In the last quarter of 2021, the Board of Directors of Eric Sturdza Bank confirmed Michaela Zanello Sturdza as the new head of the institution. Eric Sturdza Bank is a well-known family bank in the Swiss financial ecosystem. It is this bank that the 30-something-year-old now leads after having been a member of its executive committee.
A clear path?
Michaela Zanello Sturdza joined Eric Sturdza Bank in 2011. She joined to meet auditing needs. This phase was supposed to last two years. The young woman then takes care of strategy, business development and human resources at the financial institution. In 2018, she joined the executive committee. It is after that that she will be promoted to the position of Director in 2021. Far from being a clear-cut path, Michaela indicates that this whole journey was not planned. This is according to an article on the Swiss news website letemps.ch. She says: “My father would never have thought that I would succeed him”.
So, at the age of 34, she replaces her father Eric Sturdza. The new director has an MBA in Strategic Consulting. The Geneva School of Management and Communication (ESM) is her former school. The school congratulated her and wished her success in “this magnificent challenge”.
Who is she succeeding?
The challenge facing the new director is indeed a big one. She is replacing her father. The dynamics of growth require her to do better than he did.
The Sturdza family is of Romanian origin. It was after the Second World War that they fled communism to settle in Switzerland. The man, Eric Sturdza, has years of practice behind him. Under his leadership, the Baring Brothers Sturdza Bank became the Eric Sturdza Bank. A pillar in the field of Swiss finance, he is now at the head of two companies. In 2008, he founded with Pierre Pâris, Olivier Bertrand and Raphael Jaquet the bank Pâris Bertrand Sturdza.
It is this man that Michaela Zanello Sturdza is replacing. It was an unparalleled opportunity for the young financier to apply her father’s teachings. A few years ago, she was part of the young generation that was to bring new life to the bank. In an article dated February 02, 2019, she already stated back then, “In terms of diversity of expertise, I will use the principles that my father applied to asset management: identify the best, the most competent, and build on their experience.”
Eric Sturdza Bank and its stature in the Swiss financial landscape
The Eric Sturdza family bank is located in Geneva, Switzerland. The land of finance par excellence. Based on more than 50 years of experience of its founder, the bank provides its clients with quality service. It also attracts talent and promises to continue doing so while remaining true to its entrepreneurial culture. For Eric Sturdza interviewed in 2019 with his children, the modest size of the company is indeed a choice. He answers on the site Corraterie-gestion: At the risk of repeating myself, I believe that a bank must keep a human size to serve its customers well. As you know, in other times, I had chosen to create a second bank rather than to make mine grow. I am deeply attached to an old-fashioned value, honesty, and the integrity of a structure is often compromised by its size. We therefore intend to preserve an organization of modest size, based on family values, but rich in diversified expertise in four business lines: private banking, asset management, wealth management and family office.
Michaela Zanello Sturdza will have to defend herself against this heritage and the weight of many years of experience. It is a challenge for the young woman in a predominantly male environment. We can only wish her the best of luck.