A personal portrait
Another senior expert with an international background has come on board UniCredit GSS. The GSS Newsletter met with Mária Bíróné Kejla to welcome her to her new position
You joined UniCredit GSS only a few months ago. What did you find so appealing about this business?
I am a very customer-oriented person and so my passion has always been to serve clients’ needs. The role in Global Sales and Relationship Management that I was offered by UniCredit GSS promised to be exactly what I had been longing for. Moreover, it was a welcome move up on the career ladder.
What did you do before moving to UniCredit?
I worked for Citibank in Budapest for 23 years out of which 20 years was in the Securities Services business and a few years in Bank Network Management covering the EMEA region. Unfortunately, the last few years did not involve external client facing responsibilities, so when UniCredit contacted me, after thoroughly thinking it through, I made the decision to switch. In fact, I don’t know myself how it happened that I ended up in banking, considering I was trained to be a hotel manager…
And what is the secret behind your fluent English?
Actually, I lived in the U.S. for ten years. After my first job at a hotel I went to work at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, assisting in tourism matters. That was fun! After my return to Budapest I found an advertisement in the local newspaper where an American company was recruiting, which happened to be Citibank – so I applied.
You have just returned from the Network Forum in Athens. How was your experience of the conference?
Yes, this was actually the first time I had the opportunity to take part for the full conference which was extremely beneficial. Not only did I get to meet many clients, I got an insight into the industry trends, had a chance to listen to really great panel discussions.
What will be your priorities in your new role?
After having made personal acquaintance with our major clients at the Network Forum in Athens, this question is easy to answer. I made an effort to listen to them carefully and will not hesitate to do anything possible to deliver solutions to their needs.
Do you enjoy travelling also in your leisure time?
Oh yes! Our last family trip took us to Naples, from where we explored the Amalfi coast. I think that was the most beautiful holiday I ever had.
What do you enjoy reading?
I do read a lot, from various genres. A novel I can highly recommend is Virginia Woolfe’s “To the Lighthouse”; it depicts really well how personalities can change in different situations, reflects childhood emotions and adult relationships.