Witad Awards 2019 Write-Ups: Vendor Partnership or Alliance Professional of the Year—Marisol Collazo, DTCC

Marisol Collazo, MD and global head of strategic partnerships at the DTCC, wins this year’s vendor partnership professional category.

Witad 2019 Vendor partnership or alliance professional of the year: Marisol Collazo, DTCC
The DTCC's Marisol Collazo received the vendor partnership professional award at this year's Women in Technology & Data Awards.

For Marisol Collazo, winner of this year’s vendor partnership professional category in the annual Women in Technology & Data Awards, the path to technology was not one she had expected. Collazo is currently a managing director and global head of strategic partnerships at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC), although her background is not in technology—she started her working life as a lawyer and still continues to practice law. “It was certainly not the deliberate path I charted by any means,” she explains. “But what I did see is that there is a blurring between functions of technology and business, especially with emerging technology coming to the forefront. The path to getting into the technology space is now different, as it is determined by understanding industry trends. The value of having industry experience before starting to work with technology is knowing how to integrate technology into the financial workflow.”

Collazo adds that she feels she brings a set of unique skills to the DTCC, which allow her to identify and focus on what needs to be experimented on in the space. It is this advice that Collazo would like to impart to women interested in working in financial technology. “Look at the trends in the industry and figure out what your unique perspective is,” she advises. “These days, technology is not just coding because emerging solutions have driven the need for more diverse skillsets. For example, there’s more demand for legal expertise and business skills because of the emergence of smart contracts. Carve your own path to technology and use the experiences you’ve had to provide a unique perspective.”

Partnerships are essential to the DTCC’s work as a clearing utility. Collazo points out that the organization relies on other parties involved in projects that are not the utility’s core work, like developing and embracing emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence. 

In the past year, Collazo and the DTCC have identified a number of new partnerships including those with Symphony to integrate chat functions, and integrating Xceptor for additional data capabilities. 

Collazo mentors women and people of color and assists them in navigating the DTCC landscape and is a board member of the nonprofit group, Women in Derivatives. She also actively supports increasing the number of people of color in the industry by working with the DTCC’s Hispanic and Latino Business Professional Network.

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