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  • Writer's pictureSandy Jiang

FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Executive Director at MSCI, Melissa Otto

Melissa Otto, Executive Director at MSCI, is helping develop the next-generation investment data solutions for MSCI asset management customers. She spent her career investing in the global equities markets with a focus on technology companies. When she started managing a team of investors, she became interested in how technology was going to change both the role of investing and the industry dynamics. So she started taking classes related to software development (Python, Cloud, Agile) and took the leap to work directly with engineers. Working in financial data and technology means that every day she is learning and things can change fast. Melissa sees the experience as an exciting challenge.

Melissa's team is currently working on centralizing MSCI’s portfolio aggregation metrics into a generic data cube. This effort will allow users to understand their portfolio’s carbon footprint. She enjoys the role and feels thankful that the CTO recruited her to work across MSCI’s various product and technology groups to help string together solutions that unify parts of the investment process and ESG/Climate data. She is also grateful for the input and encouragement from the Head of Analytics Engineering at MSCI when he reached out about driving the aggregation project.

Melissa describes the culture at MSCI as a blend of Wall Street and Tech that served up to support the financial services industry. She contributes to the culture by bringing the voice of the investor to the technology teams.

Melissa is proactive in supporting women in fintech. She leads Women In Technology speaker series and hosts end-users of MSCI data and applications for fireside chats at MSCI. "The goal of the conversation is for our teams to understand client pain points and, ultimately, build future financial tools leveraging next-generation technology." She says.

Melissa loved investing in stocks as a hobby. She feels blessed that she could take that passion and become a professional investor. She sees it as her best decision. "The worst decision was not going ‘bigger and more aggressively’ when I had the chance. "

When asked about productivity hacks, Melissa shares that her sense of humor is a big help, and "Prioritization….I am always running triage." She adds.

More on Melissa

Where you currently live: Lower Manhattan

Living arrangement: Married

Family at home: Husband and 1 daughter

Favorite hobby: market speculation and lazy days at the beach

Favorite part of your day: late afternoon

Favorite show to binge: Billions

Fun Fact: Spent +10 years living in Asia

Media Recommendation: I love the movie Trading Places. It reminds me that things can (and probably will) change quickly. It is my responsibility to adapt and stay ahead of the curve.

Daily Diary

7:00 am: Wake up. 8:20 am: Daughter to school

Morning calls with the engineering team in India till 11.30 am

12:30 pm: Lunch

Afternoon calls with engineering and product teams in the US till 6-7pm Lots of messages and emails throughout the day

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