Director UHNW Barclays Wealth Management in Monaco, Sophie Saurini completed all her studies in French schools, including a Masters in Financial Markets from École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (EDHEC).
Ms Saurini, who was born in Rome, discovered stock markets as a teenager, and at the time “couldn’t understand how people made money”. She decided to have a closer look at the markets’ function and even started to follow some French stocks, which were very much related to day-to-day life, such as entertainment and consumer products.
“Accordingly, my curriculum focused on Financial Markets,” Ms Saurini told Monaco Life. “Trying to find the best ideas and talking about this with people naturally led me towards the banking and finance world.”
Her focus also led her to New York at the age of 23, which she described as an amazing experience, adding, “As soon as I arrived there, I understood the real meaning of the word ‘business’.”
Sadly, the events of 9/11 made Ms Saurini’s time in the Big Apple even more memorable. “I had an appointment in the World Trade Centre the day of the 9/11 attacks,” Ms Saurini recalled. “Obviously I never went in the end. Since then, I feel like a survivor.”
Ms Saurini talked about how this day transformed her life and that she’s become a “fatalist”. “My mindset has changed completely. Now I always try to look at the positive side of things. I don’t see obstacles and problems as issues anymore, but more like challenges that will happen and that have to be overcome. I know that I just need to deal with them and continue on my path.”
These days Ms Saurini is a key team member at Barclays Monaco as Director UHNW Barclays Wealth Management and loves her job because “each day is very different” and allows her to meet a variety of very successful people. “Getting to know clients and trying to help them with their investments and their business is very exciting. Seeing a client happy makes me happy,” she said.
Ms Saurini, a loyal Financial Times reader, finds working at Barclays in Monaco “very pleasant”, stating, “We are a very dynamic team, we work in beautiful surroundings, and we build synergies with the whole international part of the group.” She adds, “The most rewarding part is when we manage to find the best solutions for our clients: to manage their assets in a good way, help them in their business and help them plan for their future.”
With more than sixteen years of banking industry experience, Ms Saurini says it’s “still a male environment, generally speaking” but pointed out that “I don’t feel it much in Barclays Monaco. In fact, the number of female staff in Barclays represents nearly half the workforce based in Monaco.”
Ms Saurini’s ranking in Spear’s 500 was made aware to me at a CREM evening, in a congratulatory kudos by Maryline Pierre. The Spear’s 500 listing is a “best in class” ranking, a total of 500 people pulled from various industries, such as lawyers, real estate agents, art dealers, bankers within UHNW segment and so forth. Ms Saurini was selected for the UHNW Wealth Managers. “Spear’s 500 is an honour for me, and a great reward for the hard work over many years in advising UHNWIs and growing my position as a private banker. It’s a nice recognition by the industry.”
For Ms Saurini, success is also about giving something back and she is involved with World Vision. “Through my network, I have been amazed to see that most of the very successful and wealthy entrepreneurs I’ve come across, on many occasions, have achieved their success in their own right … and are great philanthropists.
“Over long chats about “what will you leave behind when you are not there anymore”, I became very enthusiastic and started to think about what I would like to leave behind. During a trip to Malaysia to meet some contacts, I got in touch with World Vision and saw how, with some financing, we could help support entrepreneurship and have a positive impact on the economy of the poor villages over there. So I became involved in this project.”
Ms Saurini also said she’s passionate about health, and how to live longer and better. “I would have loved to be a doctor but I’ve never been able to stand the sight of blood.”
Article first published March 28, 2017.