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Olga de Tapia

Olga de Tapia

Olga is the Global Head of ETF & Indexing Sales at HSBC Asset Management

  • Location: London, UK 

  • Title: Global Head of ETF & Indexing Sales 

  • Company: HSBC Asset Management 

  • Sector: Asset Management 

  • Degree: Executive MBA at IE School Madrid, and BS in Business and Administration from UCM

How does your usual day look like?

I’m not a morning person and I would love to start my day as late as possible but….it sadly starts before 7am on most week days. I try my best to compensate on weekends with 9 hours of wholesome sleep and recharge.

With my eyes barely open, I check emails from bed before preparing breakfast for my 13 year old daughter. Emails from Asia have already stacked up; some urgent some not.

Green matcha tea, shower, make up and I’m then in zoom calls from 7.30am for most of the day.

If I work from home, which I do 3 times a week, the day is packed with calls of all types. No day looks the same. On any given day I can be speaking to clients from anywhere in the world, discussing how we can help them. Then I could jump from a client call to an internal one talking about product related topics, operational subjects, or marketing campaigns, back to external calls with other types of affiliates or vendors.

What lockdown taught me was that I should try and schedule calls for 20 or 50 minutes and avoid a full back-to-back day without any breaks which was a source of anxiety. Now I structure things, so every meeting has purpose with at least 5 mins to prepare for the next call whilst preparing yet another coffee!

When I go to the office I cycle if it’s not raining heavily. It feels amazing. I also love riding my motorcycle to get to work on rainy days. All the best ideas appear when I’m on two wheels for some reason.

The days in the office I try to have fewer zoom calls and spend time interacting with my UK team and colleagues in the office.

The day goes so quickly that before I know it, it’s time to cook dinner for my daughter and myself. I love the Waitrose recipes (yes those freebies you find when you enter the shop) and I have been collecting them since 2017. I have created my own personalised catalogue after having tried them all. After my daughter has gone to bed, I review the day and spend time reflecting and strategizing. For me this is the time of the day I am more creative. I don’t own a TV, the “silly box” as we call it in Spain, so if I still have some energy before going to bed, I do a bit of Pilates in my living room. Midnight is when it ends.

What are the things you like the most about your job?

I love the fact that I keep learning every day. I am extremely lucky to be exposed to clients from different continents and all type of segments, each one with different needs, constraints, regulation and perspectives.

What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

Day to day I have to interact with a number of internal stakeholders and external clients so people skills are key. Making the effort to connect with people and empathise leads to much better out comes.

What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

Having difficult discussions with colleagues and clients is one thing but managing irreconcilable differences is another. Sometimes it’s in everybody’s best interest to identify when working relationship isn’t working and to take remedial action, often time that can mean letting team members go. The key is to try every other avenue first, and wholeheartedly.

What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

Patience. Often, I have a strategic vision but want to climb the mountain before preparing properly whilst enthusiasm levels are high. I can say first hand that success is 90% in preparation.

What's the one piece of career advice you have for anyone interested in following your footsteps?

If you are committed to solving problems and meeting challenges with the ultimate intention of serving clients in the best way possible you seldom go wrong.

What's your number one productivity hack / when or how are you most effective?

Know when you are most productive. I am at my best in the afternoon, so I save more complex strategic problems for later in the day.

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

Enthusiasm, which I hope inspires other women in my industry

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

I am a dreamer and love planning, so I spend my free time planning next personal project or holiday.

How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

Finding the right balance between diet, exercise, rest and work. But my secret is to chat to my best friends in Spain, discuss girly subjects with my daughter and dance.

What would have been your alternative career path or alternative University degree?

Ballet. I was a young aspiring ballet dancer.

What's one of the last things you learnt?

I have just returned from a wine tasting trip to La Rioja (where the picture was took) and I learnt all about wine!

If you could time-travel and meet any leader, who/where would that be?

I don’t need to time travel to meet him, I just need an invite! Barack Obama.

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • Your superpower: My energy (in the evening).

  • Favourite restaurant: Barrafina.

  • Favourite fashion brand: “it” foundation

  • Favourite beauty brand: Zara – I’m a contrarian in fashion and resist to pay for brands.

  • Favourite perfume: La Colle Noir -CD.

  • Book recommendation: The kite runner.

  • Next holiday destination: Mexico.

  • Your hobby: Dancing.

  • Who inspires you: My daughter.

Thank you Olga for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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