang joined Salomon Brothers more than two decades ago as a graduate student studying development economics, the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s still loomed large over the emerging markets business. At that time, sovereigns in the developing world were not yet rated; the debt generally consisted of nonperforming loans, not distressed bonds; and the business was dominated by commercial banks, not investment banks.
At Salomon, Chang pioneered research that examined EM debt as an asset class-launching a career that took her to Merrill Lynch and then to J.P. Morgan, where she now manages a global credit research team of 170 people in 12 countries.
Her group supplies research and asset allocation recommendations for both developed and emerging markets and covers more than 1,700 corporates and banks in the United States, Europe and Japan. On the EM side, the group handles all macroeconomic forecasts, sovereign debt research and coverage of 350 corporates in the emerging economies of Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In 2010 and 2011, the team topped Institutional Investor's rankings for both EM sovereigns and economics, as well as EM strategy. Chang's international ties have led to an appointment to a corporate affairs committee with the Council of Foreign Affairs. She also is involved with policy analysis groups like the Inter-American Dialogue and the German Marshall Fund.
Carla Harris has said that she enjoys being part of an "older"-er, seasoned-generation of female professionals who can tell the next wave of women leaders about the career guideposts found by those who came before them. The advice is not necessarily meant to ease their path, but to help them recognize the challenges, mistakes and opportunities that are ahead of them.