Starting as a telex operator may not be the normal route to the top. But for 16 year old Valerie Thompson it was the start of a sparkling Euromarket career at one of the most famous Euromarket houses, Salomon Brothers.
Her chance came in 1977 when she was given the opportunity to work as a reconciliations clerk on Salomon's trading floor. Her boss Michael Mortara surprised her and the dealing floor one day by suddenly appointing her DM and Dutch guilder trader.
Salomon quickly discovered her later legendary skills as a trader. In 1982 she took over the FRN desk - one of the most demanding of positions, where a thorough knowledge of the history and trading levels for outstanding issues in the secondary market is needed to survive.
In 1985 Thompson was made manager of secondary trading and later became director and head of debt syndicate.
She orchestrated many of the benchmark issues of the 1980s - such as the first GMAC automobile receivables deal in Europe - and the classic market squeezes.