“Generali let me flourish and take my career in unexpected directions.”
Cristiano is the newly appointed Chief Financial Officer of Generali in France. But Cristiano has a somewhat unconventional background for a CFO - a Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics at Stanford University in California.
Position: Chief Financial Officer, France
Hometown: Trieste, Italy.
Resides: Paris, France.
Hobby: I love going to the mountains, reading books on new trends, strategic thinking, mountain history and poetry. I also love to play basketball.
Best song ever: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
Looking forward to: Spending time with my family in Paris.
Years at Generali: 11.
Background in insurance before joining Generali
None! When I was in the U.S. I met someone who invited me to a lecture on derivatives. Afterwards, I bought some books on the topic, attended more lectures and learned about the subject on my own. Then I applied to the Generali finance department in Trieste.
During my interview with Generali, they said: ‘As a physicist, you must have a technical analytical capacity.’ They tested my knowledge, and I passed. They then hired me as a financial analyst at the Generali Group Head Office in Trieste.
I chose the largest corporation in my native country that was involved in investment. I was hired to work in finance and found a very interesting professional world. My manager sent me to London to do bond portfolio management: it was a great experience, which turned out to be a key step in my professional career. I learned a lot and worked in close contact with players in the financial market.
Your manager can create opportunities for you and it’s amazing to have had such a manager at Generali. It is always a combination of factors between yourself and company dynamics: while your level of motivation is the most important, you can’t do it alone.
Personal attitude to work
Even though I am very analytical, I love people. I love talent, and when I find it I want to nurture it. It is like a mission. I also love to make decisions and to act on things that have an impact on the company. I like to work with people who treat each other well, to create that positive energy, and to achieve great results as a team.