Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
7 Questions with Albert Baretto
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Albert Baretto
Name: Albert Baretto
Current title: Vice President
Current organisation: FAB
Private Banking / Wealth Management professional, with a passion for process re-engineering, integration and automation.
Believes the key to success for any organization is investing in technology and also safeguarding the employees interest.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
It is very common to see people working in their eggshell. They prefer to follow the same pattern/process for their daily BAU activities. Many do not work on process efficiency due to job insecurity and other reasons. This is the major factor impacting growth for any business.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I had a very hard journey. When I completed my Post Graduation (i.e. MBA) in 1997, the job market was at its all time low. None of my batchmates got any campus. For some time, I was taking up any job that I could take up, to ensure that I am in the "network". Slowly, I started building up my connections and eventually got the break as Fund Accountant. Although the salary was peanuts, I still took up the role of Fund Accountant with one of the largest Asset Managers in the country. Then I started making my move and during the Dot.Com bubble, I landed up with a major local asset manager. That was when I realized that I can do much more than just basic accounting and reconciliations. Again, I used all my network and contacts to join another major asset manager as Marketing Manager and sky was the limit from thereon. I had never enjoyed my job more. I never felt that I was working. Seeing my all charged up, my CEO offered me the role to take over our Northern India office at New Delhi as the Branch Head, which I readily accepted. Thus began my career in Business Development and Managerial Roles. I enjoyed working with my team and closing business deals. One thing led to another and I landed up in the Sultanate of Oman, as Investment Consultant for one of the largest business groups in the country. While on the job, I started doing what I love to do the best - NETWORKING. I managed to land myself a job in Dubai. I got my best break as Product Manager with one of the leading banks in the UAE. We started the Wealth Management business for the bank, from scratch. I was lucky to work with some of the top names in the Industry, who became my mentors. Working on SOP, Product Designs, Processes, I eventually took up the role of Head of Wealth Operations. After the merger of the two big giants in UAE, I was lucky to get absorbed as Head of Private Banking Operations and Client Services. All the years of experience from Fund Accounting, Marketing, Business Development, Product Management, Operations and Client Services helped me reach the pinnacle of my career, where I could analyze a situation with a completely different perspective.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I cannot start my day without a heavy breakfast :-)
That keeps me going strong all day long, as most of the time, you get so involved in work that you don't realize you have skipped lunch.
Once at my desk, I always have my things to do for the day on hand, which gets elaborated as the day progresses.
I have my KPI dashboard always on my wall, to tell me where I am heading in the long run.
The meetings are generally always structured. But I ensure there is always scope to accommodate urgent matters (which are very regular) too.
Before winding up the day, it is critical to mark off all your things to do, and crosscheck your KPIs to have a mental picture where you are headed.
One to one meeting with the one-downs once a day, is key to keep yourself updated with any issues that they face or any suggestions that they want to contribute with.
Try to get some minor workout, time permitting. Dinner with family and then off to bed...
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Investing in your team is very important. One needs to be on top with the challenges faced by the team. You cannot alienate yourself.
Job insecurity is one of the key deterrents for a company's growth. The best solution, that I have learned, is to invoke job rotation, wherein everyone gets to learn all the key areas. You are not only developing back ups for each other, but you are creating all-rounders in your team/organization. This helps you also pick up the team managers from the lot. You get so many insights on your team member's personalities.
It's an amazing feeling to see your team grow stronger.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
This may sound crude. But I am not an avid book reader. I believe in case scenarios. My important book is "Operations Research", which gives you problem solving tools and solution builders. I have referred to my book, every time, when I need to build a statistical model for resolving a process issue.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
First of all, it is important to acknowledge that anyone can be a leader. There is no room for discrimination on any ground. Give everyone an opportunity to prove themselves. Hand-hold if necessary. Brainstorming sessions and Team Building sessions are so critical. Respect everyone equally. Let no one feel left out. Some will rise to the challenge to prove themselves. You get your winner there.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Talent is all over the place. You find it when you are not even looking for it.
I was given a set of team members without being asked for. I was forced to take them into my team. When I did a preliminary meeting with them, none of them had any experience with Investment products. I started mentoring each one equally and saw one of the lady candidates (who was also a local) showing a proactive approach to learning. She stood apart from the rest in terms of adaptability and being resourceful. When one of the team managers moved to another business unit, I took the opportunity to reward her with this promotion, which she took up successfully.