In 2013, lawyer Diana Delgado joined Macquarie’s New York office. Now almost a decade into her time with the business, she’s witnessed enormous change and has grown a stellar career that recently saw her appointed as a Division Director and Regional Head of Governance for Macquarie Group in the Americas. She enjoys the global perspective her role provides as well as playing an active role in championing diversity across the organization.
Over her nine years in Macquarie’s New York office, Diana Delgado, Division Director, Americas Head of Governance for Macquarie Group, has been a champion of diversity in many ways.
It can be uncomfortable to discuss diversity and inclusion, but it’s important to help move the needle and tell your story, because you never know who may be motivated by it.”
“My parents were immigrants from the Dominican Republic, and I was raised in Miami,” Diana explains. “My dad always wanted to be a lawyer, which inspired me to pursue a legal career.”
Diana says that her own career was forged by two lightbulb moments.
“In Miami, everyone is Latin, so it wasn’t until I went away to college that I realised being Hispanic made me a ‘minority’,” Diana explains. “That was a life changing moment - to realise I spanned two cultures.”
After completing law school, Diana worked in commercial real estate and was admitted to the Florida bar in 2007 and then relocated to Washington, DC in 2009.
“It was a turning point for me professionally because I got a job at a top law firm in DC that needed Spanish-speaking lawyers,” Diana explains. “Here again, being Hispanic set me apart. I gained great experience plus the confidence to own my heritage.”
In 2011, Diana returned to Miami, working again in the real estate industry before seeking an in-house legal role within financial services, to complement her experience in real estate finance.
She accepted a role as a Manager in Corporate Governance at Macquarie and moved to New York in 2013.
“I’d had a positive experience working on the ‘other side’ - with Macquarie Group on a secured lending transaction. But once I arrived in the New York office and experienced the culture, it reaffirmed that I wanted to work here.”
“Each Macquarie business has its own legal team. These are supported by the Legal and Governance Group which itself comprises three workstreams: reputation, corporate and the governance team,” Diana explains.
“I was attracted to governance because it plays an important role in supporting all Macquarie’s business groups to mitigate corporate governance risks, so there’s great variety, and a big picture view of the organization,” Diana says.
Diana was promoted to Vice President, Corporate Governance in 2015. She stepped in as interim regional head, before being made Associate Director in 2017. In 2022, she was appointed Division Director.
“When I joined, there were three lawyers on the team, but now I manage a team of eight, spread across New York and Jacksonville, Florida. My career growth has mirrored the growth, evolution and change in the business in this region,” Diana says.
As Division Director, Diana supports the Americas Regional Management Committee, comprising the region’s senior business heads, and partners with three operating groups in the region. With a global remit covering Macquarie’s businesses, which includes statutory compliance, board support and governance advice, her team manages over 500 Group subsidiaries across 10 jurisdictions.
She enjoys the perspective this gives her and the network she has built working with the legal teams from Macquarie’s businesses, including Macquarie Capital, Macquarie Asset Management and Commodities and Global Markets.
“The governance team has multiple internal clients so there is enormous variety,” Diana explains. “We are asking what impact will this transaction have on the business in five years? And we’re looking for the best outcome for the client - the directors of the subsidiaries.”
“We also collaborate with the Risk Management Group and the Financial Management Group, including the Group Treasury teams, on items such as regulated entity governance frameworks, financial reporting, approving transactions and investments, group structure decisions, subsidiary or committee support, acquiring entities into the Group or funding decisions that go to the Macquarie Group Board.”
“No two days are the same,” Diana explains. “Today I had a committee meeting on our employee benefits, approved a transaction for our Commodities and Global Markets group and advised Macquarie Capital on governance considerations for setting up a new regulated entity. I have a Board meeting tonight.”
“I spend a lot of time with my global team and counterparts, alongside more strategic work or implementing standards and policies.”
“I enjoy the feeling that I’ve played an active role across the business.”
Diana has made it a point to build a diverse team.
“At Macquarie, creating an inclusive culture is a shared responsibility with everyone, and given my own background, diversity in all its forms is especially important to me,” Diana explains. “Macquarie’s headquarters is in Australia, but it’s a truly global organization, so I enjoy being on calls with people from all over the world and all different backgrounds.”
She has also witnessed Macquarie’s positive work to close the gender gap and increase diversity, particularly when it comes to retention of talent.
A lot has changed in the Americas, with more local hires, ownership and a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across the region. There is an emphasis on achieving a work life balance, and I think Macquarie promotes a culture of flexibility and hybrid working well.”
Outside of Macquarie, Diana gives back to the community by serving on the board of the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF), an education, capacity building and advocacy not-for-profit. Meanwhile, within Macquarie she’s an active member of the Unity Employee Network Group, which celebrates multiculturalism.
She is also proud to be on the committee for Macquarie’s Racial Equity Fund, established to promote and advance racial equity in the Americas.
Diana has gathered a collection of formal and informal mentors at Macquarie, who she says keep her grounded and help steer her away from imposter syndrome moments.
“I call them my board of directors and I’m constantly asking, ‘who has a seat at my table?’,” Diana says.
“A mentor is someone who believes in you, but they don’t have to be someone who looks like you. Diversity is great.”
Diana says she’s kept interested by the continuing evolution and growth of Macquarie, which provides opportunities.
“Macquarie is strategic about decision making and no one is scared of change,” Diana says. “There’s a mentality of questioning, ‘why do we do things this way?’ and allowing people to identify and pursue new and non-traditional opportunities.”
“There’s an openness to trying new things which results in mobility across the organization, and it’s true you own your career here,” Diana says. “There’s so much you can do within a role and how you can grow it.”