Witad Awards 2020: Legal/Compliance Professional of the Year—Miranda Morad, MarketAxess

Women in Data and Technology

For the second year running, Miranda Morad, general counsel at MarketAxess, picked up the award for legal/compliance professional of the year. This is the first time in the history of the Women in Technology and Data Awards that anyone has won a category for a second time.

Morad oversees all regulatory, legal and compliance matters across Europe and Asia for the global electronic bond trading platform and regulatory solutions provider. Since joining the firm in 2013, she has played a key role in establishing Amsterdam as the firm’s new European base and worked with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets to gain approval in 2019. She has also been instrumental in preparing the firm for the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation, Central Securities Depositories Regulation, and Capital Requirements Directive regulations.

Morad likes the autonomy of being an in-house lawyer and says she gets to make far more crucial decisions than she would if she were in private practice in the UK. “Knowing what I know now, I wish I had gone straight to being an in-house lawyer—it’s much more fun and rewarding,” she says.

Morad says the most rewarding project she has worked on over the last year has been making MarketAxess a great place to work. The project has been in the works for two years and this year, Morad and her team gave a presentation to the board highlighting areas where the company could benefit from further insight and investment. “Making MarketAxess a great place to work is equally as valuable as the next big commercial idea,” she explains. “It was important because it was recognition that the people and their happiness at work was something worth investing in,” she says.

She cites an article from the Harvard Business Review titled Research: Changing Your Mind Makes You Seem Intelligent, which talks about the difference between confidence and intelligence in decision-making and the imperative for lawyers to distinguish between the two. “If you’re looking for a motivational speaker, you’re looking for confidence. But if you’re looking for someone to make decisions like a lawyer, you’re looking for someone who is intelligent,” she says.

The ability to change your mind when presented with new information, without fear of looking stupid, she says, is what makes a great lawyer.

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