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In her shoes | Nathalie Revillion-Castro | Director, Clearing Services EMEA at Societe Generale

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Nathalie_Revillion_CastroCareers City Rising Star, Nathalie Revillion-Castro is Director, Clearing Services EMEA in the Listed Derivatives Operations at Societe Generale. She has been at the organisation for 13 years and has worked both in middle office and back office roles before her current position.

How did you get into the industry, Nathalie?

I hold a Masters in Finance and Economics and I did an internship at Societe Generale. In 2001, I applied for a permanent role in Paris to join the Middle Office. I moved to work for the company in London in 2004. Now, I head up the Clearing Services team who are based in Paris and in the UK. There are about 40 of us in our team in total. I knew that I wanted to work in a middle office financial services role – I was attracted by the excitement of the markets, and the fact that every day is different. I like the pressure!

Tell us a little bit about a day in the life of in your role.

I’m a busy mum, I have 3 children so I don’t start before 10am but I tend to stay later. A typical day means that when I arrive I make sure all the shifts are covered across the exchanges. We have a shift rota to cover on a weekly basis so that’s really important. I’ll check my agenda for any key meetings and look at what ‘business as usual’ activity we have alongside specific project deadlines. I’d like to say it’s similar each day but to be honest everything can change within an hour when you are working with the markets! The day normally finishes around 7pm but it does depend on what has happened in the markets that day. I like the fact it’s different each day – it keeps me interested.

The bank is good at offering flexibility so that I can work from home occasionally if needed and I don’t feel micro-managed – it’s more output based rather than monitoring exactly the number of hours I spend in the office.

To be strong, firm but fair. Don’t try and please everyone, because you can’t. Establish boundaries between your colleagues and your friends even if you have worked together for a long time.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

The team has changed quite a bit since I joined, originally it was a small company and everyone knew each other – now it’s much bigger but the nice thing is that people still recognise the contribution that you make. That’s why I am still here.

There is a real family spirit in the team here. Everyone knows each other and what they deliver and I get the sense that it is a true meritocracy. You can feel it when you are in the office – you can as easily meet up with the top managers as you can with your peers.

I’d also point out the flexible management style and work life balance that I have been able to achieve here.

What advice would you give someone who wishes to move in to a leadership / management role?

To be strong, firm but fair. Don’t try and please everyone, because you can’t. Establish boundaries between your colleagues and your friends even if you have worked together for a long time. I think it is important to have that fine line. If you are a team manager, empower your team members rather than trying to do everything yourself. If you invest time in them, they can progress with your as you advance in your career.

If I’m advising someone on how to raise their own profile, I would say be visible – make sure that people know who you are. And most importantly, when you say that you will deliver, make sure that you do. Be honest, and say if you don’t know – it is good to ask questions!

The bank is good at offering flexibility so that I can work from home occasionally if needed and I don’t feel micro-managed – it’s more output based rather than monitoring exactly the number of hours I spend in the office.

Have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?

I have received some formal coaching which took place across 3 months. Regular meetings with my manager and coach allowed me to monitor progress and learning. It was useful because you have the chance to learn about yourself and how others see you. It also helped me to organise my own time better and consider how best to deal with conflict. I’ve also been able to coach others, in the sense that I’m able to be a role model for others and offer informal advice.

What does the future hold for you?

I feel that it is up to me to influence my own career. I’m not waiting for the company to bring me new opportunities. I like to try and keep in control of that and look out for what opportunities will be on the horizon next. I think it is important to embrace chance and see how it can bring opportunity in the form of new projects, new challenges, new roles.

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