With 32 years of experience in International Trade and Commodity Finance, Nicolas Sanchez is a Board Member of EFA Group Swiss since 2012,representing 4 Funds and providing trade finance services to more than 160 borrowers in 30 countries in Asia, Pacific, Europe, Russia, CIS, Middle-East and Africa. His career brought him from Trade Finance and Corporate banking positions at UBS to an experience as COO for a bank in South America, before moving to a trading company to lead its Global Structured Finance department. Before joining EFA Group, he finally had a 10 years experience as CEO of an oil & gas trading company belonging to a Fortune 500 conglomerate. In parallel to his exceptional career path, Nicolas was also very active in the Swiss trading landscape: he is one of the founding and advisory board members of the Swiss Trading & Shipping Association, a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a Lecturer at Geneva University for MBA and Diploma in commodity trading. Let's discover this very active and involved personality!
#1-What is the best moment you can remember in your career?
I have been extremely happy when my wish to move abroad for a job happened as I relocated to Miami in 1994, then went to the Caribbean and Latin America during 5 years. Then, I enjoyed very much as well returning to Switzerland.
#2-If you had to give just one piece of advice to a junior starting his/her career, what would it be?
Learn best practices within a large company / bank which is a reference in the sector where you wish to develop your career’s path; don’t be too impatient (as I was…), as a couple of years seem long when you are young, but to build a significative experience takes probably 4 years. Then, depending your aspirations, move to a smaller enterprise, which tend to be more dynamic and challenging to develop your skills with multi-facetted jobs and responsibilities. Always make sure to work for highly respected professionals, possibly charismatic bosses.
#3-Do you have a Motto/Lucky charm?
Evil is hidden in the details (which you can interpret both ways: be mindful of details; or: don’t get lost in details; as both are true…).
#4-What do you enjoy the most in your day to day job?
I still enjoy doing deals, meaning analyzing needs and risk to structure financing solutions. At the same time, coaching younger professionals, transferring know-how and challenging their comfort zone is very motivating as well.
#5-If you had to do it again would you choose the same career path?
Yes. Today there are however dedicated academic programs available and required, myself I was trained on the job.
#6-Where is your favourite place on earth and why?
I am a fan of Switzerland and its mountains, where I spend my holidays. There are many extraordinary places, where you can enjoy silence (noise is among the worst pollution) and a variety of landscapes, from charming to wild. Nothing is really far away in our country and 2-3 hours drive from Geneva might drop you on another planet or in valleys where nothing changed over the past 200 years.
#7-How could you qualify your relationship with Ampersand World?
In the beginning it was more of a networking platform, then Ampersand became a concrete provider with hiring services, always in the frame of friendly, efficient and refreshing personal contacts.