BondBloxx's Gallegos: Building an ETF 'Dream Team'

The BondBloxx COO suggests young people find a team that "inspires."

LucyBrewster310x310
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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Ron Day

JoannaGallegosFor Joanna Gallegos, work in the ETF industry is not an individual sport. Think more of the 1992 Olympics basketball team lead by Michael Jordan.

“I’m part of this dream team,” she said of the fixed income focused ETF issuer she co-founded, BondBloxx. “The biggest wins have been the teams that I’ve worked on and the management I’ve worked for.”

In addition to her current role as the COO of BondBloxx, Gallegos has helped create more than 175 ETFs over her career. Previously she was head of U.S. ETFs at J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Senior Product Manager at BlackRock Inc.’s iShares.

This interview is part of etf.com's International Women’s Month series. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What sparked you interest in finance?

I had a focus on economics and finance in college from early classes, including Econ 101, a financial management class, and a money and banking class.

I had great professors and they connected with me, and I was interested in learning how people organize decisions from a financial perspective. I had a natural interest, and kept taking classes, and that was my spark for the industry.

What do you consider the biggest “wins” of your career?

The biggest wins have been the teams that I’ve worked on and the management I’ve worked for. They were just so instrumental in all the growth that I have been a part of in the ETF industry. Being able to work so fluidly with such talented, experienced people and having a lot of trust. I'm fortunate in my career that that's happened to me three or four times at different firms. Now at BondBloxx, I'm part of this dream team. 

My wins are getting on a team, fostering a good culture, and working hard in a lab together to solve problems. Those are the actual differences in how I have kept achieving.

What advice to you have for people looking climb the ranks in the industry?

I heard this at a women’s conference last week, and the advice is you should invest in choosing your manager and the people you are working with.

When you’re working as hard as you’re going to be working in financial services, you want to be surrounded by people working equally as hard and are working with you. Everyone needs that support.

When you get a new job, you’re going to be excited about money and excited about a title, but if your day-to-day grind isn’t supported by people that lift you up and inspire you and make you want to work hard, it won’t be great.

How is being a woman in this industry an asset?

I think everybody’s asset regardless [of gender] is your network. As I grew up in the industry, there are a lot more representation of women in senior roles.

Meeting other women and understanding what their challenges are in their jobs and relating it to things you’ve experienced is one way the network can be an asset.

Contact Lucy Brewster at lucy.brewster.com.

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.