Discover how three senior client relationship managers at Julius Baer (Middle East) Ltd are breaking the gender bias, as they share what it takes to be successful in their field.
They are the professionals who manage the private wealth of families, advising them on investments, asset allocation, as well as succession planning: Alpa, Helena, and Laura, Senior Client Relationship Managers at Julius Baer in Dubai. In following their personal passions, these three women have each carved out unique and successful careers in wealth management.
A passion with a clear purpose
“Coming from a long line of bankers, I have always been attracted to the fast-paced, ever-changing world of banking,” says Helena about her passion for wealth management. “I can simultaneously be my clients’ advisor, friend, mentor, confidante, and even their therapist,” she adds with a smile.
Laura echoes Helena’s enthusiasm: “From an early age, I have been fascinated by stock markets.” Coupled with an intense desire to build relationships and engage with people, Laura’s early inclination led her to study economics, and soon enough it was clear what she wanted to do. “Wealth management is my passion, my life. I love what I do,” says Laura.
Apart from a sound financial background, being able to engage with people is a key skill for wealth managers. “I have a degree in psychology and started as a summer intern at our local bank. Soon enough I was recognised for the way I connected with clients and thus put on a fast-track course to learn the basics of wealth management,” says Alpa about the early days of her long-standing career in banking.
Overcoming clichés and challenges
When asked about what female wealth managers bring to the table, Helena points out the advantages of a calm, level-headed approach: “Generally, women are perceived to be more risk averse than men, which is sometimes mistaken for weakness. I would argue though that the opposite is true, as a woman’s calm and collected mindset is a valuable, impactful asset. In that sense, I advise women in wealth management to be confident about their capabilities and to hold their head high!”
Alpa also sees being a woman in wealth management as a plus, as it allows her to connect with the female members of a family: “I always try to involve the wives and adult daughters in the family as well, so that they are up to speed on financial matters, too.”
Laura attributes her success to her persistence and strong sense of purpose, among others: “As in every profession, you have to prove yourself first. I am very proud of the successful track record that I have built, and to be successful I advise everyone to stay focused, never give up, and find meaning in what you do.”
Going beyond biases
In all they do, Alpa, Helena, and Laura appreciate the human touch at Julius Baer. “We are very diverse, and everyone contributes their unique skills for the benefit of the client. I truly feel empowered and valued in everything that I do,” says Alpa.
“I feel it is a healthy environment, and there is a lot of support from both colleagues and senior management. I very much like the fact that I get to be entrepreneurial and make a difference in people’s lives,” adds Laura.
The three women’s impact goes beyond wealth management though, as they are all engaged in their communities and personal and professional networks as well. Or, as Helena puts it: “We create value beyond wealth on a daily basis – as trusted advisors, but also as mentors, champions, and advocates for causes that are close to our hearts.”