Role: Head of Continental Funds and Separate Accounts
Business area: Real Assets
Nationality: Swiss
Location: Zurich

How did you come to work at AXA - IM Real Assets?

When I started my career, there were no Masters courses specializing in Real Estate. I graduated with a degree in accounting and finance but I chose to do my thesis on discounted value and real estate funds in Switzerland. This topic was very new in Switzerland and it naturally created career opportunities for me in the Real Estate sector.

I joined a Swiss project development and general constructor company and after a few years, I decided to focus  on the investor side of real estate. In 2005, I joined Winterthur Insurance Real Estate Management which later became part of AXA, initially as Head of Asset and Investment Management and then as Head of Asset Management for Switzerland and Germany. I have been in the AXA IM – Real Assets fund management team since 2009 as Head of Continental Funds and Separate Accounts with responsibility for teams in Cologne, Paris, London, Milan and Zurich.

How would you describe your role?

I am in charge of the strategic management, performance and operational aspects of funds and separate accounts  in Continental Europe. This means according to the life cycle of the funds, ensuring that the right strategy is in place, organizing  investments, preparing reports  and managing the relationship with our clients and the regulator. There is also an important management component since I am responsible for  a team of about 40 people across Europe.

The combination of real estate, finance and product regulation is fascinating : every day something new happens on the market and you need to find solutions to best answer your clients' needs.

Why would you recommend AXA IM as a company?

The strengths of AXA Investment Managers lie in its pragmatism as well as the quality of its teams. Professionals here are very pan European, open-minded and autonomous. They know their business and are hard-working individuals.

I really think the Real Assets universe is just waiting to be discovered for young professionals. It is a fascinating world closely linked to finance but also to a very concrete asset. It is not an exact science, it is a big laboratory of the world with truly diverse aspects: finance, legal, marketing, the regulator… You can start your career with a specific focus and then learn a lot more on the job and take a totally different direction.