CLERMONT INSIGHTS – NOVEMBER 2019

INTERVIEW WITH MALISSA BARILLIER

Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Current role: Trust Administrator
One word that best describes how you work: Consistency

1. Born and educated abroad, what attracts you to Geneva?

I was born in Switzerland and I was raised in France where I studied until end of high school. After that, I moved back to Switzerland and did a three-year internship in an office in order to learn administration and accounting. After graduating, I then moved to Sydney in Australia for a year to improve my English skills at the end of which I obtained my Cambridge First Certificate (FCE). Two months after I came back from Australia, I found the position of Trust Assistant at Clermont Trust. What attracted me to Geneva was that I was looking for a job in which I could apply and develop my administrative skills and I also wanted to find a place where I could continue to speak and write in English daily. Clermont was the perfect place for that.

2. Please take us through a recent workday.

Monday. Every Monday morning we have a meeting with all team members and the management in Geneva in order to discuss the changes in the company (eg. the recent launch of Clermont Consultants (MU) Limited in Mauritius or the moving of the Geneva offices), upcoming meetings or organised business trips during the following weeks and more generally speaking what is currently affecting the business or the industry.

Monday is the day when I start planning my week by reading all emails received, classifying emails by priority or items that can be held and discussing with my colleagues what needs to be achieved during the week. I often have payments to be processed every day and most of the time I put them as a priority, particularly if it
concerns a transaction for an investment.
I have calls with bankers and/or consultants on a weekly basis to discuss specific accounts, related formalities or transactions/forex. I have a very good relationship with our bankers and consultants we work with.

I do travel sometimes with my team leader, Kim Grover to meet clients and my last meeting was in London. I enjoy meeting clients to understand their needs better and also to visit properties to get a better view of the investments we are taking care of. Recently, I was asked by our Managing Director, Elliot Goodman, to come with him on a meeting with a prospective client. I find it interesting to listen to a client’s wishes, his family situation and needs and also see how our MD promotes Clermont while managing the client’s expectations.

3. Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them?

My manager Kim Grover and the members of our team are the people who help me to get things done on a daily basis and Jenny Brun, as US attorney, helps me on legal and regulatory queries. For other matters, I can always rely on my other colleagues in Geneva, London and the British Virgin Islands. I find it great that, despite the distance with other offices, we are able to communicate that easily between us when we need each other assistance.

4. What is your favourite website?

At the moment, I like reading the articles “rethink sustainability” posted by the bank Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, a Swiss private bank, and which talks about sustainability in life, investments and finance. I am very interested in sustainability and I am glad to see that some of our clients are getting more interested and involved on sustainable investments. I also use, on my computer at work and at home, the website Ecosia, a search engine like Google or Internet Explorer which uses its profits to plant trees across the world.

5. You have been with Clermont 6yrs. What to date has been the highlight of your time with Clermont

To meet my manager Kim Grover and to join her team as a Trust Administrator. Itwas a great opportunity for me to improve my knowledge and take on more tasks with more responsibilities. She continuously guides me and also pushed me to take the STEP exams to get the STEP certificate which I did successfully.

6. What are you currently reading, or what do you recommend?

Not relating to work but I am currently reading a book named “The history of the Baltimores” from a young Swiss author called Joël Dicker. I would recommend his bestseller “The truth about the Harry Quebert affair” which is a very well done mystery drama story. His bestseller was used in an American television series with Patrick Dempsey as the main character.

7. Who is the smartest person you know? Why?

The smartest person I know is my dad. I am very proud and impressed by him. He is an example for me as he worked very hard his whole life until he retired at 50 years old. He is very open minded and always has good and positive things to say in general and to everybody. He is now enjoying life, travelling a lot with his wife and takes care of his family. He was the first person to push me to go somewhere to improve my English and I am very grateful to him as it helped me to become more mature and I am happy where I am in my life now.

8. What would your colleagues say about you if you weren’t in the room?

If I am on holidays, I think my colleagues would say that they missed me because I am always keen to help on various matters and more particularly with my computer skills. They would also probably miss laughing at some jokes or funny stories I tell them on a weekly basis.

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