Katya Zotova

Managing Director

Investment Banking, EMEA
Mizuho International, London

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Years in the industry: 24 years

Areas of focus: Investment Banking Coverage for Large Corporates in EMEA (all sectors), Private Capital Solutions

What is the biggest lesson you've learnt in your career?

I think the most important lesson I’ve learnt is that we all succeed more when we do what we love. Staying in a job that doesn’t challenge and inspire you just because you get paid or are associated with a particular brand is just soul destroying. Discovering what gives you that fire in the belly, what makes you want to come to work every morning, what makes it feel almost like it’s a hobby that you get paid for – that is the ultimate key to success.

What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?

Following my gut and moving away from home back in 2001. I took a huge leap of faith and left a very comfortable life in Moscow to move to Amsterdam and take on a challenging new role in a completely new business, working in a culture that I didn’t know much about. I was absolutely terrified but it has turned into such an incredible adventure and opened so many wonderful opportunities that I didn’t even know existed for me.

What do you think makes a good leader?

I think a good leader is someone who has conviction, courage, a strong set of values, and is also someone who can adapt, embrace change but always stay genuine. I won’t name any names, but I am very lucky to know and to have worked with a number of great leaders and what runs as a common thread is that they are all role models, rather than just “managers”.

How do you relax and unwind?

A change of scenery always helps me so it used to be travel… I do lots of sports (running is an easy choice as you can run anywhere – I even trained for my first half marathon during summer….in Houston!) and partially thanks to running, I (used to) love cooking for friends. I miss my dinner parties.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

Making a difference and working with people from diverse backgrounds and different parts of the world are certainly at the top of my list. Being able to make an impact, improve something, solve a  complex problem is what gives me immense satisfaction. Working with interesting people, learning from them, co-creating together with them is where I get most of my energy.


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