Alumna Steers Company through Uncertain Times
As the Chief Risk Officer with Bunge Limited, a leading international agribusiness and food company, Glasser is responsible for assessing market, credit, operational, and business and strategic risks in 30 foreign markets spread over six different continents.
“I evaluate potential risks on our asset portfolio,” said Glasser. “It’s my job to be out in front of any problems that could hurt us as a business.”
For the past year, Glasser, who earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in economics at Fordham, has worked to minimize Bunge’s exposure to potential risks and, in the process, maximize the company’s return on investments and protect its share holders against dips in the market.
Glasser spends most of her time monitoring market vulnerabilities, geopolitical upheaval or fluctuations in food production. To say her first 12 months on the job have been challenging is a bit of an understatement. She already has had to navigate spikes in the prices of corn and soybean, key commodities for the company and its customers; workers’ strikes in South America; hurricanes in the Gulf Coast; and contentious political climates around the world. Volatility, it seems, has become the norm.
Since Glasser’s company links the world’s agricultural producing areas with the largest markets for grains and other food products, it has to assess even subtle market changes or irregularities. In today’s so called flat economy, when the price of soy beans drops in Sao Paolo, for instance, the effects are felt as far away as the company’s processing plants in North America and Europe.
“The commodities market is particularly dynamic,” she said. “Fortunately, as a company, we’re diversified and are well funded and, more importantly, well protected.”
The increased volatility means companies are now looking for employees with a better grasp of the global economy, which is why Glasser is lending her steady hand to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ advisory board, a diverse group of professionals from various backgrounds and fields working in concert to bolster the academic reputation of GSAS.
“I wanted to help create and round out a group that would look at [GSAS’s] curriculum,” said Glasser, who has been a member and chair of the advisory board since its inception in 2004. “The board is a productive way to connect with Fordham in a different capacity and to give back to the University and students. ” She said she’s been pushing to expand the number of Ph.D. candidates in multiple disciplines through out GSAS, which will help students better prepare for a professional world that is almost as unpredictable and tenuous as the economy.
“The recent complexities in market are just going to increase,” she said. “Pretty soon, there’s going to be a greater demand for people with advanced degrees.”
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