Marty Chavez speaks with students following his talk at the Orchard Conference Center, Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

Photo by David J. Hawkins/CSUN

Marty Chavez answers a question posed by event emcee and CSUN Foundation Board member Richard Schweitzer ’87.

Photo by David J. Hawkins/CSUN

Marty Chavez takes a question from a student in the audience.

Photo by David J. Hawkins/CSUN

R. Martin “Marty” Chavez (left) shakes hands with Chandra Subramaniam, dean of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, Tuesday, March 12 2024.

Photo by David J. Hawkins/CSUN

“I’m the most tenacious person I’ve ever met.”  

So replied financial trailblazer R. Martin “Marty” Chavez when a CSUN student asked what set him apart from others during his education and career.  

That tenacity certainly carried him through his bachelor’s degree studies in biochemical sciences and his master’s degree in computer science at Harvard, as well as his doctorate in medical information sciences from Stanford University. Chavez credited his parents for emphasizing education and working hard to finance his early education at a private prep school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

“There was this fancy private prep school that was clearly not meant for Hispanics. My parents didn’t care,” he said. Chavez said they made the payments by leveraging the equity in their home. 

“Refinancing was a constant topic at our kitchen table because it happened about every two years,” Chavez quipped. “Vacations and clothes and stuff like that were for other people. The only thing my parents cared about, they were very specific, ‘we do education, we do music and we do church.'” 

Chavez, partner and vice chairman of global investment firm Sixth Street, spoke last month to a large crowd of students, faculty and staff at the Orchard Conference Center, as part of the Younes Nazarian Distinguished Speaker Series for the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. Chavez talked about his wide-ranging experience in finance and his interest in artificial intelligence which fueled his work on furthering the development of software in finance. All of this, he said, was sparked by his early passion for math. 

Chavez spoke to those gathered about his career path, which has included roles at established companies as well as his own startups. Prior to Sixth Street, he served in C-suite roles including chief information officer and chief financial officer at the global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. 

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