Zuzana Milanova, the recently appointed Head of GSS Network Management, speaks about her goals and visions.
Zuzana Milanova, an industry veteran who last headed GSS Slovakia, joined the GSS Central Team this summer. In the following interview she reveals both professional and personal thoughts.
How did your banking career begin?
I started at Creditanstalt, one of the first banks to enter the Slovak market after the end of the communist regime. After a number of acquisitions, eventually, we became part of UniCredit Group.
At the beginning I was assigned to Treasury Back Office, but when the bank decided to launch custody services I jumped on this project. The Slovak capital market back then was in its early stages. Just imagine, we settled trades by sending faxes and we waited in a queue for hours at the CSD to pick up account statements for our clients.
Very exciting times! And when I realised how demanding and complex the custody business is, I became even more engaged.
What made you switch to the buy-side?
Well, throughout the years I saw everything in Custody, starting from Operations via Relationship Management to managing the Slovak GSS unit for several years.
With this background, I decided to move on and enhance my international exposure. I have known Julia Romhanyi, our new Head of GSS, for many years and wanted to be part of her Central Team. Now I have a view of the business from a global perspective, which I find most fascinating.
What are your conclusions after the first two months?
I found a perfectly concerted team of Network Managers. All of our colleagues are very knowledgeable and I am convinced that they will contribute to further improving our services.
After all, this business area is not new to me thanks to my former capacity as Head of GSS Slovakia.
What do you expect from the new Central Team of UniCredit GSS?
I have always embraced diversity. Our Central Team is an international group of people coming from different professional backgrounds, which I believe will enrich our work.
What will your priorities as a Head of Network Management include?
Our main duties are to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements and to make sure our clients’ assets are safely kept. I will co-ordinate and support our colleagues on the ground in accomplishing these tasks.
As our current agents’ network is quite robust, I have begun to explore ways to optimise its scope while maintaining quality.
Another focus will be put on standardisation, including the adoption of the AFME due diligence questionnaire, which we welcome. Given that legislation puts more responsibility on custodians, the complexity of risk assessment has reached new heights
Bratislava is very close to Vienna, but still you decided to move.
Although Bratislava has made significant progress in the past, we still have a lot of catching-up to do in many aspects. Vienna for me has always had a special charm for its architectural, cultural and historical heritage. I am fond of the coffeehouse culture and I love waking up to the rattle of horses passing by below my windows. Moreover, I got the impression that people in Vienna tend to rather show their polite side.
Can you share with us your favourite books, travels and other personal interests?
As I am a fan of architecture, one of my favourite books is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
As for travelling, I am an avid traveller and as such flexible in my profession that includes a lot of business trips.