New to the Sydney office, Victor has already made his mark with his contagious charisma. But he doesn’t view his efforts as work; getting to socialise with his clients every day is what he loves. Having produced a digital music album for Real Madrid in 2011, Victor now pours his infectious energy outside of work into the corporate countdown ‘Market Rock’, which he instigated, raising significant funds for the Children’s Cancer Ward at Westmead.
Victor, can you tell us a bit about your background, what was it like growing up in regional Victoria?
Yes, so I haven’t always lived in Sydney. I grew up in country Mildura.
My family came from Switzerland; two Swiss brothers married two French sisters and started growing grapes in regional Victoria - that’s where my surname comes from. Dad was actually a florist, so I didn’t follow my family into finance or anything like that. His occupation earned me the nickname of ‘Petal’ at school. Luckily, I was still respected amongst the kids for playing lots of different sports (laughs jokingly)... Growing up in Victoria, I definitely was right into AFL.
How did you get involved with FIIG?
I have been working in the finance sector for over 18 years now. Previous to this role, I was a Director at ICAP Capital and I’ve been around the world in various positions including holding the CEO role at Zova Sports Marketing.
Our Managing Director, Jim Stening and I go back a long way. I can take the credit for introducing him to his current wife, actually! I always respected Jim’s expertise and vision, so saw FIIG as a great opportunity when it presented itself. What we’re doing in the fixed income space here is something to get excited about.
How would you describe what you and your team do, and what are you looking forward to the most?
Well, having just started with the team here, what excites me the most is getting to know people. Meeting our clients first and foremost, that’s what I’ve been spending most of my energy on since joining. I love it; socialising. Even more than the asset class itself, which I truly believe in, I really enjoy talking to our clients. And as part of that discussion, you realise that although bond awareness is still in its developmental stages in Australia compared to overseas, the understanding is definitely growing. I can’t wait to meet even more of our client base and welcome others into the FIIG family.
What would be your top advice for clients?
Invest in bonds (laughs) and don’t be afraid to reach out! There is no silly question - we want to help our clients with any of their questions or concerns. And to be honest, I learn a lot from my clients as well, so we want feedback too. I know all of our departments here think the same as us. Take the Education team, for example, I know you guys are also passionate about finding out what our clients actually want to read and hear about! I can see the team really lives and breathes client focus here.
Absolutely and speaking of, I noticed that you used to work in sports marketing. How did you go from that into finance?
Yes, I did. That was a great time in my life. I got to combine two of my greatest passions, music and sports. Would you believe I actually produced a digital music album for the Real Madrid football club?
What would you say your main passion is then outside of work?
It is music. I play bass guitar in a few bands. At the moment I am running the industry music countdown series called Market Rock. FIIG wasn’t a part of it last year, but now I’m here, they’re joining up for the next round! Market Rock isn’t just a competition though, we have raised over $750,000 for the Children’s Cancer Ward at Westmead, that’s where all the contributions go.
To be honest, I do a lot of things. I think it really keeps the mind active, it keeps your motivation levels high, embracing all the things you are passionate about, or the things you want to try. It seems to be infectious - people then want to be part of the action.
I’ve just started as Chairman of a social media talent agency called Born Bred Talent.
I also heard you were a member of the Wine Appreciation Society at University, I’m guessing that means you would have a favourite drop you could recommend?
Yes, actually I was Treasurer of the Wine Society at Monash University back in the day. My favourite, that’s a tricky one with the quality of wines in this country, but I would have to go with a good Barossa shiraz or sparkling shiraz.
If you could invite anyone in the world over to share a glass of that with, who would it be – dead or alive?
Guy Pearce, for sure. Growing up in Melbourne, I have always had a soft spot for the place, and so Guy obviously comes from there. I love that series that he’s in as well – Jack Irish. In close second and third would be Johnny Depp and the lead singer from KISS. I’m sure they would be fun to chat to!
You’ve also lived in a number of places, so where would your top travel destination be?
Wherever the people are, Malibu probably or Lugano, it’s hard to go wrong with Italy.
With everything you have got going on, how do you keep the balance?
Very easily. I consider my life to be quite social. I know it’s cliché, but when you are doing what you love, you don’t feel like you are working. I’m just doing what I love and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So finally, how do you define success?
Waking up singing in the shower; happiness.