Working at the upper echelon of the workplace, Lucia Waldner, Head of Credit Suisse Research Institute and Innovation, and the Chief of Staff to the Chairman, talked to us about her multiple functions, what it takes to remain innovative and adaptive to changes and her insights about female leadership in today’s business arena.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Let’s start this interview by giving us a glimpse of what your day looks like.
To start with, the financial sector provides a very dynamic business environment. Also, with my three different areas of responsibility, there is no such thing as a typical day. I work very well under these conditions and enjoy the ability to adapt and innovate. Ultimately, all my days evolve around key decisions or their preparation.
Before you joined Credit Suisse, you were a lobbyist and a journalist. You also founded a public affairs consultancy. What made you decide to restart your career in a different industry, particular in the banking sector? How was the transition to Credit Suisse?
Joining the financial services sector was partly new and partly a continuation of my career. As an EU policy specialist, I have moved from a client-facing consulting role to an in-house environment where the contents initially remained very much the same – what has changed was the perspective. Moreover, at the time, large banks were very much under scrutiny by regulators, media and public in general in a scale unseen before. From the very beginning, I have noticed that the environment at Credit Suisse is very entrepreneurial, which made the transition very seamless for me.
Leaders atop an institution naturally have a lot on their plate. As the Head of Credit Suisse Research Institute and Innovation, and as the Chief of Staff to the Chairman, what are your primary responsibilities?
With our in-house think-tank, my aim is to support Credit Suisse’s clients in their long-term decision-making. With that in mind, we work with the world’s leading experts to better understand complex issues that impact – or will soon impact – our clients’ business. If thanks to our work, our clients end up making a better strategic choice, we have succeeded. As Chief of Staff to the Chairman, I support the Chairman on a daily basis, including selected strategic initiatives. Ultimately, I work in the area of innovation, where we examine the impact of new technologies on the banking sector and our business in particular.
About the Interviewee
Lucia Waldner is Chief of Staff to the Chairman of Credit Suisse and Head of the Credit Suisse Research Institute and Innovation. She previously worked as public affairs professional in London and Brussels. Lucia holds an MBA from Oxford University and an MSc in European Politics and Governance from the London School of Economics.