Stephen Martus ’86
July 27, 2012
According to financial adviser and Middlebury alumnus Stephen Martus, language education enriches the learner on multiple levels: “It makes the world a more fascinating place. It also gives us the skills to do our jobs better.”
Martus told an anecdote to illustrate the usefulness of speaking the same language as one's business partners. Early in his career while working in Switzerland, he quietly applied himself to learning Schweizerdeutsch. When he finally spoke up to his Swiss colleagues in their dialect, he had more than their attention. He had the advantage: “They suddenly realized that I’d been listening for the past six months.”
Remembering his time at the Scuola Italiana, Martus observes, “It was not just the language skills, but it was also the sensitivity to other cultures” he gained that made the experience worthwhile. His fluency in Italian, and other foreign languages, continues to give him an edge in finance.
Stephen Martus, CFA, is a Middlebury College alumnus, Class of 1986, having studied economics and Italian. He attended the Italian School in 1985 and studied in Italy during his junior year. He is currently a managing director and head of the Derivative Solutions Group at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, London, where he is able to use his fluency in Italian frequently. In October 2011, Martus attended the 50th anniversary of Middlebury's School in Italy, which was held at the Palazzo Vecchio in the heart of Florence. Martus has lived in New York and Switzerland, and has worked at Chemical Bank and Capital Market Services in Zurich. He now lives in London with his family, visits Florence often, and we are pleased that he is able, on occasion, to return to Middlebury’s Vermont campus.