Name: Amy Martinez
Degree: Economics from Montana State University
Position: Head of Internal Sales
Company: State Street Global Advisors (SSGA)
SSGA and the Internal Sales Desk
State Street is one of the largest custodian banks, asset managers, and asset intelligence companies in the world. From technology to product innovation, we’re making our mark on the financial services industry. At State Street Global Advisors on the Internal Sales Desk, we are a team of ETF Sales Associates calling on financial advisors across the United States. The Internal Sales team collaborates with external Regional Consultants within their specific territories to increase SPDR ETF market share through face-to-face and virtual meetings, phone calls, and emails. Our job is to build relationships, understand what is important to financial advisors (and their clients!), and look for opportunities where we can develop long-lasting partnerships.
Career Opportunities Stemming From Experience on the Internal Sales Desk
The Internal Sales Desk is the “talent engine” of the State Street Global Advisor organization. Many senior folks within the organization started their careers on the Internal Sales Desk and consistently look to our team for the next generation of talent. It is a job where you are learning on a daily basis and have the opportunity to color outside the lines a bit with the aspects of the role that you enjoy. It is extremely beneficial to one’s personal development to work on something they enjoy and are good at – it often leads to tremendous career opportunities. When there are open roles on other teams the first place hiring managers look is the Internal Sales Desk.
Career Advice for Students Entering the Finance Business
There is so much to learn! It is both exciting and overwhelming when you start a new role in the Finance industry. There are a plethora of different roles that focus on different aspects of the business. Go for the opportunities that seem exciting and a little bit scary – it will be good for your growth as a human to try all the things. Pay close attention to the days you feel like a million dollars, high-five everyone you see, and all the best music is playing everywhere you go. Also, pay attention to the days when it feels like you are trudging through mud, everyone is giving you a side eye, and things feel way too hard. What was happening on each of those days? What work were you doing that talked to your soul – either with encouragement or with admonition?
SSGA Culture – Collaborative AND Competitive
At SSGA we actively create a culture of collaboration alongside competition. Salespeople are generally competitive by nature – and love to win the number one salesperson spot! But within our team, we know and acknowledge that collaboration makes everyone better, and there is plenty of room on the podium for multiple winners. That helps us share great ideas, learn the products inside and out, and feel confident we have a strong support system behind us.
Examples of that strong support system vary widely depending on the business at hand. Our team regularly partners with our Liquidity Best Execution team to consult on large trades and create the best experience for clients, our Client Engagement Team to discuss strategic investments and practice management ideas, and our ETF Strategy Partners that attend meetings and calls for deep dive market and product engagements. We frequently say that selling ETFs is a team sport – you can see from these examples that it is true in many different ways!
The Role of Diversity, Inclusion, and Acceptance
Diversity and inclusion efforts are practiced strategies at SSGA that influence how we do business every day. Fearless Girl is a fantastic symbol of the work that State Street has done to increase the number of women in executive ranks across the industry and highlights my experience as a leader within the organization. The women in senior leadership positions within our organization are impressive; from our CEO, Yie-Hsin Hung, to our Head of Distribution, Sue Thompson, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Amy Kotowski, Head of Institutional Sales, Hilary Corman, Head of Channel Distribution, and the list goes on.
The Decision to Join the SSGA Team
I joined the SSGA team 3 years ago after a 21-year career with Vanguard. I was not looking for a new opportunity but was interested in seeing what about me caught their eye. The people I met during my recruiting and interview experiences were exceptional. I could see myself working side by side with each of them and learning from them. It was an opportunity to double down on the next chapter of my career and learn about the industry from a new viewpoint.
On the surface, the cultures between the two organizations seem similar. Smart people with a passion for finance and sales, that care deeply about doing the right thing for clients, and ensuring they have access to the best products on the market. However, the culture of teamwork and promotion from within at SSGA is markedly different. It creates a tight-knit team that goes out of its way to help one another learn, sell, and excel in their careers. This deep support system creates a phenomenal place to lean into a career.