NAME: Roberta Sacco
POSITION: Financial Advisor
ORGANIZATION: Banca Patrimoni Sella
My Background and Career
My name is Roberta Sacco, I am 46 years old and have lived in Rome since 2004. I have had a partner for about 15 years and we have lived together since the beginning of our relationship.
I was born in Pescara, in Central Italy, where I lived until the end of my high school. At 18 I moved to Milan, where I graduated in Political Economy at Bocconi with a score of 108/110. I have been a chartered financial advisor since December 1997.
My career is quite articulated. I started working in a bank when I was 25 years old, right after I had graduated. After a year I decided to become a financial advisor. So I left my work, and from 1997 until 2004 I worked as a chartered financial advisor in Pescara.
In 2004 I moved to Rome and for a year worked as consultant in a finance team of a multinational company. In 2005 I was hired by the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL; National Labour Bank) in Rome where I worked for 11 years - first as customer relationships’ manager and later as was private banker.In BNL I was able to build a successful career. I was promoted four times in eleven years, becoming a high-level middle manager. In July of 2015 I left the bank to work again as a financial advisor to the “Banca Patrimoni Sella” Bank. I cannot say that I had to face big real difficulties in my career; I would rather say that I have had difficulties because I always need new challenges – which is the reason why I have often changed workplaces.
Moreover, during the eleven years I worked at BNL I felt a sense of injustice for working in a very male-dominated environment, where it is difficult for women to reach top positions. In my opinion and according to my personal experience, meritocracy is not prioritised enough.
I have developed a wide range of experiences in the commercial sector. All the companies I have worked for (with the exclusion of the current one) asked me to "sell" financial products. It has not been easy to manage a sort of "conflict of interest". However, being patient and persistent, competitive and ambitious, as well as having a great love for learning (also about financial markets), has helped me quell this “conflict of interest”. It has also helped me to meet some very highly professional people - in my final years at BNL I had an exceptional boss who was extremely competent.
What helped me most, in any case, were the values that my family passed on to me as well as ten years' experience as an agonist swimmer: you build your own success with sweat and perseverance.
I am sociable and cheerful, and have an innate capacity to develop interpersonal relationships.
I am also diplomatic and am willing to “take a hit” – as I always aim for longer-term goals.
I am methodical and at work I am quite reserved, especially about my private life. I try not to compete with other women, but rather tend to create partnerships with them.
Finally, like all women I can multitask, and am fast and practical in problem-solving.
I have a good command of the English language and some knowledge of French.
Hints & Tips
The advices that I can give to other women were coined by people much more important than myself, but I follow them: cultivate your curiosity, being open-minded. Be optimistic and proactive, take initiative and overcome your fears and resistance. Keep learning and keep being always up to date. Be kind to others, triggering virtuous circles. Be humble and tenacious.
Finally try to look inside yourself and realize what really thrills you: those who have the fortune to turn their passion into work feel less fatigued and often perform best. Try to ride the tides of change.