Global Leader for Tomorrow - Class of 2000
Philippa Malmgren is one of the World Economic Forum's Global Leaders for Tomorrow - people selected as representative of a new generation of people who have demonstrated a commitment to addressing issues beyond their immediate professional interest. They are global decision-makers already holding positions of influence and responsibility.
If Philippa Malmgren, founder of Malmgren and Company, could offer Generation X any one piece of advice it would be to expect the unexpected.
"Plan for the unexpected, it's always the thing that is least likely to happen that actually happens," she says.
She refers to a passage in Alice in Wonderland where the Queen decrees it to be a good idea to think of at least 10 impossible things before breakfast every day.
And it is advice she lives by. Ms Malmgren learned the hard way that it pays to plan. In 1998 while chief currency strategist at Bankers Trust in London, she was addressing a group of journalists, telling them that the US would not step in to support the yen. At the same time, Ivan Ritossa, her onlooking boss, received a call informing him that the US had stepped in to support the yen. This was more a reflection on the volatility of markets rather than on Ms Malmgren's economic forecasting ability.
Ms Malmgren, 38, has done more in a year than most could hope to do in a lifetime. She has stepped out on her own, establishing Malmgren and Company in London in the Spring of 2000 after leaving her dual role post as head of policy analysis and deputy head of global strategy at Warburg Dillon Read, a US-based investment bank.
She says she just decided to go private and took her client base with her. Now she advises blue-chip fund managers about how politics and the policy environment affect financial markets.
In addition, for the past 15 months, she has acted as an adviser on international economics to George W. Bush during his presidential campaign but that role ended on Saturday when he was inaugurated. She wouldn't describe the role as challenging but categorised it as one of the most interesting projects she had been involved in.
"There's a big difference between being asked what you think about something and being asked what should we do," she says.
She was required to brief Mr Bush on any specific economic issue that he requested. A typical session with Mr Bush would involve briefing him for a few minutes before facing a barrage of questions from him.
"He's interested in what the experts think."
"He wanted to know what was the most important thing we should be paying attention to."
The daughter of Harald Malmgren, a well-known trade negotiator who served in the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford administrations, it is not surprising that she is involved in the political arena.
So any political aspirations of her own? She laughs and thinks carefully before answering.
"Not particularly but because I work in a field where politics and financial markets go hand in hand, I have a natural interest."
She says this as she rushes out the door to meet a member of Congress to give him a rundown on the world economy. So what does she think is in store?
" I think markets have been fragile for a while and will remain fragile for a while."
Government policy can affect market stability and governments need to be aware of all the implications of any policy that they pursue.
"Governments are going to have to pay attention," she says, " and that's a good thing."Her advice was that measures need to be taken to ensure no serious problems with the world's economy develop and to prevent a greater downturn in the global economy than was necessary.
As for being recognised by the economic forum, she says she had no idea she was even being considered. She credits her nomination to her being widely travelled and having worked abroad.
She has acted as a consultant to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, served as an editor of The World Economy for the Trade Policy Research Centre in London, and worked in the US Trade Representative office for the president in her native Washington.
" I suspect that everyone in the GLT programme has demonstrated that they have a breadth of interests and a broader vision of the world."
" The most interesting thing about it [the GLT programme] is that I get to meet all these people who I would otherwise not have met."
She says people in her field can so easily become ensconced in their work at the expense of other important things in life. Her short-term goal, one that she keeps in perspective, is to maintain balance in her life - finding time for her husband and family, skiing in the French Alps, and the great outdoors.