Conversations at the Top: Marty Chavez Talks

Quoted excerpts from Ruben Navarrette's interview with Silicon Valley legend Marty Chavez for our "Conversations at the Top" series

A legend both on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, Marty Chavez details his passion for potential, the hierarchies he’s seen in the workplace, and the meaning of community.

Marty Talks: The Potential in Intersections

“I’ve never wanted to pigeonhole myself as a banker or computer scientist. I’ve always wanted to explore and develop the intersections: what happens when software eats finance, or when life becomes programmable? There’s so much whitespace—so many blank canvases and so many possibilities—at the intersections. I expect my next twenty-five years to be at least as busy as the last twenty-five . . . paying forward the coaching, mentorship, and sponsorship I’ve received along the way.”

Marty Chavez
R. Martin Chavez, Vice Chairman and Partner, Sixth Street Partners Photo by Paul Quitoriano

Marty Talks: Wall Street Hierarchy

“The most underclassed group on Wall Street was not Hispanics or gay people—it was technologists and engineers. Twenty-five years ago, they were treated as second-class citizens. I think the area where I had the most success was in inspiring everybody to see these people as every bit as important as the traders and the salespeople.”

Marty Talks: Good Decisions

“Good decisions and good outcomes aren’t the same thing—neither are bad decisions and bad outcomes. It’s possible to make a good decision with a bad outcome, and vice versa. But, over the very long haul, the compounding effect of good decision-making lets you know that you’re doing it right.”

Marty Talks: Groups at Goldman

“When I was asked, at Goldman, to be the cohead of the firm-wide Hispanic and Latin network, the first weird thought that my brain generated was, ‘Why are they asking me? Only because I’m 100 percent Hispanic?’ But it’s not like I walk around all day thinking, ‘I’m Hispanic, I’m Hispanic, of course they would ask me to do that.’”

Marty Talks: Latinidad

“Latinos, we don’t necessarily help each other out. The islanders don’t like the Mexicans, who don’t like the Argentines. I really want to avoid that kind of thing. So, I say I’m Hispanic, and interchangeably, I’ll say that I’m Latino. I know there is a distinction, but I don’t spend a lot of time on the distinction.”

Read the full “Conversations at the Top” feature ⟶

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