THINKING: Profiles

Lijo Kochupaul – Senior Operations Specialist

When he’s not pulling down rebounds and pushing basketballs up the court, Penserra Senior Operation Specialist Lijo Kochupaul wears many hats diligently clearing transactions throughout Penserra’s domestic and international lines of business. A respected Penserra employee since 2012, Lijo is the textbook example of a valued team player.


Q:  You joined Penserra in February 2012. What initially attracted you to the firm?

A: During my time at Merrill Lynch, I was a CSR representative and Penserra was one of my assigned customers.  I had the responsibility to settle all foreign trades for Penserra.  At that time, Penserra was trading in a lot of buy-in markets. I had to take special care with Penserra since the impact of an error would be harsh. Anthony Castelli and I worked closely to ensure these trades settled on time and avoid any potential financial implications.  He later hired me, and I was given the opportunity to help facilitate the operations for a new fixed-income team that was joining Penserra. I welcomed the opportunity to work for Penserra, a company that had such potential. Seven years later, I now cover all day-to day-operations for Penserra that includes multiple lines of business. 

Q:  One of Penserra’ s strongest assets is its ability to efficiently settle all types of trades. As a Senior Operations Specialist, what traits do you bring to the job that help make you successful?  

A: The ability to adapt to any situation, keeping a level head, and having familiarity on all the different types of business we are in. My experience dealing with difficult settlement situations makes it easier to solve problems and settle trades on a timely manner.  

Q:  What do you enjoy most about coming to work every day? 

A: Learning something new. My job is not repetitive, and this makes work very enjoyable and educational.  In addition, the Penserra culture allows me work at my best ability.

Q:  How does the operations team manage so many lines of business?

 A: Our team of Operation Specialists is like no other, and we make sure everything is done at a high level. We work hard and we work together, and this camaraderie works well with Penserra’s numerous lines of business. Like Penserra CEO George Madrigal told me at my interview in 2012, I’m not just wearing one hat but will be wearing multiple hats at Penserra. He was not lying!

Q:  What kind of interests or activities do you have away from Penserra? 

A: I stay very active during my time away from Penserra.  I have been a part of a basketball league since 2008, and it’s not just an opportunity to play but also an opportunity to give back to the community. A portion of our league fee gets donated to the host schools and basketball clinics for inner city youth.  When I am not playing basketball, and when the weather permits, I enjoy biking, hiking, and visiting the vast number of activities in New York City.