Charles has over 18 years of experience in the Finance & Oil Sector fields. From his first position as Auditor at Andersen’s in Paris to his current role of Director, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Business Development at Concord Energy, Charles has had a great career path in Trading Supervision, Financial Structuring and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) for companies such as General Electric in the US, Sahara Energy and Damalex in Switzerland.
What is the best moment you can remember in your career?
When you are an entrepreneur, there is not just one best moment. When you take a risk and realize that you’ve made the right decision, it’s an incredible moment. In 2008, I made a great deal for my company when everybody was saying that it was impossible. Team successes are also memorable ones. The job of trader can be compared to that of an athlete, governed by sporting rules. There is a big moment that you cannot miss and when you win, it is a moment of absolute joy.
If you had to give just one piece of advice to a junior starting his/her career, what would it be?
To be humble and to understand that the key is to choose your team. You cannot reach the top alone. The issue here is “this is what I can do, with whom do I want to do it?” Be self confident and believe in your abilities.
Do you have a Motto/Lucky charm?
“Some exceed others” – it’s an African motto meaning that it is not the title or the position that makes you a leader, but a state of mind. You can be a leader in everything you do.
“You can be a leader in everything you do.”
What are your main criteria when recruiting people?
It is all about personality and a good feeling. If these are ok, I will try to understand much more precisely what the person’s technical skills are. As a decision maker, I will focus on the candidate’s abilities, how he/she reacts to difficulties and stress, his/her experience, and how he/she behaves in a team.
How do you see your role?
I always ask myself “how can I be useful?” As we are a small structure here in Geneva, each member of the team has something to contribute. My role is cross-functional and multi-cultural so I have to keep a global vision for the group, and a local one to manage the team in Geneva. You flourish in a position when you achieve your goals.
What would you have done instead if you hadn’t gone into trading?
I would have taught. My dream is to give courses. I did this when I was a student, I taught maths. Now I’m a lecturer for universities. But I cannot do it as often as I would like to. I love writing too. So I guess being a writer on subjects like leadership, energy, politics or religion would have been a great job too.
How could you qualify your relationship with Ampersand World?
To me, Ampersand World is refreshing in the field we work in. This entrepreneurial, risky and innovative approach is great. I’m very confident with the concept. We like working in collaboration with our partners.