Meeting with Marisa Avello, Head of Risk and Permanent Control in Miami

April 21, 2020

Marisa Avello | gender diversity

Could you present your job and its role within the organisation? What are the main highlights of your business over the year?

I joined the Group in 1998 as Head of Finance and became Chief Risk Officer in 2010. My current role is Chief Risk Officer at Indosuez in Miami in charge of steering, managing and monitoring counterparty risks, operational risks, and an efficient permanent control system. In this capacity, I supervise and lead the RPC team in liaison with my group counterparts: Indosuez, CACIB and the US Risk Committee. As a member of the Indosuez Miami Executive Committee, I actively participate in the strategy of our entity. I embrace my role every single day as a challenge. It is important not to be satisfied with what already exists, but to always seek to improve, innovate and implement new ideas. The day-to-day interaction with my colleagues both locally and with Head Office is an integral part of my role. Every day and every year brings new circumstances, as we all know 2020 has been more than challenging worldwide. Yet, not only have we been able to maintain our day to day remotely, face the market challenges, maintain the trust of our clients, but have also built a stronger relationship among ourselves.

 

What is your professional background? How did you manage the different stages of your career?

I received my Bachelor's from the University of Florida, completed the Executive Program in Accounting at the University of Miami, received the Certificate in Banking from Florida International University and the Compliance Officer Certificate from Miami Dade College. Throughout my career, one of my biggest challenges has been to maintain a good balance between career and home. But I grew up in a family where challenges were met head on and complaining was not allowed. You work hard, always take pride in your job without ever compromising your ethics or respect. In times of challenge, my strategy is to stay informed and not hesitate to reach out and ask for help. Team work accomplishes more than individual work. 

 

Was being a woman an asset or a handicap in your career? How do you manage your personal and professional life?

I believe we all have hurdles in both our professional and personal lives, and my strategy has always been to reach within myself and handle whatever comes my way.  Surround yourself with people of integrity and do not compromise yourself. Of course being a woman has played a role in my opportunities but if you let those hurdles stop you, the only person you hurt is yourself. I have been told ‘No’ many times but it hasn’t stopped me from asking again. There is always a way!

 

How do you view the company's evolution in terms of gender diversity? In concrete terms, what initiatives do you and your teams take on a daily basis to make progress in the area of gender diversity?

It goes without saying that top management is primarily male in most institutions and Indosuez is no exception. However, we all need to play a role in changing this. As managers, we need to bring in qualified female candidates that we can mentor, train and offer them a career plan that will ensure their long-term loyalty.

 

What advice would you give to the younger generations?

Do not compromise your ethics, always speak your mind, be respectful and lead by example. You will not always be right and will not always be listened to but stay true to yourself. Opportunities will arise and you must stand up and be noticed. Do not wait to be asked, take the initiative and ask for the challenge!

April 21, 2020

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