Being recognized as a leading contender to receive not just one but three awards in a strongly contested field of nominees could be regarded as an unprecedented achievement. This is exactly the situation Valeria Camerino, founder of Equity Report, a UK-based finance news specialist found herself in.
Shortlisted for the Georgina Henry Award for Digital Innovation in November 2022 and nominated for the 2023 Rising Star Award and 2023 Leeds StartUp of the Year Award, Valeria is quick to acknowledge her team for their dedication and hard work. As a seasoned financial journalist, Valeria realizes the importance of not only finding a platform to deliver high-quality news reporting while adhering to solid ethical standards, but also to inspire women journalists to pursue a career in financial journalism.
Valeria shares insight into what inspired and motivated her to launch Equity Report and how it aligns with 100 Women in Finance’s mission to strengthen women’s presence within the finance industry.
Q1. Thank you for taking the time to share your insight and experience with us. To begin, can you explain a bit more about Equity Report?
Sure. Equity Report is a UK-based specialist news service covering mergers & acquisitions (M&A), antitrust, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues from a global perspective.
By exploring challenges and opportunities at the intersection between M&A, antitrust, and ESG, our news service responds to subscribers’ need to track market developments in order to make better-informed decisions for themselves and/or on behalf of their clients and keep up to speed with the latest trends and policies in a fast-changing regulatory environment.
Our global audience includes financial investors − particularly event-driven and merger arbitrage professionals, law firms, financial advisers, investment research firms, and consultancies.
Q2. It seems that there has been a boom of startup businesses across the UK with over 800,00 new businesses founded in the UK since 2021. First, can you explain what the 2023 Leeds StartUp of the Year Award and the 2023 Rising Star Awards are? Second, what do you think it is about Equity Report that made you a finalist for each?
The Leeds StartUp of the Year Award and the Rising Star Awards are both part of the StartUp Awards, a collaboration between the founders of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards – an established programme receiving thousands of applications annually – and the Wales Start-Up Awards, the only regional awards currently celebrating new businesses in the UK.
The awards recognise the achievements of those individuals who had an idea, spotted an opportunity in the market, and took the risks to launch a new product and service.
I am particularly proud of being named finalist for the Leeds Startup of the Year category because the north of England is an amazing region with a thriving business community and fast-growing financial services industry. Leeds, in particular, is a city close to my heart as I spent my student years here. I am glad I can contribute to bringing the city and the whole of Yorkshire to the international stage through this nomination.
In response to your second question, I believe that what helped us to be shortlisted for the awards was passion, determination, and resilience. After all, if you are not passionate about what you do, you will give up at the first hurdle. At Equity Report, we are not only driven by passion, but also by quality. We want to excel at what we do and deliver a premium news service to our subscribers which will help them reduce their investment and regulatory risks through a human-centric approach.
Q3. Just as impressive as the 2023 nominations, you were also shortlisted for the 2022 Georgina Henry Award for Digital Innovation by Women in Journalism. Does this award have any special meaning considering your motivation to inspire other female journalists to pursue careers in this niche of financial journalism?
It does, indeed. Traditionally, financial journalism has been a heavily male-dominated industry and to a certain extent, it still is. When I talk to young female reporters or students about my job, I am often told that financial journalism is “too daunting” for them. There is still a widespread misconception that anything to do with finance and money is a man’s job. It does not have to be that way.
Q4. You recognize your team for their dedication and hard work that contributed to the success of Equity Report. Can you share how quality journalism is all about teamwork and what that looks like?
Quality journalism is all about human connections. Just like you cannot get a story if you don’t talk to the right sources, a successful news organisation is based on collaboration. It is like a puzzle: each team member can help locate a missing piece until, together, we can recreate the full picture.
As a leader, you should also be able to put your ego aside and recognise your own limits: you may excel at something, while one of your colleagues may be better than you at something else.
What we have in common though, is a shared vision. If we work together towards a common goal, we can achieve that faster.
Q5. You seem to have an enthusiasm to inspire other women to pursue a career in financial journalism. What advice would you give them? What kind of education and/or experience would you recommend?
I only have one piece of advice: be persistent and follow your gut. Financial journalism is a highly competitive, fast-moving industry, but you can succeed if you are determined and willing to learn. Your mantra should be “never give up.”
You don’t necessarily need a finance background to become a financial journalist. What you need is an inquisitive, analytical mind, and great research skills. You also need to develop a thick skin. Your sources are busy people, so they may not always have the time (or willingness) to talk to you. Don’t take it personally.
I also believe that a financial journalist should earn her readers’ and sources’ respect and trust by behaving in an ethical way at all times.
Q6. How do you think your philosophy of creating a women driven workforce aligns with the mission of 100 Women in Finance? What do you think can be done to facilitate more growth to help move closer to the 30/40 Vision where thirty percent of senior investment and committee executives will be women by the year 2040?
At Equity Report, we are trying our best to attract female talent to the world of financial journalism but, as mentioned earlier, there is still a long way to go. There are also structural and cultural issues that cannot be solved overnight. For example, I recently came across a survey suggesting that female entrepreneurs are less trusted than their male counterparts. Furthermore, as a result of the gender pay gap and the fact that they struggle to secure sufficient funding, female-founded businesses may have more limited resources than male-founded businesses, which, paradoxically, can make them more resourceful and resilient, but also limits their growth opportunities.
There is no quick-fix solution to this other than continuing to invest in women at all levels of the enterprise. Investing in women founders today is the only way to make sure that there will be enough female board members and investors tomorrow.
Q7. And, finally to wrap up our conversation is there anything else you want to add such as a contact or more information about Equity Report?
Thanks for the opportunity. If you want to find out more about our coverage, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe to our publication, you can reach our sales team at email@example.com. We are offering a special subscription plan for 100 Women in Finance members, so make sure you don’t miss out!
Valeria, congratulations on your awards. Such recognition is the result of hard work, dedication, and commitment to your vision and your team. Thank you again for taking the time to share with our readers insights for your success.