In the past 11 years, Nestor Martinez-Segura has risen steadily from financial services representative with NYLIFE Securities LLC to current managing partner at New York Life’s Los Angeles General Office. During those early years, he was able to develop new skills, reinforce his core values, and meet a number of new mentors and colleagues that transformed his career. “That experience helped me to build the vision around the impact I could make in my community,” Martinez-Segura says. “Shifting my career from the agent role to management was a decision based on changing the focus and significance of my career and making it about others and not about myself.”
In his rise at New York Life, Martinez-Segura has been able to reflect on his leadership philosophies, and he stresses the importance of building culture, recruiting diverse talent, and continually demonstrating that leadership is about “we,” not “I.”
At the most basic level, Martinez-Segura believes that going above and beyond is largely responsible for his current success, including a strong work ethic he says he learned from his father growing up in Mexico.
Martinez-Segura moved to Seattle in 2005 to pursue a sales career in the insurance and financial industry, where he overcame the language barrier by taking English classes—a practical decision, and one that demonstrated a clear will to improve no matter the challenge. As he transitioned into more managerial roles, one of his mentors taught him to look at culture as a series of conversations, including the one that happens, “24 hours a day, seven days a week right between your ears.”
As managing partner, Martinez-Segura is sought out for answers, guidance, and leadership. In return, he believes that his willingness to lead by example and “get dirty in the trenches” has allowed him to not mandate a vision but rather create a shared vision with his team. Part of that vision is building a diverse team that represents the wider community and fuses different cultures and backgrounds.
“To provide the right environment where new ideas can be nurtured, that starts with the way we think and how we accept each other by encouraging diversity and inclusion,” Martinez-Segura says. “I believe that the American Dream is alive in every person that comes to this country, and I am excited to see that our company is able to provide one of the best ways for people to achieve it.”
Within New York Life, Martinez-Segura looks to increase Latino representation in the Los Angeles General Office, because diversity isn’t only important for the team, but in better representing New York Life’s clients.
“Diversity provides a better service to our clients because we are able to mirror the community and relate to the people we serve, understand their concerns and their desires, and help them achieve their goals in their own way and language.”
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