Joined additiv earlier this year to run their Strategy unit. With over 20 years in leadership positions within financial services, her vast experience includes most recently serving as Head Investment Solutions and Global Head Equity and Credit Research at Credit Suisse. Bringing extensive board experience as a former member of the Swiss Sustainable Finance Board and InvestLab Board, Christine is currently on the Board of Redesigning Financial Services as well as additiv’s Executive Board. She is a sought-after speaker on the subject of finance, sustainability and diversity topics in Switzerland and beyond.
Watch an extract from the interview
Talking of sustainability, what projects is additiv working on to help society?
First, we’re providing more transparent platforms for microfinancing. This brings down the cost of lending for very small enterprises. Second, we’re working on wealth inclusion. That means technology solutions powered by financial companies that allow that you make wealth investments starting on a very small scale – 20 or 30 dollars a month. Third, we provide wealth solutions in the area of financial planning/pension. With increasing pension gaps, it has become very important. And wherever possible we combine our efforts with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) labelled investment solutions. Incidentally, I believe this must become the new normal if we want to save our planet.
Wherever possible we combine our efforts with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects of investing.
What will the new normal look like for additiv over the next two months? What will you focus on?
The crisis has brought opportunities closer. Demand you were hoping would develop and unfold over the coming years is suddenly here right now. Now the question is: how do we manage growth, without jeopardizing results? How do we now steer this company? It’s about productizing, implementing, scaling and partnering. We have to maintain our innovative power but also keep up the growth. I think the return to how we were doing business and working before will be slow. Companies have seen that it is possible to work efficiently from home, even in areas like advice for very wealthy clients or execution in a bank. This gives more freedom. At additiv, we anticipate more work. We believe finance is at the heart of the economy; it’s part of a social system, part of our planet. But its priorities are shifting – finally.
I see myself as a motivator but also a contributor in changing leadership towards a more inclusive style.
Although we are living in very uncertain times – let’s talk about what could happen in the near future. How do you picture yourself and your company in two years’ time?
That’s a good and tricky question. On the company side, two years from here I expect that we will have managed to scale up to sell our solutions even more efficiently – directly, through partners and indirectly. We’ll have opened up beyond finance as a sector to offer finance-as-a-service that you can plug into corporate systems like HR, or a consumer platform – a proper ecosystem approach. We’re only successful if our end clients understand the risks and the value behind their financial decisions. Making finance affordable and simple – that’s at the heart of it. For myself. I think in Switzerland we have been in a health-happiness bubble for some time and this looks likely to continue. I have two teenagers and I want them to be aware of this privilege. It’s important to remain humble, use your voice and raise your kids so they find their place in our society globally. I also want to keep contributing to diversity. If I look into the longevity theme, with our population getting older, faster, and people living longer, we need all the brainpower we can get as a society. I see myself as a motivator but also a contributor in changing leadership towards a more inclusive style.
I think in Switzerland we have been in a health-happiness bubble for some time and this looks likely to continue.
Finally, what would be your three key takeaways to prepare for what’s next in the “new normal”?
1. Avoid the “first three seconds” pitfall – the beauty of this planet is that people are hugely diverse – gender, background, color. Ask questions, be curious and truly listen.
2. Provide direct, open feedback – people may not even realize it if they’ve said something that hurts you, so feed it back openly and neutrally. This is important.
3. Use your power to empower others – be generous in sharing your strengths, knowledge and your network.
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