Meeting with Marie-Eve Poulain, Portfolio Manager in France

January 06, 2021

Marie-Eve Poulain | gender diversity | Indosuez

Present your profession and its role within the organisation. What are the main highlights of your business over the year?

I am an equity fund manager specialised in small and mid caps at CA Indosuez Gestion, the asset management arm of Indosuez France. I am in charge of the Vendôme Selection and Vendôme Select Euro funds invested in French and European small and mid-caps. I am also a co-manager of PEA Expansion, a range of equity savings plans invested in large and medium-sized French companies and marketed through Crédit Agricole’s Regional Banks.

 

What is your career path? How did you manage your different career developments?

In 2000, a woman, Managing Director of the firm where I had applied, gave me a chance by allowing me to join the Crédit Agricole group. I started as Junior Fund Manager on small and mid-caps until I acquired the necessary expertise to take over responsibility for small and mid cap funds in 2009. Once again, it was a woman who was head of the asset management company where I was working who gave me this opportunity. This continuity within a single business line of the asset management firm allowed me to consolidate my skills and build a solid track record, which is appreciated over time and synonymous with consistent management performance.

Today, I work as a fund manager in the European Equities team, which manages more than 1.8 billion euros of assets including 600 million euros in small and mid-caps. The job of fund manager requires, above all, great responsiveness and adaptability. It is capital to understand and integrate in our analyses and management strategy the economic challenges and developments of our society, which requires to question ourselves on a daily basis. Financial life is often punctuated by periods of expansion and protean crises. The year we are living a striking example. The market is always there to remind us that nothing is taken for granted and requires a lot of humility. I therefore believe that diversity and confronting views are essentials in operational decision-making because they feed critical thinking and inspire innovative solutions. These are important factors in creating value.

 

Was being a woman an asset or handicap in your career? How do you manage your personal and professional life?

As in all positions with responsibility, it is important to find balance between your professional and personal life without ever giving up on one's choices. This is achieved through solid organisation. However, it is sometimes difficult to reconcile everything. There may be situations in life where choices are needed, sometimes within the family and sometimes in the workplace. It is in these moments that we must be able to draw on our adaptability skills so that no area of life is sacrificed.

 

How do you view the company's evolution in terms of gender diversity? In concrete terms, what initiatives do you and your teams take on a daily basis to make progress in the area of gender diversity?

The asset management industry is still largely masculine, which is easy to see when attending external meetings or conferences. Indosuez Gestion has had a gender-diversity mindset for a long time with about one third of its fund managers being women. Moreover, in the history of the asset management company, its direction was more often entrusted to a woman than to a man.

Man or woman, each manager assumes responsibilities, and we all move forward with our differences. This diversity is one of Indosuez Gestion’s undeniable assets, which is expressed in its approach to risks, its decision-making and the creation of new solutions.

 

What advice would you give to younger generations?

Beyond being a man or woman, you should not be afraid to deal with your differences, temper and talents that are among the key assets of a company.

Diversity creates the conditions for all to move forward, to never give up one’s own choices and to achieve them. No matter what choices you make, you must always strive to surpass yourself in everything you do.

Be inspired and inspiring throughout your professional life...

January 06, 2021

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