“Never try to be or behave like a man, resist attempts to push you into this stereotype, even if the environment sometimes works against you.”
|Job title:||Head of Investor Relations|
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A journalist, a novelist.
What has motivated you to take on a position of high responsibility within Henkel?
Focus on innovation and long-term oriented, sustainable financial performance are key factors for a listed Company: Henkel has a great reputation under both angles. As Head of Investor Relations I find them precious assets on which to base the Henkel Equity Story, in order to further improve the composition of the Institutional Investor Shareholder base. Investor Relations is the department conveying the messages of top management towards institutional investors and viceversa, and makes sure that they understand and trust each other under all financial market conditions. The interface role of Investor Relations is strategic because investors have a limited amount of funds and attention: IR makes sure that Henkel is always on the radar and in the portfolio of the best investors.
What were the milestones in your career and are there people or circumstances that have favored your career?
From a professional standpoint, IR requires both strong financial and communication skills. We have institutional investors from all over the world, with different investment styles and opinions, and having to constantly interface different points of view is an angle of my job that I find extremely intriguing. Originally I come from Triest, a sea city mixing Austrian, Slovenian and Italian roots where people are used to embrace change and are open to different cultures and points of view.
Shifting point of view has always been a feature of my career. I was an officer at the Paris Stock Exchange, a derivatives structurer in the City banking industry, a treasurer and IR professional in a luxury goods corporation in Rome. With 20 years experience in the financial markets, I now manage a bigger IR Team, in a much bigger, DAX-listed Corporation active in 3 very different business sectors in a country which I find particularly attractive. For me exiting the comfort zone and managing new challenges is extremely enriching. Because daring to innovate and exiting the comfort zone have always been values part of my family heritage.
What is your advice to women seeking to build careers?
Never try to be or behave like a man, resist attempts to push you into this stereotype, even if the environment sometimes works against you. Dare. Invest in networking, something women are still comparatively poorly focused on compared to men. Never cease to look for inspiring mentors. I was born in the late ’60s and the awareness my generation gained of the condition de la femme and women’s rights was quite crucial. Resist the fact that nowadays surprisingly conservative mindsets are coming back.