INTERVIEW with ISABELLE B.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Current role: Trust Administrator
One word that best describes how you work: Helpful
1. As a trust assistant at Clermont, what does your typical day look like?
As an Assistant, my main role is to support my team in daily administrative tasks, such as instructing payments to banks, drafting agreements, making investments and general email correspondence. I usually start the day by identifying urgencies in my inbox, prioritising some time sensitive tasks that need to be done in the morning (such as payments that need to be sent to various banks before their cut off time).
Whether we are in the office or at home, we have regular meetings either with our team or with Elliot Goodman, the Managing Director, to know if we have any work issues to raise.
I can never predict how my afternoon will be like. We may have urgent payments coming in or important transactions that can take most of our time. At the end of the day, I like staying later in the office as it is quiet and I have time to do some filing or to update my to-do list for the next day. Luckily, I don’t live far away from the office, about 20-25 minutes by tram so I can stay a little later at work. Although, now that we are at home, I often stay connected until late in the evening as I don’t have to commute.
2. How have the various lockdowns affected you personally, and what have you learnt from the last year?
Lockdowns have been really challenging. I am used to working closely with my colleagues and not being able to see them in person is not easy. We spend so many hours per day alongside our colleagues that they become our second family. The pandemic forced us all to restrain contact with everyone around us ,including our “real” family, therefore, it felt really strange to be at home all of the sudden.
We are trying to get in touch every day to stay efficient and to make sure we are all in a good state of mind. We were lucky that Clermont reacted very quickly to this pandemic and that our well-being is the company’s primary concern. With the help of all the staff, we were able to work remotely and continue to provide the best to our clients without too much difficulties.
The good side is that I have learnt that I can be as efficient alone at home as in the office and despite the physical distance, we maintain the importance of helping each other.
3. What’s your favourite part about working at Clermont?
I find that the work is really diversified. Although it is mainly an administrative in nature, we often have to deal with financial aspects, with the stock exchange for instance. My work days are never the same and I like the fact that I never knowhow tomorrow will be.
As time goes by, I feel that I am growing professionally and as a person. I have been asked to resolve issues and make transactions on my own and, as I have been working at Clermont for 6 years now, I take on more responsibilities than ever. I like the fact that I can be free in my work, in the way that I can think about solutions and procedures by myself and present them to the managers afterwards.
4. What motivates you to go above and beyond at work? Please name three motivation triggers that work for you.
My main motivations are:
My colleagues. As said above, I have grown close to my colleagues, especially with some people. The most important are my team members. We are six and are known as Team 1 (not because we are better but because we are the first team created at Clermont). I really enjoy working with them. We all have different personalities and we complete each other. Most of all, we are lucky to have Valerie Dagnaud as our team head. She is the best manager I have ever had and she is always there to help us.
Excellency. I do honestly think Clermont is one of the best family offices that exists. Created in 1996, we are still standing and improving our work, due notably to procedures in place that we are adapting according to laws and regulations. We are all helping each other to achieve the common goal of giving the best service to our clients.
Satisfaction. During my 6 years at Clermont, I have seen many happy and pleased clients. To see them react so positively is a real a motivation to keep working as we do and to keep improving.
5. If you had to describe Clermont as an animal, what animal would it be and why?
I would say an elephant. The elephant is an incredibly smart mammal with an exemplary behaviour. He also has the capacity to be a great manager to his peers and holds trust in high esteem.
Finally, he is focused on the results going from point A to point B and for me, these are qualities that every employee should have and that managers should use to build a trust relationships.
6. We’d love to hear your experience of applying a new technology or information in your job. How did it help your company / clients?
As meetings in person are not possible with current Covid-19-related restrictions, we have been using applications such as Zoom for various meetings. We also use anew system called Avaya Workplace that duplicates our office phone and allows us to make and receive calls from our computer directly.
With the latter, we no longer need to deviate calls to our mobiles, I just put on my headset and I am ready to call.
7. What’s your favourite way to wind down in the evenings?
Before the Coronavirus, I used to go out after work to have a drink with friends.
Our Geneva office being next to the lake, we are lucky that to have lots of bars in the area. It is really pleasant, especially in the summer, to enjoy a drink with friends with the light summer breeze coming from lake Geneva. Unfortunately, with the bars being closed due to the pandemic, I miss these relaxing times.
As I am working from home most of the time, I am trying to separate my work and personal lives as much as I can although my computer is only two feet away! To disconnect from work, I enjoy spending time with and playing with my two cats. I moved to a new apartment a few months ago with a balcony, which is something that I didn’t have before and I like spending time with the cats and seeing them discovering the noises of birds. I am also what you can call a geek and I appreciate watching tv and playing video games ! I also enjoy reading and writing. I wanted to be a writer when I was younger and I still write novels during my spare time.
Thank you for your contribution!
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