Finance Monthly

Anita Nemes

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Anita Nemes

Matterhorn Consulting London Ltd

Anita founded Matterhorn Consulting London Ltd in 2020. She is a performance and executive leadership consultant who works primarily with senior decision makers in the asset management industry. Anita combines strategic thinking, hands on industry experience as well as an empathetic and curious mind when applying her coaching skills.

Anita's core approach to coaching is rooted in her belief that many aspects of our working lives have complex psychological and systemic underpinnings, and a coach is best placed to have thought provoking, non-judgmental conversations with a view to increase awareness and enable change in behaviour. Clients praise Anita for her ability to listen and at times hear more than what is being said, her thought provoking questions and her pragmatic and action/results-oriented approach.

Previously, Anita spent over 20 years in senior global roles in banking, primarily working with hedge funds. She was Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch focusing on Capital Introductions and Prime Brokerage Sales before moving to Deutsche Bank as Managing Director of Capital Introductions and Consulting Services. Anita was awarded the "Most Influential Woman in the European Hedge Fund Industry" title by Financial News in 2014, and was often quoted in the press and on TV.

Anita believes that "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." C. G. Jung

From Hedge Funds to Coaching: Unveiling a Unique Approach to Leadership Development

How did you become a coach?

I spent the majority of my career helping hedge funds launch, grow and diversify their businesses. I quickly realised that one of the main determinants of sustainable success in the industry was the founders' ability to attract and retain talent, lead and inspire people. Very few people have the talent to be both exceptional investors as well as great leaders. But both are roles that can always be improved and refined, no matter one's experience and seniority and that's what coaching does. When I was doing the research for my masters' thesis in 2019, few hedge funds in Europe wanted to discuss the topic with me. Fast forward to today: many of the hedge funds I talk to work with several coaching firms.

I have always been interested in learning and helping others become the best version of themselves in their roles. Without actually realising it, I think I had done quite a bit of coaching prior to actually becoming a coach. But learning all the theory about the psychology of change, the system psychodynamic approach to coaching at INSEAD and getting my coaching qualifications, hundreds of hours "practicing" is what made me realise that this is what I'd like to do full time.

There seems to be so many coaches around, how do you differentiate yourself?

Coaching is so much about the interaction between two people Ð or the coach and the teams the coach is working with. I never coach a problem, I coach the person. My coaching superpower is the unique combination of 20 years leadership roles in the industry and the in depth academic training that is ongoing. I must also mention rigorous supervision. My clients also appreciate my results oriented approach. I do not believe in quick fixes: clients need to commit to 12 sessions, real change takes place.

What are your areas of coaching?

The majority of my work is one on one performance and leadership coaching. I work with teams as well and I really enjoy facilitation work. Working with leadership teams on making a strategy day or a board meeting into something powerful, innovative and fun rather than the often dreaded series of presentations results in real insights and leads to transformation.

What challenges do clients come to you with and what do they get out of working with you?

The range of issues varies a lot: as I said in my introduction, my approach to coaching is rooted in my firm belief that many aspects of our working lives have complex psychological and systemic underpinnings, and a coach is best placed to have thought provoking, non-judgmental conversations with a view to increase awareness and enable change in behaviour. That might be performance related: every portfolio manager and trader goes through difficult periods and it's easy to lose confidence. In coaching we are trained to believe that people are capable of realizing their aspirations if we help them remove their limiting beliefs. I work a lot with emotions and helping clients realise the power of their emotions when making decisions. In my experience, most successful people have at one point in their careers had someone who believed in them more than they believed in themselves. The best kept secret to success, I think. The coach can be that person. Freud called therapy the talking cure. I think coaching is the listening cure.

Who is your ideal client?

A growth mindset is critical: I can only work with clients who believe that they can continuously be better at what they do. My first question to my clients often is: if there was one thing right now in your work that could go better, what would it be? I yet have to meet a client who does not wish to improve on something.

What would you suggest to someone looking for a coach?

Do your due diligence: check credentials, training, supervision, reputation. There is no one perfect coach for everyone. Find the right coach for yourself. During the chemistry sessions be brutally honest with yourself: which coach makes me feel like they will be my best partner in this exciting but at times challenging journey of growth and change?

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