In 2004 I decided to leave Zurich and moved back to Brazil. I got a Private Banker job at Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika, packed everything and at age 26 was ready for a new beginning in my home town.
About 3 weeks after I started my new job, my boss Uwe, came from Germany to announce that the bank was being sold. The most obvious scenario would be me losing my job, since the new owner probably would have no reason to keep a new banker without a book.
It turned out that we were being acquired by UBS, one of the biggest names in the Private Wealth Management world, and they have decided to take in the whole team, including me. How lucky!
So my team and I moved to a fancy new building at the heart of Sao Paulo's financial center, and a big boss flew in from New York to welcome the team. I forgot what his corporate title was, but he was like the boss of my boss's boss, and important enough to keep all invited employees after 6pm in the office... If I remember it correctly, after his helicopter landed, we all moved to the top floor for champagne, gourmet snacks and a little speech.
Richard Duron was no doubt a smart guy, graduated from Harvard or Stanford University, I can't recall. Economically and politically, Brazil was living a promising moment along with other emerging markets, the RICS (Russia, India, China and South Africa). My new employer, the Swiss leading bank, was planning to invest aggressively, to develop the on-shore business.
I'm sure I listened to everything carefully, because it was kind of exciting, but I do not recall one word of what was said about the financial markets performance, neither about the interest rates, or growth plan. Actually throughout my corporate life, I have attended probably close to a hundred of events like this one, and I do not remember anything that was ever said.
But there was this one simple sentence at the end of this speech, that resonated... and 15 years later I still repeat, with the same french accent that it was said when I first heard it "don't forget to smell the roses". The unexpected, one and only hippy advice that I keep from the Private Wealth Management World! Merci bien Richard Duron!