Jean-Pascal Porcherot

Co-CEO, Lombard Odier IM

10 October 2022

Jean-Pascal Porcherot


Pathways to CEO

Jean-Pascal Porcherot

Why have you joined 25×25?

Well Tara, many thanks for asking the question. But let me start by thanking you for leading such an important initiative. At Lombard Odier Investment Managers [LOIM] we believe that the world needs to move to what we call a CLIC® economy, which stands for Circular, Lean, Inclusive and Clean. We believe that inclusion is absolutely key. We believe that by pushing it, you can get better performance, you can get better innovation.

So, for all these reasons, I think that it’s great that corporates like ourselves can team up together, can work together to develop and offer great opportunities for talented women.

What is your personal interest in improving gender balance at executive leadership levels?

Well, for me personally, it goes back to having a very meritocratic organisation. I’m French, I’m part of a Swiss company. I’m not part of the Lombard family or the Odier family, but because we work in a very meritocratic organisation, because I work hard, I was able to become a managing partner. In the end, what I really want for Lombard Odier Investment Managers is to be in a very meritocratic culture, and that is important. You know, we talk a lot about our values and talk about excellence. We talk about innovation and I’m 100% convinced that by pushing inclusivity, by pushing diversity, we’ll be better placed.

Do you think the investment landscape has changed?

The landscape has changed, but not fast enough when I still see a number of companies talking about ESG factors. Well, ESG for us gives you an idea about the behaviours of the company at a point in time. It has nothing to do with what we believe in at Lombard Odier, which is about sustainability, the future – what needs to change in order to make your business sustainable.

When you just look at what we’ve been doing in LOIM: one of the things that we did was to have a diverse, balanced executive committee. So, we are four of us, two women, two men, from different backgrounds. I think it starts, you know, by showing that example. And then we can try to make sure that the organisation follows your lead and adapts itself. But there is still a lot of work to be done in this industry.

Can you tell us about the pathways to CEO at LOIM?

Well, there is not a single pathway to becoming CEO. You can come from the investment world; you can come from the sales world; you can come from the operations world. What is important when you want to find a CEO is the cultural fit. We want people who are going to be nimble and humble, and aligned with our five values that are about excellence, innovation, respect, integrity and one team – and this is where we start.

And I’ve been very, very pleased to see that some very talented women in our organisation were able to seize, you know, opportunities. So, for instance, Jasbir who used to be our global head of HR became head of business development. When I look at Graziella in Geneva, she used to cover Long-only operations. She’s now responsible for global operations, including our hedge fund operations in New York.

So, in other words, I don’t think that there is one pathway. What is very important is not to try to put people in a box. You need to think out of the box. You need to think early and you need to think broadly.

Is data and measurement of your talent management important?

It’s absolutely key. If you don’t measure data, how do you know where you are today [and], where you want to be? When you look at the D&I committee that we set up in 2021 and I’m the chairman of that committee, we talk about recruitment, advancement, culture and operational. And within the so called operational pillar, this is where you find topics such as data collection.