DURING THE TIME AT Deltec and Goldman, Estrella Mordan kept up ties with fellow Dominicans in the financial industry. In 1997, she co-founded Dominicans on Wall Street, a group formed partly to help foster growth of the capital markets back home. ‘We used to come here every year to meet with the president of the country, the minister of finance, central bank governor, bankers, and that’s how people got to know me,” she says.
Estrella Mordan’s name came up when the board of the exchange was looking for a new CEO. When she was offered the job, she knew it was the circumstance she was looking for to return home. “I was very happy at Goldman, but I thought, `What an amazing opportunity, to be part of making a big difference not only in the exchange but in the country,’” Estrella Mordan says.
Like Estrella Mordan in New York two decades ago, starting from scratch in a new country was a big adjustment for her three children, now 13, 9 and 4. They opposed the move at first. “The first year, they hated it, and now they like it; that’s normal,” she says. “But I felt a lot of guilt the first year.” Her husband, who also had to start fresh in a new place, now teaches 11th and 12th grade in the International Baccalaureate program at the Saint George School in Santo Domingo.
For herself, Estrella Mordan says she has no regrets about her latest career move, even as she continues to press for change. “The truth is, when I look at things, I tell myself, ‘There’s so much more that we still need to do,”‘ Estrella Mordan says. Yet she says that her time at the Bolsa de Valores has given her a sense of accomplishment. “I look at what has happened in the last two years and I have to be happy. I don’t know if happy is the word,” she says. “But I have to be satisfied.”