“Your dreams are too big for you!” “. Miriam Cherrati never got used to this sermon. Although benevolent, because it came from relatives: friends and family, the student from a modest background has always had the conviction that work and passion could only pay off. Today, a senior executive in wealth management in the Holy of Holies, the UBS bank, the investment banker is leading the way. Portrait.
In her daily life, she accompanies, advises, connects the UHNWIs, an abbreviation designating the Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, translate the famous 1%… Great fortunes that she manages to enrich through her wise advice that this little microcosm tears away. This golden financier has been entrusted with one of the most coveted portfolios: the Gulf countries. “ Today, I can sail just as easily in an opulent Parisian dinner as in a Bedouin tent in Arabia where princely families are gathered to talk about business and leisure. “, confides the one who has thwarted all the predictions. His life in the midst of the elite in no way makes him forget his roots, his failures, his doubts, his first successes snatched from the forceps.
The suburban teenager from the Algerian immigrant background very early displayed academic facilities but, more surprisingly, knew how to find her way by wanting to pursue a career in the economic and financial spheres. As a high school student, she was already passionate about these subjects a thousand miles from her daily life where the fear of tomorrow remained a reality.
” With seven brothers and sisters and a working dad, we couldn’t afford to go out on the road within the family budget. My mother was an inspiration who dedicated her life, not to a career, but to the welfare of her family. I perceived this mother figure as a business leader! It took leadership to raise eight children and skilfully manage the household’s financial resources! “, is moved the girl prodigy now 30 years old. Mature before their time, Miriam Cherrati understands that to enter the world of finance, you had to go to “good schools”. She is heading to a business school pursuing the dual objective of building her CV internationally and specializing in finance. Studies that lead her to London, Italy and Switzerland, essential destinations for anyone who wants to understand the workings of this world.
A woman on a mission
” It was very hard! I had to combine studies and odd jobs at the same time because my merit scholarships were not enough to cover the high costs of these courses. “, she remembers. Waitress, factory worker or saleswoman, the student does not spare herself to obtain her diploma at INSEEC and at the University of Economics and Finance of Reggio Emilia in Italy. When she begins to doubt or her body cries out to her, she forces herself not to flinch. His obsession? Giving reason to those who told him to go to university, where studies are free, and too bad if the training did not fit with his professional project.
Dreams being more within the reach of purses than of all…
For her, the stakes are enormous since she wants to prove to herself that we can escape social determinism. Noble, too, because in his eyes his success would have the potential to pave the way for his younger brothers and sisters, and even to inspire beyond his family circle. Miriam Cherrati is a woman on a mission. In 2014, she managed to enter through the back door at UBS, which integrated her into its retail banking department in Geneva. A position that she flies over to the point of attracting the attention of her superiors ready to challenge her. They offer him the opportunity to prove his worth by collaborating within the wealth management division. A universe where you have to show your white paw.
In 2016, she was entrusted with the Levant region (Lebanon and Jordan), very volatile markets, particularly for the Cedar Country, which is known to be unstable. The young wealth manager takes up the gauntlet by fully satisfying both clients and the Swiss institution. Miriam Cherrati weaves her web. A manager invites him in 2017 to position himself for the coveted role of wealth manager in Paris where it is a question of developing the Middle East and North Africa branch. His dual Franco-Algerian culture is undeniably an asset thanks to his fluent command of Arabic. In the meantime, she acquired the title of “Certified Wealth Management Advisor” issued by the Swiss Association for Quality, another argument which reinforces the UBS SA France team and its director, member of the management board, Emmanuel d’Orsay.
A man she regularly quotes in her discussions. ” The turning point in my career, I owe it to his confidence because he supported me and gave me a position of responsibility. Emmanuel d’Orsay has always promoted the inclusion of women and cultural diversity, which stands out in the elitist and very masculine world of wealth management. “, she underlines. She does not want, cannot fail. Miriam Cherrati repeats to herself that her success will pave the way. Thus, she studies the history of all the great families of France and the Middle East, an essential prerequisite to clarify her choices and allow her to identify each profile, each temperament in order to understand the psychology of her future clients.
The pride of being recommended by its wealthy clientele
” You must quickly understand that expectations are not the same depending on the country. Entrepreneurs and heirs in the Middle East aspire above all to secure their assets due to the political and economic instability that is rife in their country. We are therefore like a safe for them, protecting them and their families. So I take their interests to heart because of this sword of Damocles hanging over them. Furthermore, in wealth management, we are seeing a significant increase in wealthy women, often from the Gulf countries where they are taking control of their wealth. They are more comfortable meeting a woman to talk about property matters than a man. My French customers, for their part, have other concerns. His intellectual curiosity is limitless! This is why we have to segregate the markets. “explains the adviser.
Miriam Cherrati: I wanted to disprove the sociological studies condemning some to the fatalism of ‘social reproduction’
Apart from these cultural differences requiring a distinct approach, is there an archetype of the UHNWI client? Miriam Cherrati explains that 90% of this clientele shares the common trait of being entrepreneurs, people who have shown great agility, hard work and innovation in what they have undertaken. Their level of sophistication and requirement is very high, implying constant dedication. ” It’s 24/7 in all time zones! “, warns the Parisian. Adept at challenges, the young woman thrives on good stress, she is delighted to be at the forefront of a world reshaped by investors with a visionary spirit. Its customers are its main source of innovation, they lift sectors, mountains, and are at the origin of the policy of growing diversification of assets and geographical sectors in which the banking ecosystem works on a daily basis.
Behind portfolios weighing seven to ten figures and the names of personalities whose identity she conceals, there is also the human link. Testing the records, Miriam Cherrati realized the prevalence of this facet in the – very formal – relationship between client and wealth manager; the intrusive nature of his job must not suffer from any awkwardness, any lack of discernment. The challenge is to be there without being there and to consolidate the level of trust. A tightrope walker that she performs very well, evidenced by the invitations to enter the circle of intimate friends of her proteges. Invited, for example, to exceptional homes that you wouldn’t even imagine existed, to exclusive events at major luxury houses, or to very private parties in Monaco where one of her clients has brought her collection of art at the Modern Museum, all hosted by the princely family of the Rock. So many opportunities for her to provoke “deal off market” by allowing fruitful mutual connections.
Barely 30 years old, the self-made woman is now introduced everywhere. Her greatest source of pride is being recognized locally and being recommended by her clients. Alongside her rich life, she also devotes herself to a young student from a disadvantaged background whom she accompanies in the construction of his professional and educational career. Thanks to his mentoring, the aspiring financier was able to integrate his bank UBS SA France.
Transmit, help, encourage, inspire Miriam Cherrati today assumes the role model that she missed so much.
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