The Profit & Loss Hall of Fame recognises those individuals who have made significant contributions to the betterment of the foreign exchange industry. Our 2016 inductee, Rafael Quezada, reflects the ethos, professionalism and dedication to the markets that are the core characteristics of members of the Hall of Fame and is clearly, through the number of nominations received, well-regarded by peers, clients and colleagues. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Rafa into the 2016 Profit & Loss Hall of Fame.
“A Person Who is Decent, Honest and Upstanding”
There are few FX market professionals as respected and admired as Rafael Quezada – and even fewer still that can hold a candle to him on the dancefloor.
“Rafael has been one of the most wonderful individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” says Sanjay Madgavkar, global head of FXPB at Citi in New York. “His presence brings a sense of warmth, calmness and goodwill to our team in New York and elsewhere. He is uniquely and unconditionally generous with his time, resources and positive energy. Raf never ceases to amaze me with his ability to be loved spontaneously by everyone he encounters, regardless what the conditions are. I can say from the bottom of my heart: Raf is a truly special human being and it’s been a privilege knowing him.”
Quezada joined his current employer, Citi, seven years ago as a director, and currently leads FX prime brokerage sales for the Americas. During his 25 years in the market, he has worked at American Express Bank, Bankers Trust, CrossMar (a subsidiary of Citi), and Deutsche Bank. He came back to Citi after a seven-year period with Deutsche. Over his career, he has managed FX and MM operations, traded FX, FX sales and headed up a sales team that marketed IT solutions to clients globally, focusing on both electronic execution and back office solutions. The last 10 years have been dedicated to the always evolving landscape of FX prime brokerage.
Within the ranks at Citi, Quezada receives praise from colleagues around the world. “Raf has been an integral part of our FX PB business over the last seven years. He is widely known in the industry as a competent professional as well as a deeply committed individual who looks out for the best interest of everyone he engages with. Raf’s kind and generous personality evokes deep affection from clients, business partners and colleagues. He is an asset not just to our firm but to the entire FX prime brokerage industry,” says James Bindler, global head of FX at Citi in London.
“For many years I was aware of Raf only through email and conference calls, and from the positive comments that colleagues and other industry participants made about him. All of the feedback that I received about Raf was so positive that I was intrigued to meet him. When we finally met in person I instantly saw how, even in difficult circumstances, he can light up a room with his warmth and deep-rooted personal integrity. In this industry it is rare to find someone who always retains the human perspective and I think we all cherish Raf for this,” says Alex Knight, director at Citi in Singapore.
“There may be no bigger fan of Raf than me,” contends London-based Andy Coyne, who thought so highly of him that he hired him twice. Having first worked together on the margin trading desk at Bankers Trust, Coyne later hired Quezada to join the FXPB team at Deutsche Bank and then hired him again some years later at Citi, where he continues to excel. “He’s an amazing relationship manager who always puts his clients first,” adds Coyne.
“Since my first days of working with Raf in FX at Deutsche Bank, he has taught me everything I know about the industry. Sitting elbow to elbow with him for years was a privilege and an immense learning experience. I watched Raf mentor newbies like me, interact with heads of business, manage difficult conversations and build one relationship after another. His honesty and genuineness has helped him build long-lasting friendships with everyone he met. Over the years we have all become part of Raf’s extended family and he of ours,” says Victoria Greenberg, director at JP Morgan in New York.
“Raf embodies the core values that any foreign exchange professional would want to strive to become; a man of integrity, creativity and always pushing the envelope. Raf has not only had a front row seat in an ever-transforming FX market, he has played a role to help innovate on behalf of his close client relationships. Like a number of people, I have been fortunate to be mentored by Raf. He has taught us to always think of our clients first, challenge the status quo and treat people fairly. I am forever indebted to his mentorship and am proud to call him a friend. The FX market will continue to benefit from Raf’s leadership,” says Jason Vitale, managing director at Deutsche Bank in London.
Quezada’s reputation extends well beyond his co-workers as well. “I have known Rafael for 15 years,” says Steve Reich, managing director at GTS Securities in New York. “While his knowledge, ability and willingness to help solve problems is unmatched, what truly makes him stand out is the following: Mr Quezada is a mensch. For those who don’t know the exact definition: The dictionary definition of a mensch is ‘a person who is decent, honest and upstanding’. I simply do not know a single person who embodies these characteristics more than Raf. I am honoured to consider you a friend.”
“In the world of sell-side banking, where everyone is quick to tell you how good they are, Rafael Quezada stands out by choosing to let his actions do the talking,” adds Mike Harris, president of Campbell & Company in Maryland. “In fact, Raf would always start a client meeting by asking: ‘How can I help?’ Then he would actively listen, take copious notes, develop an action plan and follow up to make sure all our needs were met. In FX prime brokerage, there are always going to be challenges, the key is how strong the relationship is with your client and how effectively you deal with those challenges. Raf started out as my relationship manager, but quickly became a friend and always added tremendous value to my business.”
“Rafael has been and is a great leader in the industry for a very long time. He exemplifies the highest levels of professionalism, innovation, balance and ethics that we should all aspire to and has always led through example. His contribution to the fabric of the industry has been unique and subtle, yet very profound in bringing people and ideas together and into fruition,” says Gil Mandelzis, CEO of EBS Brokertec in New York.
“Raf is one of the most special people I know in the FX industry,” adds Jill Sigelbaum, global head of FX at Traiana in New York. “I’ve never met anyone that so consistently looks at the bright side of things. His warmth pervades everyone around him. Congratulations on becoming a Hall of Famer. You are a star!”
Dancing runs in the family. Quezada has been known to spend a vacation or two accompanying his wife Marisol to competitions with her dance school, Dance On Q, along with their two daughters, Cyndi, 29, and Alyssa, 27. Son Bryan, 19, presumably can hold his own on the dance floor.
“Raf is one of the good guys, a pleasure to work with, he is always thinking of others and how to work for the greater good – both in his professional and personal life,” says Dave Reid, director at Citi in London. “I’ve never known anyone with a greater community spirit even when going through the issues he has faced this year. He is of course an annoyingly good dancer as well…”
“Raf is one of the sweetest ambassadors with the Best Hug in the FX market. It is much more than just business…It’s family,” adds Chris Colletti, director of sales at MarketFactory in New York.
“Hermano, everyday needs to be a festival of life,” says Michael Babic, head of e-commerce sales Americas at Goldman Sachs in New York.
Rafa – from all of us at P&L: “Big Hug!”