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«I’m driven by curiosity.»

 

Dr. Claudia Emele
Avadis Vorsorge AG

Dr Claudia Emele is Chief Investment Officer at Avadis Vorsorge AG and CEO of the Avadis Investment Foundations. Avadis specialises in investment solutions for Swiss pension funds and manages more than CHF 17 billion in total. After completing her PhD in economics, Claudia worked as Managing Director of Ortec Finance (Switzerland) AG and Executive Board member in charge of marketing and sales at Complementa AG before joining Avadis.

 

Claudia Emele, what does success mean to you?

For me, a successful person is someone who creates something entirely new or improves something that already exists in a way that benefits everyone. I can’t measure that in terms of rank or salary, it’s about posterity.

What was the best decision you took in your career?

Since every decision I’ve made in my career has brought me to where I am today, I prefer to think of it as a process based on a series of positive decisions rather than one “best” decision. I’ve never regretted the fact that I chose to move out of academia into the practical world of occupational pensions.  

What is it that motivates you?

Playing an active role in shaping the company and making a difference as a leader are what motivate me in my day-to-day work. I’m also curious, and I always want to keep learning and developing as a person all the time so I can think up innovative solutions for our investors and our company.  

What are your guiding/leadership principles?

Honesty, decency, trust and clear communication.

What drove you to do what you do today?

The opportunity to make a difference has always appealed to me. I’m driven by curiosity to be constantly learning new things and improving myself. An important part of that is engaging with the broadest possible range of people in my industry, which is why my career’s taken me through the various key roles in occupational pensions.

What do you enjoy most in your job, what least?

I get the most pleasure from working and interacting with other people. As well as achieving excellence through teamwork, I like to encourage and develop my staff by giving them the freedom they need to thrive. What I enjoy least are administrative and repetitive tasks. 

How do you achieve that crucial work/life balance?

I’m an active person, and I enjoy regular exercise. I can switch off while jogging or swimming and let off steam with Muay Thai. Travel inspires me and broadens my horizons, especially through exposure to different cultures. I recently experienced Japanese culture, for example, and it made a big impression on me.

What are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for my partner, my family and my friends, who give me support, strength and energy and back me up when I’ve got an important decision to make. Other things we can’t take for granted these days are being healthy and living in a safe, politically stable and beautiful country like Switzerland.

Which childhood memory has left a lasting impression on you?

When I was ten, my father put a sketch in my poetry album with the words “every person is the architect of their own fortune”. They’ve stayed with me ever since, reminding me not to stand still but to keep growing.     

What do you do on a short break?

I usually take advantage of the travelling time to read periodicals and articles in peace and reply to e-mails. On a longer train journey, I might even stare out of the window and enjoy watching the landscape go by.   

What was your favourite subject at school?

I used to enjoy going to school generally, and I liked most subjects. That said, foreign languages had a particularly strong appeal for me – I was especially passionate about learning French.

If you could be born again as an animal, which animal would you be and why?

I’d like to come back as a cat more than anything. Cats are independent, graceful free spirits with strong characters.

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