It was time for me to make a professional move after I realized that my trading days were getting close to being over. I opted to get involved with Wealth Management for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI).
I was hired by a prestigious Swiss Firm which had its headquarters in Geneva which entailed moving out of New York for good and to give up my green card. I spent 2 years there, to get accustomed to my new job and also to get acquainted with my future clients. When I signed up for this position I knew that I would have to move to an offshore center based in the Caribbean.
When I received the phone call offering me the job, it took about 10 seconds of deep analysis to answer yes. They didn’t expect such an immediate answer as any normal person would have, at least, slept over it. They asked me twice and told me that it wasn’t necessary to give an answer right away but my decision was made. I was again ruled by my unconventional brain and it may have been perceived as an irrational the decision due to the swift answer. As bipolars, I believe we have a multitude of gifts and I think I have the ability to come up with a decision on the spot is one of mine. It feels like a six’s sense, and I can’t seem to be able to find the right words to describe it. Maybe it is because we are wired differently and it enables us to bypass the regular channels that normal people have to use. I know for sure that I took advantage of it in my trading days and it worked for me most of the time. In this case, it worked again, being bipolar had been an asset. Hopefully one day the world will see it and accept it.
After a couple of years working for the offshore Bank, they promoted me Head of Private Banking. I had about a dozen people in my team and we were the main profit center.
Shortly after, they offered me another position in the Executive Committee of the Bank, where four people, including me, were managing the entire Bank.
Then they asked me to be part of the Due Diligence Committee which is a very sensitive and potentially dangerous committee to be part of as we had the final say in accepting or rejecting clients who could be part of some unlawful activities.
At one point the Bank was stagnating and we were losing ground versus our competitors. The partners were unhappy and urged us to gain visibility. I was convinced that we needed to do something about it as well, and I promoted myself Head of Marketing. Needless to say that my colleagues were really upset as I took a major decision without consulting them and they were right to be upset. The reason I did it was that I knew in my guts that they would have rejected it, as it entailed doing something outside your comfort zone, meaning finding avenues to promote ourselves outside of our walls. In other words, putting your butt on the line. Please keep in mind, while I am relaying to you the summary of the second part of my career, that the decisions taken went through the same “bipolar process” that I mentioned earlier, which was still an asset at this stage.
I must admit that marketing was a lot of fun. None of the following is written with the intention to brag, it is to be used as a backdrop to demonstrate that without my bipolarity none of this would have happened. All projects were born “outside the box” except for the school sponsoring. As “crazy” as they were perceived by my pears, they ended up yielded exactly what the Bank’s partner wanted which was to gain visibility.
We started to sponsor several local events and a school, as I just mentioned. One of these events was an international film festival where I eventually became one of the directors. I am a real lover of the seven art, watching movies is one aspect of it but the filmmaking process was where my interest lay. Through the festival, I became very close to a Hollywood legend who taught me so much about filmmaking, actors, and Hollywood. He even taught me how to stand and smile in front of cameras. I also had the opportunity to go the Cannes Film Festival. It was heaven on earth for me. I will not bore you with the many fabulous experiences and anecdotes. The climax was the walk on the red carpet, going up the stairs wearing a tuxedo. I was living my dream.
Our own festival lasted a week. We had a multitude of events including the closing evening gala where the Bank was the only sponsor. I had to make a speech in front of prestigious people, potential clients as well as existing ones. It was always a stressful moment for me, as the stake were high, but I loved it. I loved the limelight, what can I say? I’m a snub! This gave us tremendous exposure in the local press, local radios, TV, and the internet.
We were also co-sponsor of a tennis event, I got to play with ATP pros, actually, I didn’t really play with them, it was more of a lesson than anything else. We participated in the fundraising dinner where an auction took place. The funds raised went directly to of the pro’s charity foundation. I ended up buying one of Mr. Federer’s rackets, for an exorbitant amount of money. The racket was the one he played with when he lost his first match at the US Open. Right now I wished I had the money instead of the racket.
Last but not least, the school sponsoring where the Bank donate money to the school directly and also through a black-tie auction dinner.
All of the above looks fantastical and unreal, but trust me, it is true. Only a “crazy person” can come up and achieve something like this. Guess what? It worked. We bipolars have tremendous creativity, it was actually studied and confirmed. We far outpace regular people. If we are given an opportunity, a good job where we can showcase our talents then we become a great asset.
I will post the last chapter and the conclusion in the next post. Until then…
Peace and serenity