NextGen Collective is spotlighting equity research analyst Chris Quintero. Read on about the Colombian American’s work at Morgan Stanley, a lesson that still serves him today, and his passion for paying it forward.
Where are you from?
I was born and grew up in the Washington, DC, area, but am especially proud of my Colombian roots.
What do you do today?
I am an equity research analyst covering software stocks at Morgan Stanley in New York City, where I am part of the top-ranked Institutional Investor software team. In my role, I research and analyze the software sector and many of the key companies in the space. I recently assumed lead analyst coverage of my first two stocks.
Who inspired you the most in your life growing up?
Mis papás. My parents immigrated to the US from Colombia in search of a better life and future. Whether it was seeing my father come home from his tiring day job to go clean carpets at night or my mother return after a long shift at her retail job, the determination they had to work as hard as they could to sustain our family inspired me every day to take advantage of the opportunities I was given in this country. My parents saw education as the best avenue for my sister and I to “break the cycle” and achieve our dreams. They always told us: “Toca salir adelante.” I saw the sacrifices they were making for my sister and I, and that consistently inspired me to make sure that their hard work did not go to waste as I made academic excellence a key mission in my life growing up. This resolve helped me attend top institutions such as St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and Dartmouth College and ultimately to Morgan Stanley, where I work now.
What lesson did you learn early in your career that still serves you today?
Find ways to maximize your luck. One of my favorite quotes is from the Roman philosopher Seneca: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” There are two elements here: preparation and opportunity. On the opportunity front, I learned to put myself in positions where I could get as many opportunities as possible. This has manifested itself in getting a job where I think my team and firm is supportive of giving me those opportunities. On the preparation front, I learned to always think ahead and operate at a level above my job description so that when opportunities did arise, I would be more than ready to assume those additional responsibilities. To put it all together, I think luck is inherently a part of anyone’s success and being able to capitalize on and maximize that luck can set your career up for accelerated growth.
What are some of the biggest challenges you see for Latino professionals early in their careers?
I think feeling comfortable being your biggest advocate early in your career is a challenge and something I initially struggled with. A lot of the time we, as Latinos, have been taught to put our head down and do all the hard work and thus advocating for ourselves has not always been a priority. In many cases, we do not realize that it is one of the key ways for people to progress in their career. If you want to progress your career, you have to be your biggest advocate because no one else will. This means knowing how to document your successes and communicate those successes to the people in your organization that matter the most and are the key decision makers.
What is part of your daily routine that you look forward to every day?
Checking my phone when I wake up. The dynamic nature of the public markets with news flow having very real-time impacts gets me excited as I quickly read over some of the news headlines that hit while I was asleep and see if there is anything super relevant or exciting for my software coverage group of stocks.
What behavior or personality traits do you attribute to your success?
My success stems from being scrappy and ambitious. When coming from a background with limited resources, being able to make the most out of what I have has enabled me to achieve new levels of success as I grow and more resources are made available to me. Having big dreams and aspirations keep me going everyday as I aim to reach those lofty goals.
Which causes are you passionate about?
Paying it forward to others who come from similar backgrounds as I do. While doing well in my career is important to me, what I also find to be really fulfilling is helping pave the way for others who come from similar backgrounds to achieve their own successes. Especially in an industry where there are not many Latinos, I am passionate about increasing the representation in the industry.
One of the ways I am doing this is through a webinar series at Morgan Stanley, in conjunction with my fellow research colleagues, where we attempt to demystify the equity research career for under-represented students. If any students are reading this and interested in what a career in equity research looks like, please feel free to reach out to me!
What is one non-work-related goal that you would like to achieve in the next five years?
Running a half marathon!
What’s one thing we’d never be able to guess from your LinkedIn profile?
I am a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan. You can usually find me waking up early on the weekends to watch the games and cheering on the team from afar.
Connect with Chris Quintero on LinkedIn.