Meeting with Catherine Alran, Chief Operations Officer at Azqore

March 10, 2020

Catherine Altran | Azqore | Indosuez

Present your job and its integration within our organisation and our strategy. What are the key moments for your role within the year?

I am in charge of the Operations department. The Operations department within Azqore guarantees the unwinding of banking transactions, initiated by the front offices of the IWM group banks and external client banks. Since the creation of Azqore, our business has evolved considerably because, in addition to sound operations management, we are an important player in customer satisfaction. Our business is constantly evolving. We must adapt not only to new products but also to regulatory changes in the various countries where our client banks are located. We are constantly seeking to optimise our processes, while ensuring control of operational risk. In 2019, we started to develop RPA within the value file desk to automate the opening and validation of values for structured products.

 

What is your professional background? How did you handle/manage the various phases and evolutions throughout your career?

I began my career in the Currency Option Back Office at the Caisse Nationale of the Crédit Agricole Bank in Paris. I joined Banque CA Indosuez Suisse in 2000, where I held various positions within the Back Office, moving towards managing an ever-growing team.

 

Tell us how being a woman can be an advantage or a disadvantage in your career? How do you manage simulatneously your professionnal and private life?

I am convinced that being a woman is neither an asset nor a handicap. Rather, it is a question of skills. Opportunities must be seized upon when they arise. I always had male managers and they have given me the chance to develop my skills; I have never felt that being a female was a problem. It is more the case that the problem and limiting facts lie with succeeding to balance your professional and private life.

One of the keys to success is being able to rely on a strong organisation. It is important that the whole family is on board with your career plan and support you. It is a team effort, where each family member has a role to play.
Ultimately, it is essential for me to be able to safeguard family time to recharge the batteries and be able to face the next challenges.

 

How do you view the evolution towards gender diversity within our Group? More specifically, which initiatives do you take with your team and colleagues to influence mindset and change the situation when it comes to gender diversity?

Azqore has always welcomed women. However in certain disciplines it is more difficult to find female candidates. Typically, this stems upstream from the study phase, where certain fields are "under-populated" with women.

In the back office, I recruited women and then worked to increase their skills within the teams that I led.
Gender diversity exists at Azqore but it is clear that women are not strongly represented at higher management levels.

 

What would you recommend, which advices would you give to the new generations?

Do not put up barriers. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities; your gender is irrelevant – it is your skills that count.

Be proactive, hardworking and considerate.

March 10, 2020

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