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Gianni Pauwels from La Française is our Sales Manager of the Month

Gianni Pauwels from La Française is our Sales Manager of the Month

Gianni Pauwels International Sales Manager for Belgium, Netherlands & Nordics at La Française is our Sales Manager of the Month
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14 OCT, 2023

By Constanza Ramos


Gianni Pauwels began his career in 2008 with Fortis Investments in Brussels in the Risk & Reporting department. In 2011, he joined THEAM (a subsidiary of BNP Paribas IP) in charge of Structured Product Development for the Benelux and Nordic markets. He thereafter moved to Verelst & Gilen Real Estate where he spent two years before joining Nagelmackers Bank in 2017 as Product Manager, responsible for developing the structured product offering for retail and institutional customers. Gianni joined La Française in 2020 as international sales manager for Belgium and Netherlands and more recently for Nordic countries. 

Gianni Pauwels holds a master's degree and a bachelor's degree in Applied Economic Sciences from Hasselt University. Gianni is trilingual: Dutch, English, and French.

What made you decide to go into the financial sector? Did you have any other vocations?

I had a fascinating economics teacher in high school, and it was during his classes that I became interested in the world of finance. Actually, that is why, I chose to specialize in economic sciences in university. In another life, I probably would have been a chef, up to my elbows in veggies and spice in the kitchen of some restaurant. I started experimenting at a very young age with my parent’s cooking books. 

Could you tell me the most difficult aspects of your job and also the most positive ones?

What I enjoy the most is meeting and connecting with people from a variety of horizons. Our team covers eight countries. Thirty different nationalities are represented within La Française. We work in a very international environment and have the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, which makes the job very exciting.

What I appreciate the least, just like any other sales manager, is a missed opportunity. But on the other hand, I always try to learn from my experience. My objective is to meet and even exceed investor expectations. 

In your opinion, what are the key drivers for successful fund distribution?

Without a doubt, the key is understanding an investor and not just trying to pitch your ideas.  Above all, it is important to listen to and understand their investment approach, objectives, priorities, and risk appetite. The overall objective is to fill the gap with the appropriate capability or solution. 

What is the most exciting thing you have seen in the market since you started working in the financial sector?

I graduated from university in 2008. As you can imagine, it was a very challenging period in which to start a career in finance. And at the time, my employer was bailed out. It was a real learning experience, and I was amazed by how quickly we were able to bounce back. I learned early on that financial markets are resilient and capable of recovering after a crisis.

Can you say a word about markets?

After years of low yields in the fixed-income market, as asset managers, we believe that there are attractive opportunities within the credit space. We are quite positive about short-term maturity credit investments, both Investment Grade and High Yield. We avoid very low-rated names facing refinancing issues. Additionally, we favor the financial sector, which benefits from a robust regulatory framework that considers underlying risks.

What is your favorite thing to do when you disconnect from the markets?

I like to spend time cooking for my friends and family, and I try to stay in shape. Four to five times a week, I enjoy running, bike riding, and playing tennis.

What do you like the most about your city, Antwerp? 

For me, Antwerp is the perfect size. Not too big, not too small. I can explore the entire city on foot or with my bike.  It’s rich in terms of culture. There is an abundance of museums, restaurants, and cozy squares. 

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