Working at the epicentre of the financial markets
Whether she is training for a marathon or working on the trading floor, Laura Hilber thrives in a fast-paced environment. The young Wealth Architect speaks as passionately about her love for a healthy lifestyle, wine and travels as she does about Foreign Exchange markets or the difference between accumulators and decumulators.
Unpredictable, yet exciting: the financial market changes rapidly and often. Natural catastrophes, political uncertainties, or a simple tweet can all have a strong impact on the Foreign Exchange (FX) and Precious Metals markets. Swiss-born Laura Hilber’s job is to stay on top of what is happening around the world in order to advise the Relationship Managers and to find the right investment solution for their clients. “I am the go-to person in all questions surrounding FX and Precious Metals, offering client expertise and education on our products, such as target redemption forwards, accumulators and decumulators. I help our Relationship Managers when they have a specific problem, but I also offer them new ideas or input when change is happening.”
What she loves about her job is the unpredictability. No day is the same. She likes the aspects of not knowing what each day has in store for her, what changes may impact the markets, or what developments are about to unfold. “The fast-moving nature of my job fascinates me.”
Not someone to sit still
The same goes for Laura’s personal life. She does not like to rest. Having to sit for long hours at her banking desk has made her even more passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle. A while back, Laura attended a course in nutritional education so as to understand more about the dietary requirements for runners who are serious about their sport. And Laura is serious about it. Last year, she finished the Berlin Marathon and still beams when talking about it: “Running my first marathon was an incredible experience that taught me so much.”
Running is not the only thing that keeps her busy in her pastime, Laura is also a keen and well-versed traveller. Every year she visits a new destination. Fluent in five languages, she likes to immerse herself in the local culture, cuisine, and, if available, local wine scene, since wine is another of her passions. Laura, who holds a Banking and Finance Master’s degree from the University of St. Gallen, maintains that if she had to start studying all over again, she might choose oenology.
Keeping a close eye on the market developments
Entering the financial world was a natural progression after completing her studies. Her first graduate job was with a large Swiss bank that took her to Singapore, then on to Hong Kong, London and back to Switzerland. In 2016, she started as a Wealth Architect at Julius Baer’s FX PB Solutions team. It was yet another decision that felt right straight away.
On a daily basis, Laura and her team observe the markets and evaluate the developments that may impact the foreign exchange before making recommendations. The Relationship Managers are not the only ones interested in her financial guidance, also her friends frequently ask her if she could advise them on what is happening with the Euro or whether they should invest or not. What are her top tips – for both clients and friends? “There are a few basic rules to follow in risk management: always know what your risk is, and hedge your unwanted risk, which also includes accepting active risk advice. Also, listen to the experts and don’t be afraid to ask questions,” explains Laura. She provides education sessions on Foreign Exchange and encourages all of her internal clients to join and ask as many questions as possible.
Laura Hilber has lived, studied and worked all over the world. Born in Switzerland to a Swiss-German mother and a Swiss-Italian father, she grew up in a bilingual home at the shores of the lake of Zurich. At the age of 14, Laura and her family moved to Asia. She says that moving away from home as a teenager has opened her eyes to new opportunities and to different ways of lifestyles. And it has certainly also instilled her passion for travelling and fast-paced environments.
Her vision for her own future is as unpredictable as the financial markets. “All I know is that I want to keep doing the best job that I possibly can, while educating myself on new passions.” Laura has just added another passion to her list: blockchain technology. “I have decided to broaden my horizon and will therefore start a part time study on blockchain economy.”
In order to keep the right balance between crypto and the real world, she has also registered to the Chicago Marathon 2019. “It’s the combination that counts – and living life to the fullest!”
Video production: Scott McNamara / Fabio Kobel
This portrait is part of the ’Wealth Architects’ series in which we introduce you to our employees. All of them have practical tips and tricks in their area of expertise for you.