Gender & Finance at EM Strasbourg LaRGE seminar

Gender & Finance presented at EM Strasbourg Business School LaRGE seminar

Estefania Santacreu-Vasut ESSEC Business School
Prof. François Longin ESSEC Business School

Gender & Finance recently presented its research at the LaRGE seminar of EM Strasbourg Business School. The presentation took place in Strasbourg on March 13th 2020. Gender & Finance Co-founder and Associate Professor Estefania Santacreu-Vasut presented experimental research on the stock market reaction to CEO appointments as function of gender.

LaRGE (Management and Economics Research Center, UR 2364) is the University of Strasbourg’s research center focused on finance. We had interesting feedback from PhD students and professors.

During the session we presented our paper Is Gender in the Pocket of Investors? Identifying Gender Homophily Towards CEOs in a Lab Experiment which is based on a lab experiment.

Three stylized facts

At the seminar, we motivated our research with three stylized facts:

Fact #1: Women are under-represented in CEO positions.

Fact #2: Stock markets in the US react more negatively to the appointment of a female CEO than to that of male CEO.

Fact #3: Women are under-represented also in finance related educational and professional arenas.

We presented how our research can provide a unified explanation of the three stylized facts.

  • To do so, we rely on insights from sociology and behavioral economics
  • We build a trading experiment to study how individual investors react to CEO appointments
  • We causally identify the role of investors preferences and quantify the role of investors’ gender diversity on the aggregate stock market reaction
  • In short, we find evidence of gender homophily among investors which can rationalize the relation between facts #1, #2 and #3

Research on behavioral finance

Professor Laurent WEILL and Francis Osei-Tutu discussed with us their very interesting work “How Language Shapes Bank Risk Taking

Slides

Contact us for more information or for research collaborations! And check our presentation slides!

Presentation on gender and finance

Prof. François Longin and Prof. Santacreu-Vasut
ESSEC Business School

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #11 – Zoé Lintz– TMT M&A analyst at JP Morgan

Today, I am writing about an exchange I had with a TMT analyst in London. Thank you to Zoé Lintz for her availability and her exhaustive answers!

  1. Could you please describe what are you doing at JP Morgan as a TMT analyst?

In a large corporate bank such as JP Morgan, the daily environment is significantly different from what I experienced before in smaller M&A banks. Don’t forget that there is no “normal day” in M&A which is exactly what I was looking for. Each day differs depending on ongoing projects, clients demands or deliverables. We can perfectly get up thinking we’ll have a relatively calm day and finally be a stimulating one because of last-minute demand from a client who wants a special document or a new valorisation! Hence describing typical tasks is challenging but to give you an overview, I’ll tell you some typical tasks for an analyst:

  • Production of marketing documents such as pitches for prospects or information memorandum for potential investors
  • Associated tasks to fill in such documents: looking for information on companies through broker notes, press or specialized corporate finance websites
  • Performing financial analysis to build a financial model to value a business. We usually rely on financial projections given by the management team and/or reports from financial advisors that we challenge through different scenarii. We also use different valorisation methods to come up with what we think is the fair value of a business while explaining each hypothesis we retained.

I am highly satisfied with my choice because of the fulfilling and challenging environment I found here. Besides working with people with different cultural backgrounds is particularly thriving. I can always rely on my colleagues when I need some help and have never felt angriness. I appreciate the fact that the seniors know that as an analyst you have still a lot of things to learn, they are highly supportive! This is necessary to be able to work long hours.

2.Could you please explain why you chose JP Morgan?

After working for small structures, I wanted to try working for a bigger team. I thought this environment would be a springboard for the beginning of my career. Working in a team of 70+ people is radically different and teaches me a lot about relationship skills. The growth and the deal flow of the TMT team of JP Morgan also played a major role in my decision to join. I wanted to begin in London because I was looking for a more international environment that what we can find in Paris to learn other way of thinking while improving my English skills. Finally, London remains the core of the European M&A industry with the strategic offices of all major players as well as the most powerful investment funds. Thus, this city represents the place to be to quickly learn about finance and offers numerous opportunities to pursue a career in corporate finance.

3.Why were you interested in finance in the first place?

In 2013, I joined Sciences Po Strasbourg to become a journalist. This was after my exchange in the US that I began to be interested in finance. Hence, I joined the investment club at my university to learn more about it. I also did an internship in a small banking structure and realized that corporate finance is highly related to the news and offers the opportunity to learn about a large variety of sectors. I chose to specialize in media and technologies to develop a thorough understanding of this sector which gave a double competence in finance and technologies. I also like the technical side of corporate finance that relies upon concrete concepts. Indeed, we use mathematical models to forecast revenue and value a company,which has concrete impacts on the ongoing operation.

4.Have you experienced some difficulties at the beginning of your career?

Of course! But everybody does, it is the way you cope with difficulties that will shape the future of your career. For me, finding an M&A internship was extremely difficult because I didn’t come from target schools. I experienced numerous refusals and made a lot of efforts to secure an internship. I eventually was successful thanks to work and motivation. Indeed, you should be technically perfect for interviews and are ready to convince your interviewer that you really want to work in finance! This implies a lot of training and the best way to be fully prepared is to multiply the interviews.

5.Have you some advice for our readers?

Several ones. Do not hesitate to do different internships to find which position match your expectations. I did several internships before knowing what I really want to do. I learnt different aspects of finance but also to better know myself. We are continuously evolving; thus, it is important to be able to question ourselves about what motivates us and what we want about our careers!

Then, do not give up against difficulties such as I am not able to do that … I didn’t have the right education … Finance is not for me … There are a lot of misjudgements about finance. In addition, a similar place could be painful for somebody and thriving for another. Thus, you should go and see by yourself to make your mind.

Do not give up after a failure. You should create your opportunities by founding a club or organizing events to progressively build the right profile for the position that you dream of.

My last advice will be to speak with as many people as you can to better learn about finance and expand your professional network. This will really help your career!

Maude Culis-Féry.

BNP intern and ESSEC student.

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #10 – Patricia Lormeau – M&A Managing Director at BNP Paribas

1.Could you please describe your current position?

I am Patricia Lormeau, a Managing Director in the Domestic Market Team at BNP Paribas. In our team, I cover logistics and business services sectors. These sectors are highly interesting because they give signals about future economic and commercial trends.

Daily, I gather information about the sector through meeting management teams of the companies or other teams inside BNP Paribas. Being constantly in touch with executives in one sector gives you the legitimacy to speak with other executives and enables you in the end to reach new potential customers.

Being a managing director also means supervising the project team for each ongoing deal meaning nominate the members of the project, split the work to improve efficiency and sometimes dealing with two teams working on the same project. At this level in the banking industry, it is mainly a coordination, supervision and human job. It requires a lot of interactions with the junior staff preparing technical inputs and PowerPoint presentations to make sure these are correct and adequate to the goals of the project. This doesn’t make your job easy because you should keep a critical eye, spotting the mistakes the others didn’t see, maintaining a global view on the ongoing process to ensure its completion. While doing so, it is also critical to take time to teach your team because it represents a long-term time gain.

Personally, it has always been important for me to help young professionals to build their network because I know how critical it is in a successful career!

But this doesn’t mean, you cannot have a personal life. On the contrary, to stay in the long-term in the banking industry, you should keep a sane equilibrium requiring you to continue activities that you appreciate. For example, in my free time, I am the president of a charity promoting caring management and organizing conferences about current issues such as environmental ones

2. How did you become a Managing Director at BNP Paribas?

I am a kind of exception in the senior M&A bankers because I did not work in an M&A team before. In the beginning, I was a business lawyer following my studies in ESSEC and law university. I chose law because I wanted to be involved in the business environment while dealing with complex issues.

After a few years, I felt the need to discover other things and became an economist at BNP Paribas. I did appreciate the public side of this job because I was regularly questioned by French journalists on macroeconomic issues. But I was afraid to stay away from the business world too long, so I joined Iberia in Spain as Head of Financing. I preferred finance to law to intervene at the beginning of a project and not at the end when all details are already negotiated. What I liked in this experience was to become an expert in one sector and took part in professional conferences. Besides, working for Iberia was thriving as all our customers were abroad, so I travelled a lot. This job required me to be creative in the difficult aftermath of the World Trade Centre attack, which hurt badly the aeronautic industry. This pushed me to develop the parking credit to avoid a liquidity crisis for the aircraft owner.

After four years at Iberia, I went back to BNP to develop shipping financing when it was not as structured as today and had the opportunity to work in Japan.

I came in the Domestic Market Team thanks to a colleague, who was eager to benefit from my network and my ability to deal with complex issues. This enabled me to break into M&A in a senior position without previous experience.

3.Have you some advice for the young professionals?

Several ones!

Take time to travel abroad to understand business environments different from the French one. This will become valuable knowledge when you (potentially) go back to France to distinguish yourself from your colleagues.

Take time to try several sectors before developing expertise in a sector in which you are interested. Being an expert on a few sectors is required when you reach more senior positions because it will give you the legitimacy to speak your mind.

After the first years, it will be your network and your ability to adapt that will help you seize thriving opportunities. Bears it in mind during your first years.

You should keep a sane equilibrium requiring you to spend time with your family and continue activities that you appreciate. I have four children and I have always done my best to take care of them while pursuing full-time positions. Also, in my free time, I am the president of a charity promoting caring management and organizing conferences about current issues such as environmental ones.

Finally, you spend a lot of time with colleagues, so do not hesitate to change team if you don’t feel included. There are many places where using your financial skills and different kind of working environments. You just have to find the right one for you.

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #9 – Laurence de Rosamel – Debt Advisory Managing Director at Clearwater

Describe your current position

I am Laurence de Rosamel and I currently work in Investment Banking as a Managing Director at Clearwater in Paris. I advise companies on raising financing through different channels such as banks, insurance companies, private debt funds and capital markets.

At Clearwater Paris, around 35 bankers are working to deliver high-value financial advice to our clients. Among these people, five are specialized in financing advisory. We work either in joint mandates with the M&A teams or on a standalone basis when our clients are only looking to raise non-dilutive capital. Most of our deal flow is related to acquisition financing, growth financing and refinancing transactions. Our clients are generally mid-market companies which are looking to raise between €10m and €300m.

Why did you choose finance? How did you begin?

In high school, I was attracted to business schools and thus entered a French “Classe Préparatoire”. But when my parents moved to the US, I decided to follow them and transfered to a BBA with a specialization in finance. I did a final year summer internship in Investment Banking because I wanted to learn a lot and was curious to experience what M&A was all about.

After graduation, I came back to France and realised that despite my degree and experience, I only had access to a limited number of opportunities in Investment Banking in Paris as I did not hold a Master. Thus, I applied to ESSEC for a postgraduate degree in Financial Techniques.

After ESSEC, I joined Rexel in the internal M&A team and after a year moved to DC Advisory (formerly Close Brothers) a Paris-based M&A boutique. I have been working in Midmarket Investment Banking ever since.

You have worked more than 10 years in the finance industry while many people give up after a few years, how could you explain that?

When I started in Investment Banking, I did not think I would last very long just like most of us out of Business School. If you had told me I would still be in the industry after 10 years, I would have never believed you. But in fact, time has flown incredibly fast and I was never bored. I think I am still here because I was lucky enough to always find new opportunities and challenges at every turn along the way.

Today financial institutions are struggling to hire enough young professionals and make them stay in the long-term. I think we should focus more on how to communicate about careers in the finance industry in a way that attracts the new generations. But also, we need to fully acknowledge that professional codes are changing and that we must take actions to further change the way we conduct business and manage teams.

What is your advice for young women in finance?

My advice for young women is mainly related to soft skills because technical skills can be learned. For me, the biggest hurdle for women in finance is a certain lack of confidence at times, which is not facilitating the fulfilment of their personal ambitions. Women should be bolder and not just rely on their accomplishments for their career evolution. Communicating extensively on your professional achievements is key, all your male counterparts do it so why don’t you?

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #8 – Jade Grandin de l’Eprevier – Journalist at l’Opinion

1.     Describe your current job

I am a journalist at l’Opinion. Following my studies at ESSEC, I did internships at Les Echos, le Figaro and le Monde before working at l’Agefi.

My job is to find subjects for the articles by meeting various people without precise objective just to understand what is going on, major trends, original and hidden stories, people’s motivations, why someone is emphasizing this part of the story. Being a journalist doesn’t mean being an expert but being able to reach the right person for each subject meaning being able to reach quickly people and convince them to speak to you while maintaining a neutral view.

Compare to other traditional ESSEC alumni path, journalism is close to consulting because it enables you to discover a broad variety of sectors, talk to senior professional from the business, political or social world.

2.     Why are you interested in Finance?

At ESSEC, I was not particularly interested in Finance, in fact, I discovered Finance through my first internship at Les Echos. Indeed, I was an intern in the department that deals with the financial market. At that time, the only thing, I wanted was to be a journalist intern whether the subject was. Being a journalist in the financial market department was interesting because I understood the concrete aspect of finance. As finance is highly linked to the economy, I could cover a broad diversity of subjects on different scales: macroeconomics, microeconomics, international, local, on companies or individuals.

Another thing I like as a financial journalist is the challenge to be understood by readers on a difficult subject. This requires finding a pedagogical approach and original ideas to keep readers interested in the article.

3.     What would be your advice for young professionals in the finance sector?

First, you should choose carefully your internships. Internships are valuable because relatively easy to find including in companies, which have the reputation to be unachievable. Thus, you should apply to companies that you dream of without considering other criteria such as wages or future professional opportunities. This is the right time to be ambitious! A sector in which you are interested in but that intimidates you should be experienced to break the fantasy (positive or negative) as my ESSEC mentor Marc Grassin said. Internships are the best tool to meet people and broaden your network that will be useful in your professional life.

My second advice is linked to the first one, you should pay attention to your behaviour during your internship. Behave as the employees, be as autonomous and responsible as they are. At the same time, don’t hesitate to ask for advice or feedback because it is too rare to hear them while they are needed at the beginning of your career to make progress faster. Nobody will blame you because you are indeed a beginner. Don’t hesitate to change the field or company if you don’t thrive. Price each of your professional contacts because opportunities could come as a surprise or rely on somebody you met and you had positively impressed.

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #7 – Anne Tolmunen – Portfolio Manager at Axa Investment Managers

“Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well! Today, we have the pleasure to welcome a new special guest: Anne Tolmunen from AXA Investment Managers. Nice to meet you Anne, first question, could you please explain to us your current position?”

“Hello everyone, sure! I am currently a portfolio manager in the Global Equity Division at AXA Investment Managers. I invest in equities for institutional investors such as pension funds, my main customers.”

“Look like a thriving job! But how could you get there, could you share with us your experience?”

“I may disappoint you, but I chose finance by accident. I studied at ESSEC in the general program. I did an apprenticeship at Arthur Andersen, which led me to apply to General Inspection at Société Générale, which is a team in charge of internal audit across all divisions inside the bank. I stayed for four years and discovered a large variety of jobs and locations. Then, I went to London where I had several offers from banks, but I eventually preferred to look for a job in asset management in which I was more interested. I joined the internal audit team at AXA Investment Managers aiming at joining the front office in the future. In parallel, I studied the CFA – a well-known professional certification that requires three years of study to pass. After one year and a half, I spotted an internal offer for being a project assistant to help merge the different asset management teams. I applied to this position despite lacking experience in this field in order to get close to asset management teams. I was right because twelve months after, I helped a portfolio manager following the departure of her colleague in maternity leave. Thanks to that, I could work with other asset management teams throughout the years. Ten years after, I am a portfolio manager with my own clients. I faced many challenges such as learning quickly financial analysis, improving my English in order to speak to institutional clients, in public conferences or to media, managing family life with three children and my overwhelming career.”

“Impressive, so you should have one or two pieces of advice for young students?”

“First, do not be worried if you don’t know precisely what you want to do in the future. Having a long-term ambition is a key but you should also be able to seize opportunities, stay open-minded and carefully use your qualities. Indeed, many future jobs don’t exist for the moment, which means you should be ready to pursue studying when you’ll be on the job. In addition, you should take risks and get out your comfort zone to manage a successful career. Finally having a good network is a key advantage! An understandable family and a husband who could help you in the house but also friends, colleagues and a great manager, who could be your mentor in your professional life.”

Thank you for reading, I hope everything is fine in your family despite the current situation. See you soon for our next portrait.

Maude Culis-Fery

M&A intern at BNP Paribas.

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #6 – David Rideau – Director Cash Equities at HSBC

Dear readers,

I hope you are doing well despite the weird period. This morning, I thought about you telling me that some reading could keep you busy at home. So please find not one but two new portraits: #5 in the precedent article and #6 in this one.

Now, I’ll tell you about my meeting with David Rideau, Director Cash Equities Sales at the Champs Elysée offices of HSBC!

Nice to meet you, David, I hope you are doing well! I’m here to speak with you about your career to help ESSEC students to know more about the finance world and especially about people who work there. So, please explain to us the daily life of a Director Cash Equities at HSBC.

Sure! As a Cash Equities Director at HSBC, I advise Equity fund managers on their investments choices. My clientele is mainly composed of institutional investors, ie. large French Equity fund managers. Using HSBC Equity Research, I advise HSBC’s clients on their sector allocation (“top down”), as well as on their stock-picking strategy depending on their respective investment criteria. I am also involved in primary business, such as IPOs and capital increase for already listed companies. This business is highly competitive, thus the banks differentiate themselves through expertise on a few sectors and by the quality of their research. On that point, HSBC has the advantage to cover more than 1.900 stocks globally and to offer thematic research on Climate Change and ESG. Unlike some common stereotypes about the financial market jobs, I do not spend my days behind my screen. Indeed, I physically meet clients to discuss sector specific issues or during corporate roadshows. Besides, when I am mandated on an IPO, I support the management during its roadshow and thus meet the potential investors with them. In the future, I think competition will tighten because of tough regulation and fragmentation of the European banking industry, thus working in investment advisory will keep becoming more challenging over the years.

Indeed, difficult to temper this fragmentation in the Eurozone … So why did you choose such a challenging field, finance?

I did not think so much about my choice because I did enjoy my finance courses at San Jose State University. My initial interest was confirmed during my internship at Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America) in San Francisco. I appreciated the absence of routine and the adrenalin of the trading floor, where the mood highly relies on market trends. Since the financial crisis, I observe that the role of central banks has increased, thus working in financial markets now requires, more than in the past, to be able to analyse the potential impacts of macroeconomic policies. After my internship, I began at Détroyat Associés where I was in charge of the sales department. Then I worked for Portzamparc (now a subsidiary of BNP Paribas) as an equity sales focusing on French small (even micro) caps and seized the opportunity to work at HSBC in 2006 to broaden my coverage, in terms of listed companies (European) and clients (larger institutions).

Interesting because you had the opportunity to see two different kinds of portfolio! One last question, though, do you think there are still today only a few women on the floor?

Inappropriate behaviours are partly to blame here. Fortunately enough, those unacceptable behaviours are gone now. The other reason stems from the current downturn in financial market activity. Traditionally, these jobs are occupied mainly by men and with the small amount of new hiring, it cannot be easily changed. Thus, my advice for women interested in finance would be to go for it because the banks are looking to hire more women, thus they could have better opportunities. Indeed, at HSBC we are eager to promote greater gender equality across a number of areas including female leadership and talent pipeline.

To keep in minds for those interesting in working at HSBC! Thank you for your time David and your insights!

Now, April is not so far so as the next article. In between, take care of your family and stay at home to help the medical staff. I hope, you’ll be fine. Thank you for reading me. Don’t hesitate to write to me should you have any remark.

Maude Culis-Féry, ESSEC Student, M&A Intern at BNP Paribas.

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #5 – Nadia Annabi – CFO Cadence Voyage

Dear readers,

I hope you are doing well despite the weird period. This morning, I thought about you telling me that some reading could keep you busy at home. So please find not one but two new portraits: #5 in this article and #6 in the following one.

First, let me introduce our guest: Nadia Annabi, CFO at Cadence Voyage. Hi, Nadia! How are you?

Hello, fine. I’m glad to be here.

My pleasure! So, please, could you present yourself and tell us what is your current position?

Sure. As my latest experiences as a CFO, my current position at Cadence Voyages aims at ensuring the quality of the operational and financial management of our company. I am in charge of its good financial health. Concretely, I analyse expenses and operational process to find how to improve performance. The tourism industry is particularly thriving because of the sector’s specificities such as the purchase of foreign currencies to boost margins and exchanges with international partners. Lastly, I supervise the activities of building, communicating and reviewing the budget as well as financial accounts.

It sounds like a highly technical job! What attracted you to finance in the first place?

I confess that at the beginning I was more attracted by “the glamourous” of marketing. But as I get more responsibilities in a highly competitive environment, I had to more and more focus on financial aspects and not only the operational ones. As “the glorious 30” were behind, it became increasingly relevant to manage costs to ensure the companies’ resilience. I dislike pure accountability, but I became quickly passionate about cost management and new IT systems. Gathering key data to better understand the firm’s activity, analysing the changes to reach better performance is highly enthusiastic! Over the past decade, finance has evolved a lot to become a prospective tool to measure performance depending on various assumptions. I also appreciate the fact-specific analysis requiring by financial analysing. It is easier to advocate a project in front of colleagues or boards with figures to strengthen your point of view.

Agreed! But I wonder how did you start your career in finance?

More by necessity than by interest in the first place! It became impossible to manage a company without defining a financial strategy and a prospective budget. Even today, I have to say that considering financial aspects don’t prevent me to be involved in more operational issues such as day-to-day process and HR policies.

This depends on the place your work, I guess. Any advice for our readers?

Sure! You shouldn’t be impressed by a world that still today is male-dominated. I am persuaded that it is evolving like in other areas, which were female deprived. Besides, you should be passionate and carefully choose the firm in which you’ll work to thrive in your job. For instance, I have always worked in the services sector such as healthcare, accountability or tourism, which attracted me more than the industrial ones. Last but not least: Having fun while working!

Listen to your heart then! Thank you for according us some time, Nadia. Have a nice day! My dear readers, the next article is coming right away!

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #4 – Aurélie Cohen – Head of Investor Relations

Hello everyone! Today, I offer you the opportunity to discover the world of Investor Relations jobs through an interview with Aurélie Cohen from Euronext. Enjoy the reading, next portrait is coming in March …

  • Describe your current position

“I am the head of investor relations and financial communication at Euronext. I am responsible for the strategy and the execution of the financial communication that means taking care of quarterly publications, regulatory and daily financial communications and publication of information about M&A operations. Besides, I am also in charge of the communication on the conglomerate’s strategy through the organization of investor day events. I am the reference point for investors, shareholders or financial analysts that would like to get financial or strategic information on Euronext.

  • What attracted you to finance? How did you start?

I have always been attracted by mathematics and numbers. Finance is the concrete application of them to the business world. So, I began as an auditor at Ernst & Young before moving to financial advisory at ADP Group first and then at Euronext.

  • What is your advice for young female student or professionals?

Meet as many people as possible to get an idea of the variety of opportunities within the corporate finance world that isn’t only about financial controlling and M&A advisory. Then, before going into a position, you should meet people from that firm and not only people involved in the recruitment process. No position is the same across firms in finance, a similar job name could hide highly different daily basis from thriving position to a bored one. Finally, I advise you to be confident as a woman with your qualities and be as straightforward as possible with the difficult question about family expectations. Today, the main part of companies and managers understand the relevance of the work-life balance.

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Gender & Finance Portrait Series #3: Raphaëlle Paret – Chairwomen of ESSEC Transaction and intern at Ernst & Young

Dear readers, today I offer you a piece of advice from one of the most dynamic ESSEC students. Please do not hesitate to click and visit the Facebook page of the Finance Association:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/332231027263628/. Stay tuned if you want to know more about the director of shareholders relationship at Euronex … Her portrait is coming soon.

Describe your current position

I am a Master student at ESSEC and an audit intern at Ernst and Young in Luxembourg. I wanted to work in the audit profession to develop strong technical skills and in Luxembourg because I seized an opportunity to discover how it works in a different country from France. This year I am also the president of ESSEC Transaction, our beloved finance association! Throughout the year, this association organizes events to help students to discover corporate finance, as well as how financial markets work. Among examples, we set up conferences such as the Paris M&A Summit, meetings like “Women in Finance”, or competitions like TradeXtre, job presentations or Case Studies training sessions. You can imagine that these events represent a huge amount of work, thus I am proud of the motivation of all members of this association, who give their time and passion without them this would not be possible!

What attracted you to finance and how did you get started?

My passion began in high school! Indeed, at that time, I was determined to enter a Classe Préparatoire, which is a French program dedicated to the preparation of the highly competitive entrance examination of the French business schools. I worked a lot to enter one of the best French business school: ESSEC. Since high school I knew I wanted to work in finance, but I notice that what I want to do in finance is still evolving while I am studying at ESSEC. I am interested in finance because it covers all industries. For me, finance is the spine of all businesses, so I would learn a lot about how companies work by studying it. Then, I could have opportunities in diverse business sectors across different countries!

A piece of advice for women interested in finance?

I am trying to make women to better know the finance world, through events such as “Women in Finance” meetings. Even within my association, parity isn’t reached, thus it represents a real issue! Encouraging women, who are already interested in finance isn’t tough because they are often highly curious and willing to attend conferences and ask professionals about their careers. It is more difficult to make other women curious about finance. So, I want to encourage these women to attend the gender event “Women in Finance” to discover the variety of opportunities within the finance industry. These women could also benefit from the extreme kindness of professionals, willing to share their experience as they themselves would have benefitted from such events at the beginning of their career.

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