How do you normally start a working day?
Watching Bloomberg whilst riding my spinning bike at home – wherever home is. Then all emails which I received overnight (meaning the ones received after midnight) will be answered before I head to the office to start with the first set of meetings.
What do you do for the bulk of a typical business day?
Basically various things and never the same: emails, conference calls, software designing covering processes and credit reporting, assessing the markets, trying to convince credit insurers to look beyond the standard (very time consuming), discussing strategy with our various banking partners (not all are the same), monitoring our managed programs’ performance and credit status, interviewing new staff, training of new and existing staff, working on new solutions with the Structuring team, supporting the programs’ onboarding teams – including Legal and Structuring, reviewing new job applications pre filtered by our HR team, talking with the Operations team about issues and their suggested solutions, discussing with Legal about open items and programs’ onboarding status, talking to our Front Desk team on how to welcome and treat our guests, having a chat with the cleaning lady about her family and grandchildren. Don’t get the chance to read the Financial Times!
How do you unwind at the end of the day?
Tough question – I do appreciate a good dinner with my wife with a proper glass of red wine and talking about non business things like horses, design, art, architecture, fashion, culinary recipes, kids (also grandchild), dogs, hunting and … (sshhh sport cars).
Do you ever have a proper day or week off with no contact with the office?
No – possibly not since over 8 years.
How many hours do you typically work in a day?
Approximately 12 – 14 hours. Weekends possibly half of that.
Phone calls, emails or face-to-face meeting?
All the time. I enjoy face to face meetings, but mainly when they are held in our offices as things will be prepared, including good coffee/tea, chocolates and all technical equipment will be operative.
How long does it usually take you to respond an email?
I take my time to respond each email and cover all what is requested and more. No email remains unanswered overnight regardless of whether I am in the office or on the road.
Where do you take the motivation and business drive from?
From being creative, making things work out and doing things properly without tricks and trades.
What do you like the most about being an entrepreneur?
Feeling responsible from A-Z for what the company does. Either one is born to handle it or not. The benefit for our clients and partners is that they can speak to me or to my management and their request will be immediately dealt with and the results will be long lasting.
What is the quotation that best sums up your approach to business?
“Hard work is most rewarding”. We are a mid-size organization that works with very large companies and understands well what they need. The challenge is at times, and this is most of the time, to have them accept the requirement of a new project. This is mainly because of the nature of larger organizations and the level of political weight that their employees tend to live with. One of our key clients once made an interesting comment: “if we have the requirement to execute and process change, it’ll take us 18 months to assess and have the case approved before we can actually get to work on it. Instead, if we process it over GSCF, it’ll be dealt within a couple of days and it’ll work well”.