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Luz Padilla, Top Women in Asset Management Awards winner

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When Luz Padilla began her career in asset management as a summer intern at TCW, she never thought that, in less than 15 years, she would be in charge of developing an international fixed-income division for one of the industry’s famed fund managers.

When Jeffrey Gundlach was fired in 2009 from TCW, Padilla was one of the first people he called to help launch his new firm, DoubleLine.

“It was a bit of a shock because I hadn’t known [Gundlach] wanted to launch emerging markets debt at his new firm,” she recalls. “I never thought he would want me to run that product here, and I think there was a lot of mutual admiration.”

Since making the decision to join the firm, Padilla was soon put in charge of building the team. After that, she was tapped to manage one of the firm’s first two funds. Padilla now oversees a 16-person team with nearly $9 billion in AUM.

Back when she was in college, Padilla says she had a vague idea that she would go into finance. She found her path to emerging markets debt when researching asset classes with a classmate.

“It was an asset class that hadn’t been around that long … and I decided that it would involve advancement opportunities,” she recalls.

“The mentor I was given in business school … provided me with a perspective of someone that has been in the industry,” she adds. “When I told her my thoughts about going into emerging markets debt …she said to ‘take your opportunities.’”

Since she started out in her first internship at TCW in 1994, Padilla says a lot has changed about the industry.

“In a lot of ways it’s easier, because I don’t have to get in the weeds,” she notes. “But it’s harder because I have to think more about how to grow my team and put together all of these new products.”

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