In this edition of our Reporters on the Record series, we spoke with Anna Lyudvig of Traders Magazine. In our conversation with Anna we learn about her global career path, key takeaways from starting her own publication and how the pandemic has affected her reporting.
What was your first job?
During my last year at Moscow State University, I was working part-time at the Russian Federal Securities Commission, assisting on exams for broker-dealers. And my first major job after I finished my master’s degree was a bond market analyst for the RBC Group, or RosBiznesConsulting, a large Russian media group headquartered in Moscow.
What led you to become a journalist? Specifically, how did you end up in financial journalism?
When I was choosing an undergraduate program, it was between economics and journalism. I always liked writing, but I didn’t want to write about fashion or sports. I decided to do economics as it was more fundamental (as my parents said), plus I didn’t have enough published articles for the journalism department (I found out about this requirement too late). As I mentioned, my first proper job was with a media firm, so I was already doing financial writing – mostly analytical reports, but also daily bond market commentary as well as articles for the weekly newspaper. I moved to the UK in 2008 and was working remotely for the same company, but then decided that I wanted to write for an English-speaking audience and move away from fixed income (after nearly six years on the beat). I decided to get a second master’s degree (my first one was from Nottingham University in the UK on finance and investments) and found a postgraduate program in financial journalism at City, University of London. There were only two of these programs at the time: one in London and one in New York. So, I applied, got in and, after finishing my degree, got my first job with a UK media company.
In 2014, you founded Africa Global Funds Magazine. What were the biggest takeaways from starting your own publication?
That I’m not a salesperson and I wish I had one, and that it’s hard to do everything on your own. I’m really grateful to my husband, who built the website, does design and helps with the technical side of things and bookkeeping.
How has COVID-19 affected your reporting? Are you still seeing as much of an impact on your day-to-day recently?
It hasn’t really affected my reporting, but it affected traveling. I used to attend all major conferences in Europe and Africa, and now they’re all virtual. I miss seeing people and networking, plus visiting new places. On the bright side, the pandemic gave me an opportunity to start working remotely for another publication: Traders Magazine. And I love the fact that as long as I do my job I can be anywhere in the world.
What, if any, is your favorite industry trend or topic to cover?
Good question, but I think it’s easier to say what I don’t like, which is legal and regulatory matters, because it can get really complicated and sometimes requires a lot of background research.
What makes a good pitch?
I think you need to understand not just what you are pitching, but who you are pitching to. Do your homework and see what the publication covers and who its audience is. Plus, it shouldn’t be a pure sales pitch – suggest topics for discussion.
What does a day in the life of Anna Lyudvig look like?
Finding a good balance between work and family, and also finding time for myself. I’m a mom of a hyperactive 4-year-old boy, so it never gets boring.