Sophie Gest: "Today, finance is an ecosystem"

2022 01 20 herpe

Sophie Gest is the first female President of ACI "The Financial Market Association" in Monaco. Since 1992, this association has encouraged the development of professional and friendly links between the players in the Monegasque financial market, and also promotes training.

A few words about your career ?

I started my career in financial intermediation with institutional clients in Paris and London, then I joined the private banking industry in Monaco some twenty years ago. Today, I still work in finance but on the client side for the last fifteen years, as a treasurer and director. During my career I have always been a member of the ACI in Paris, London and Monaco. So when Robert Laure and the whole team encouraged me to consider the presidency of the association, it seemed important to me to take up the torch. The ACI has always been with me, I have made many beautiful encounters and discoveries.

How would you like to develop the ACI?

ACI has been in existence in Monaco for thirty years: we must therefore continue its commitments, continue the excellent work accomplished by the previous teams and maintain the values that are those of our umbrella association. Namely: to promote financial education, professional ethics, and to maintain the link with the financial authorities and institutions.
One of the specificities of the ACI that is often forgotten among the myriad of global financial associations is its human aspect: indeed, the ACI is not an association of institutions, but of women and men working in the financial profession who really want to get together to exchange and discuss their profession. This aspect has been undermined by two years of health constraints.
It seems important to us to develop the network between professionals and to strengthen the links between the association and its members. It is from this exchange between professionals that new ideas and proposals will be born.
Finally, we believe that finance is an ecosystem. We wish to maintain and consolidate the links with the institutions of the market such as the CCAF, the SICCFIN or the AMAF, which have always shown kindness towards the ACI.

You have put together a new team?

First of all, I would like to point out that I am lucky to be surrounded by an excellent team!
The new board reflects ACI's history, with several experienced members bringing their experience in the functioning of the association, and in constant evolution with new people offering a different analysis and point of view. The board also reflects the reality of finance in Monaco as it is composed of employees of banks but also of management companies, family offices and financial information providers. Finally, the number of women has increased, they now represent 1/3 of the team.

And your short-term projects?

We will continue our mission of education. Last week we published our distance learning program for the year 2022. They will be held from January through April. We will cover the main financial themes such as money markets, foreign exchange markets, interest rate markets, derivatives markets, etc. These training sessions are, as before, open to everyone, senior and junior professionals, students or anyone with an interest in finance. They remain, of course, free of charge. In addition, we will try to offer several times a year "workshops": sessions in small groups on more specific topics of round tables or "tutorials" by a professional in the field.
Finally, we will try to organize new convivial events to encourage exchanges, if the sanitary rules allow it

The topics are numerous...

Yes, because today "doing finance" goes much further than the technical knowledge of financial products. It has to be approached as a whole, with the legal, risk and compliance aspects... This is the idea behind the creation of our workshops.

When do the courses start?

The courses start the week of January 24 in video. At the same time, we are working on the professional "workshops" and on the organization of our annual colloquium, we are moving towards a conference format, followed by questions and answers, and a cocktail party to have fun.

A conclusion?

The health crisis has undeniably had a disruptive effect on our business and on our association. We have chosen to see it as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, to formulate new proposals for our association while remaining firmly anchored in our roots.