You are a key leader at MET International, and you have a very busy life. What made you return to school?
MET has grown massively since I joined in 2015, when it was a regional trading house. If your company or industry is in a state of flux, you need to prepare yourself for the challenge. Part of this is ensuring you reach an adequate professional level, in order to guarantee performance.
The bar is getting higher in the market every year, and the competition is becoming more fierce. At the same time I have begun to assume managerial responsibilities, and people management is far from easy.
To address the exponential complexity of the MET business, I felt I had to upgrade my skillset. Therefore, I returned to my alma mater, Bocconi University in Milan, to focus on Finance and Management.
You said that you had countless sleepless nights and massive stress – how did you manage all this?
To me, planning is everything; my motto is “where there's a will, there's a way”. Although my plan was beautiful, life overwrote it in the meantime. The Covid pandemic broke out, my second daughter was born, and the credit crisis started.
I juggled different matters, and particularly during the last year of the Executive MBA course I studied during the night. For instance, I watched video recordings of the sessions I could not attend and worked on assignments while my younger daughter was sleeping. Sometimes, you need to be creative to accomplish your target in the face of obstacles.
However, these events (most of them unexpected) did not prevent the team and myself from smashing the P&L target in my job at MET International. Despite having multiple responsibilities, I did not lose focus.
Is it about seeking excellence? You are among the few MET employees who have received MET’s Excellence Award twice.
There are three basic needs driving people’s motivation: affiliation (being part of a group), power (status recognition), and achievement need (realizing your targets). The latter is my main driver. I love achieving targets, especially when I get out of my comfort zone.
The current energy crunch and price environment poses new challenges. Therefore, to achieve MET Group’s goal of becoming the leading European integrated physical energy trader, I must strive for excellence.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
I like saying that the most significant achievement is yet to come. I am proud to see how MET International and the Western Europe desk have grown over the years. If you were to ask my team or me if our job has changed over the last few years, the answer is undoubtedly a yes.
We are more robust, more skilled, and more focused. We are pushing the bar higher and higher, and this drive for excellence is our most outstanding achievement.
You are now the father of two daughters. How has this changed your everyday life?
The arrival of my second daughter did not change my plan, but rather gave me more motivation and strength. Wasting time is not an option, neither delivering a mediocre performance. Nevertheless, I need to schedule my days differently and manage the unexpected.
Despite the busy nature of my life, my girls help take the pressure off. With them, I feel more balanced and focused, which supports me in being a better leader.