NAME: Pascal Krell
GRADUATION YEAR: 2008
PROGRAM: BBA in Hospitality Management
CURRENT POSITION: Head of Collateral and Transaction Monitoring for the Swiss Private Bank, Vice President (J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA)
From certified chef to Head of Collateral and Transaction Monitoring at J.P. Morgan, Pascal Krell’s career has taken him from hospitality, through a BBA at Glion, to his current position at J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA. In this interview, we trace his journey, learn his success factors and hear top advice for anyone looking to work in Finance.
Starting a finance career in the midst of a crisis must have been tricky, how did you adapt?
“Prior to Glion I worked as a certified chef in Germany. Following an internship in the Rooms Division of the Grand Hyatt Berlin I started my BBA studies in Glion. During my time in Glion and Bulle I discovered that I really enjoyed any subject with a mathematical component: Statistics, Accounting, Finance etc.”
“Graduating in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis pursuing this interest proved itself rather difficult, as many institutions were far from hiring staff. I therefore took an offer as a Management Trainee in San Diego with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. In retrospect, this was a great decision as I learnt many key items, such as people management, sharpening my attention to detail and client focus, which are key in my day to day business.“
“By the end of 2009 I discovered that J.P. Morgan Geneva had re-opened the entry level position, which I then successfully applied for. Since joining J.P. I have been lucky enough to be part of several processes and departments. I received insight into the hedge fund world, was in charge of data management, pricing and client reporting, and spent the last two and a half years managing a team within the credit middle office.”
Pascal’s career to date:
2002-2005: Apprenticeship to become certified chef at the Fischereihafen Restaurant Hamburg, Germany
2005: Work at the Schwarzwaldstube Restaurant, Hotel Traube Tonbach, Germany
2006: Internship in the Rooms Division Grand Hyatt Berlin, Germany
2006: Enrollment in Glion
June 2008: Graduation (distinction)
2008-2009: International Management Trainee Hyatt Hotels in San Diego, California
2009: Front office Supervisor Grand Hyatt Berlin
Since 2010: J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA:
- 2010-2012: Hedge Funds trade support analyst J.P. Morgan
- 2012-2013: Team Lead Hedge Funds Trade Support
- 2013-2016: Head of Data Management, Pricing and Client Reporting
- Since 2016: Head of Collateral and Transaction Monitoring
Additional study: 2018: Crédits pour la clientèle Privée – ISFB
What career similarities, or differences, have you seen between hospitality and banking?
“Careers in banking differ to those in hospitality, as in hospitality many strive to become General Manager or specialize in a process such as finance or revenue management. In banking, a development can also be more horizontal, changing from time to time amongst a multitude of financial services, products and offerings.”
You are currently Vice President of J.P. Morgan Chase in Geneva, a position you have achieved in less than a decade since graduating from Glion. This is a great accomplishment. What personal attributes have helped you to succeed?
“There are three influencing factors:
- I always tried to put myself in the client’s shoes, while understanding our policies, market practice, and what my management perceive as “doing a good job”. On an ongoing basis I question tasks performed in order to make them more efficient, while keeping the risk and controls framework in mind.
- Moving position twice internally has also increased my in-depth knowledge around the financial products, banking systems and processes I work with. This helped me and our management team to develop a vision for the department I was a part of.
- Lastly, our firm has a great diverse culture being very similar to the “Glion Spirit”. Also the network you build over years is key to getting answers to problems efficiently.”
Would you be able to describe why private bank clients have a need for credit and what a typical loan looks like?
“Credit needs change depending on the wealth of the client. There is no “typical loan”: the needs and solutions become more tailor made. Our credit strategies can allow our clients to:
– Take advantage of unexpected opportunities as well as planned investments
– Meet tax obligations and finance large purchases or acquisitions
– Preserve cash for emergencies or other purposes
– Buy a home or vacation property”
“We also offer structured credit solutions to finance private aircrafts, fine art, or other illiquid assets.”
What steps do you take in your professional development in order to keep up with the demands of your role?
“One of the best drivers is on the job training. I always try to research all factors and understand the bigger picture as well as the mechanics of a task to improve my personal knowledge. I attempt to set myself realistic growth goals and deadlines around my learning and development. Additionally J.P. Morgan offers great training on financial and soft skills, both via our intranet as well as in the classroom.”
“I have also done a product specific training course to match the gained knowledge with best practice from the Swiss market place. This helps growth outside of your day to day business. It also keeps your interest focused on the industry as well as the role you are performing. This is key for me to stay interested and to make sure I develop and stay in touch with new developments.”
“Lastly, our great colleagues challenge our processes constantly, which helps create a culture of information sharing and healthy competition.”
What advice can you give to our readers who aspire to work in your industry?
“Be curious, open minded and do your homework: Find the job that interests you and sell YOUR story of why you want to work in the financial industry, and why YOU are the best candidate for the position in question.”
“I would equally suggest reading the financial news on a regular basis in order to understand if the topics described interest you.”
“Lastly the Glion Alumni homepage can guide you to potential contacts in numerous financial institutions in many areas of the world. There is a wide range of institutions in multiple sectors: Private Banking, Investment Banking, Hedge Funds, Family Offices etc.”