Though Margaret Ghadar was born in the United States, she was too young to have any memories of the U.S., as she moved with her family back to Iran when she was four. She spent most of her childhood years moving around the Middle East, where her father was an ambassador. During this time, she believed her father was being punished for some undisclosed action. She later learned, however, that he was in charge of the Iranian Intelligence Agency and that this various stationing was quite strategic and important.
In 1969, she graduated high school and decided to return to the United States for college at Regis College in Wellesley, Ma. A year later, though, she transferred to Boston University. While in Boston, she met and married Mourad, a Harvard Business School student. After a few moves in Europe, Mourad’s father asked him to join the family commodities trading company back in Switzerland.
It was in Geneva that Margaret found a niche where she was able to excel working for the Iranian ambassador. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that her marriage was destined to fail. So, after five years, she returned to the United States and obtained a divorce. She rejoined her family in Iran and worked for an international company that worked with the Iranian stock exchange. With a revolution imminent in Iran, however, Margaret was forced to leave and soon after returned to Washington, DC. She helped run The Computer Emporium, a company her brother, Fariborz Ghadar, had started, while obtaining a masters degree in International Finance. After graduating, she obtained a job as a financial analyst in NYC with Morgan Guaranty Trust, the company name JP Morgan went by until the 1980s. She eventually worked her way up to become a vice president at JP Morgan.
After being asked by her brother to serve as president of Intrados, she was immediately immersed in training all the highest-level government officials from developing countries. Intrados, under Margaret’s leadership, went on to forge a path in not only privatization, but also in setting up stock exchanges, in equipping Central Banks to handle the trades, and in established depositories for funds in a number of countries around the world. The rewards for all this hard work were much more than monetary. While having been successful at JP Morgan, Margaret has been disheartened by having to sell the riskiest of derivatives. But at Intrados she was helping birth new capital markets around the world. Margaret says she owes a lot of success to the fact that when these officials from developing countries were looking for assistance and partners from the US, they looked favorably on her being an immigrant to America. These officials viewed her as one of them, for she could understand from where they came. She was someone who did not ignore or dismiss them, someone who understood them, and someone who believed enough in their potential to invest time and resources.