As Head of Capital Development and Investor Relations at Point72, Laura Sterner is tasked with managing relationships with investors from around the globe. It’s a role that requires juggling tasks, priorities, news updates and a dedicated team of direct reports — and Sterner doesn’t miss a beat.
In fact, she still finds time to give back to women in finance. She believes the supportive, equity-driven culture at Point72 emphasizes collaboration, making it easy to help others grow.
“The culture at the Firm is one of collaboration. We are friends outside of the office walls and people are willing to teach others to help them grow,” Sterner said. “My overall mantra has always been to be approachable to other women — spend time with them, provide advice and be a resource for them as their career progresses.”
Recently, Sterner shared with Fairygodboss the tools she uses to excel in her demanding role while also prioritizing her roles as a mentor and mom — from her to-do list tips to her leadership style.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
I have been with Point72 for almost five years and in my current role for the last four years. Before this role, I was working on the strategy team. In a prior life, I was a management consultant, entrepreneur and hedge fund allocator.
Describe what you do in one sentence.
I manage the Firm’s relationships with current and prospective investors to educate them on Point72 — its story, evolution, innovations, and other merits, as well as how market movements affect the portfolio.
What’s the first and last thing you do at work every day?
The first thing I do each morning at work is get caught up on emails that come in overnight from around the globe, as well as read the news and how it’s affecting markets.
The last thing I do every day is review my to-do list and make sure I’ve accomplished my top priority items. Then, I set my goals for the next day. Some nights I have calls with global investors or prospects on the other side of the world.
How do you prioritize and deal with your to-do list each day?
My to-do list is a moving target. I have it organized into topical lists including: high priority/tactical; longer-term projects; deliverables that I am dependent on others for (for follow-up purposes); investors I need to reach out to; strategic initiatives; and personal items. Each day, I attempt to focus on the high priority/tactical items, which includes some that get added that day. Then, if/when I have downtime between meetings, I reach out to investors, follow-up on items and move strategic initiatives along.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I am a lead-by-example leader. I roll up my sleeves and I am in the trenches with my team. I like my team to own projects or deliverables, ask questions along the way, run with things and report back on their progress, issues and solutions.
What’s one thing you think young job seekers should know about Point72? What about those who are in a more advanced career stage?
Steve Cohen, Point72’s founder, is dedicated to developing people and giving them the opportunity to be their best — whether they’re an experienced professional or just starting their careers.. Point72 is also focused on innovation and evolution. We believe that just because we do something a certain way today does not mean we should do it the same way tomorrow. We are always rewriting our theses and trying to do things better. The culture at the Firm is one of collaboration. We are friends outside of the office walls and people are willing to teach others to help them grow.
How have you used your role to help bring up other women behind you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work?
My overall mantra has always been to be approachable to other women — spend time with them, provide advice and be a resource for them as their career progresses. I also try to provide them with any insights or advice that I have gathered from my mentors over the years, both men and women. You can always find time for a 30-minute coffee or catch up!
What’s something you’re really good at work?
Being approachable and willing to get into the details. No detail is too small. I’m also good at working with a lot of diverse people with interesting backgrounds and understanding what makes them tick.
What about outside of work?
I love to spend time with my husband and two kids, go for long runs, play tennis and explore new neighborhoods and restaurants.
What are you trying to improve on?
I am always trying to slow down how fast I speak, give people more context and not assume that they jump to the same conclusions.
What are the top three qualities you look for when you’re interviewing a candidate?
I’m looking for people who are driven, self-aware and creative/intelligent.
Why do you think Point72 is a particularly supportive work environment for women?
Starting from the very top, the Firm is dedicated to the advancement of women through professional and personal development. We have an internal affinity group, the Women in Finance Network, whose mission is to offer the greatest opportunities to the industry's brightest talent by recruiting, developing, retaining and advancing women at Point72. We believe that our success largely depends on diversity of thought – and that can only be achieved through a diverse workplace community where all our employees feel comfortable coming to work and supported in performing at their full potential.
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