BEHIND THE BUSINESS CARD: May the best ideas win

Emmanuel Laurina, State Street Global Advisors

Job title: Head of Middle East and Africa.

Years in the region: Five-and-a-half.

What do you consider to be your home town? A small town in Belgium called Braine-l’Alleud which is also the hometown of Eden Hazard, one of the world’s best football players.

Educational background: My university curriculum included minors in economics, literature and law and majors in English and Scandinavian translation studies. I graduated from the University of Mons-Hainaut in Belgium in 1997.

First job in the industry: My job at The Bank of New York revolved around money market funds but my first actual job at a fund management firm was when I joined State Street in 2005 as a Benelux and Nordics institutional sales manager.

What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced in your professional life? Managing some of our largest and most complex client relationships through the 2008 financial crisis.

What achievement are you most proud of? Convincing our chief executive officer to commit strategically to the Middle East region two years ago.

What advice would you give to someone who is beginning their career in the funds industry? Embrace rotation programs and acquire as diverse a set of skills as possible.

If you could change one thing about the funds industry, what would it be? Whilst I do not necessarily agree with everything Ray Dalio says in his book, I do like the idea of a meritocratic industry where the best ideas prevail.

What is your greatest ambition? To find the perfect combination of therapies and support systems in order to help my autistic five-year-old daughter to be fully independent and self-sufficient by the time she is an adult.

Best investment you’ve made? Buying a holiday home in Spain. The overall real estate market in Spain continues to be attractive relative to many other European countries.

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know: I’m an avid rock music fan. I’ve been to several great concerts, including Blur, Black Sabbath, Madness, Guns N’ Roses, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode and Chemical Brothers.

Favourite country to visit? Spain. My wife is from Galicia.

Favourite type of food? Japanese – I just love raw fish.

Favourite book or film? Probably Goodfellas.

Your house is burning. Your family is safe. You have time to rescue one object. What would it be and why? My Mac Pro, just because that would be the most practical way of retrieving all my photos, my music and my files.

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