Karine KheirallahKarine Kheirallah talks about integity, the glass ceiling, globetrotting and her love for The Wizard of Oz.

Name: Karine Kheirallah.

Company and job title: Director – portfolio manager, Falcon Private Bank.

Previous company and job title: Vice president – portfolio manager, Rasmala Investment Bank.

How many years in the MENA region: Ten years.

What do you consider to be your home town?
I’ve always wondered how to best answer this question. Where was I born? Beirut. Where did I grow up and spend most of my life? Kinshasa. Where did I study and start my career? Montreal. Where did I work the longest? Dubai. Where do I currently live? Zurich. I consider all these places a part of home.

Educational background: Finance, McGill University in Montreal.

First job in the funds industry: KIPCO Asset Management.

What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced in your professional life and what made it so challenging?
To gain respect as a professional woman in a male-dominated industry.

What achievement in your job are you most proud of?
In my current job, one of the big achievements was to start the advisory desk from scratch in the Abu Dhabi office and to grow successfully the assets and the client base.

What advice would you give to someone who is beginning their career in the funds industry?
Have integrity.

If you could change one thing about the funds industry, what would it be?
More transparency.

What is your greatest ambition in life and why?
To be an inspiring person and make a difference in this world.

What’s the best investment you’ve made and why?
My travels to over 50 countries, which enriched me in so many ways and that is priceless.

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know:
I’ll let people find out.

Favourite country to visit for a holiday and why?
Brazil, without a doubt. This country has it all: a cultural mix, the beach, the sun, the vibes, the music, the food, the nature.

Favourite type of food: Mediterranean cuisine. It’s healthy, tasty and very rich.

Favourite book or film: One of my favourite movies is The Wizard of Oz. It’s a masterpiece, a great American movie fantasy for both young and old. It’s a clever and funny movie which transports you into a world of pure imagination while conveying a lot of messages.

Your house is burning. Your family is safe. You have time to rescue one object. What would it be and why?
The one thing I would take is an external hard drive with all my photos (since I don’t use online storage). Memories are the only thing you can’t buy back. Everything else is recoverable.

©2015 funds global mena

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