Our People Meet Florence
Title: Managing Director
Business Area: Head of Products & Investment Services, Swiss Universal Bank
Joined Credit Suisse: 2000
I was attracted to Credit Suisse’s entrepreneurial spirit. I joined the company 16 years ago to help grow the firm’s derivatives business. We were building an open architecture that allowed us to offer much more to our clients. We were given the freedom to set it up as we saw fit. I felt that Credit Suisse was a place where you could push a good idea and with the right combination of hard work and passion, it could be a success.
I’m now the Head of Product and Investment Services for the Swiss Universal Bank. I’m responsible for managing the offerings, which range from basic core products to sophisticated investments, and maintaining the link with our clients. I oversee 160 people. I spend a lot of time building a positive, inspiring, innovative culture; and to learn about and from each other. We don’t emphasize employee hierarchy. My goal is to empower everyone to build out their ideas. At the same time I expect drive and excellence. I want my team to understand the positive impact our work can have on individuals and businesses, and the responsibility we bear as a global financial company.
We have a culture of mentoring here at Credit Suisse; and it benefits everyone. We even have the younger generation paired up with more experienced employees to teach them about technology and new trends. I focus on mentoring women. I try to empower women to find success in their career, whether they’ve been here for a long time or are new to the bank or their role.
For new hires, networking is key. You really need to know people in different parts of the firm; it helps you to get your job done in a more efficient way. With our focus on internal mobility, the more people you know across the firm, the more opportunities you’ll have to grow and learn. Your networking can be through formal events or more casual, such as simply going out for coffee or attending a seminar with a colleague.
I love bringing something great to the client, whether it’s a new totally revolutionary investment offering (like CS Invest) or a new digital feature (like card-less cash). You know how much went into it, you can see the impact of your efforts and how your work makes the bank better. I also find it motivating to work with so many talented and passionate people.
My typical day is mostly meetings with stakeholders and my team driving strategic projects. It’s all about taking decisions and generating real impact. I enjoy the many interactions that I have with peers, team members, and internal clients, challenging others and being challenged – all aimed at making the bank better and more successful.
My passion is my family. I have two young boys and I spend my free time with my family. It is my objective to have dinner with them every night, even if that means that I have to return to my desk in my home office afterwards. On weekends we spend a lot of time outdoors, whether it’s hiking in the mountains or playing sports.