A New Voice

Anthony Malakian, US Editor, WatersTechnology

Anthony discusses the evolution of the Waters Cover Profile and previews the April issue.

May will mark the three-year anniversary of Waters magazine's redesign. This coincided with Victor Anderson taking over as editor-in-chief of the publication.

I remember the first conversation I had with my new boss (though I can't remember the exact date─I think it was sometime in February 2010). All I knew of him was that he was from South Africa, former military and a world-class cyclist. I'm an American, not military and the only time I'd ride a bike is if I was in a rush to get to the bar. I was a bit worried we might not have much in common.

Anyway, Vic told me about the vision that he and Lee Hartt (who had just taken over as publisher) had for the outfit. Part of that plan included profiling a leading technologist every month as our cover story. Every other page of the mag would be dedicated to the nitty-gritty of IT implementations, trends and issues, but those 2,000 words would be devoted to showing the human element of technology.

Victor, with his thick accent: "Anthony, over the next month I want you to get three of the leading CIOs on Wall Street to agree to a cover story with us."

Me, feigning that I wasn't about to have a nervous breakdown: "Um, OK. I can do that."

I was new to the team and didn't have the Rolodex of contacts that I have now. So I was intimidated. But with a fire lit under my rear-end, I was able to lock in CIOs from NYSE Euronext, JPMorgan, Nomura, CME Group, State Street, International Securities Exchange, Citi and Fidelity in that first year.

I ended up writing the first 22 cover stories after the rebrand. It was hands down my favorite part of the job. But it's also true that every writer has his or her own voice, and after nearly two-dozen profiles, my throat was becoming hoarse.

My colleagues Jake Thomases, James Rundle and Tim Bourgaize Murray eventually joined me in the fun. It became a rotating pool of profiles and the magazine benefitted greatly from having different perspectives with different writers adding their own unique twists to these features.

And now we have a new voice added to the rotation. The April issue of Waters will feature a profile of Hervé Morel-Derocle, chief information officer of AXA Investment Managers. The piece was written Marina Daras and it's her first cover story for Waters.

I thoroughly enjoyed this profile because it shows how Marina is unique when compared to the rest of the group: She's French and was able to conduct the interview with Morel-Derocle in their native tongue.

It's an excellent read and it provides great detail into Morel-Derocle's life and the projects he's working on at AXA. It's good to have a new voice.

And I'm not retired yet ─ I just have more competition; it's good to have a fire under your rear. Know of any interesting technologists for a possible profile? Shoot me an email ([email protected]) or give me a call (646-490-3973). After all, since I'm the senior writer on this staff, I get first dibs on potential subjects.

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