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Taking Deloitte wherever you go

Giulia Amparo Bruni Roccia

Giulia Ampara Bruni Roccia spent almost the first decade of her professional career at Deloitte. During her tenure at the Firm, she was exposed to different teams and industries and has taken her relationships and skills into the next phase of her career. We chatted with Giulia to find out how sustainability is shifting in the European market, the best things she took away from Deloitte, and more.

Can you share a bit about your career path and what you’re doing now?


I was at Deloitte for 8 years. Before that, I did several internships tied to my academic interests in international organizations and security and war studies. I never really targeted the consulting world and private sector. But I became interested in consulting because I could learn at significant speed, which I felt was not really the case in international organizations when you’re young. I really loved the idea that I could join the team of EU Institutions, so it was really coupling this drive and energy that you can get from the private sector and my original passion for the EU Institutions.

After joining the EU Institutions team, I had some really exciting projects. And then I moved to the banking team. And for me, that was so enlightening and unexpected, given my background. The variety was fantastic, and I could really learn about different aspects and challenges in the banking world. I worked on projects from post-mergers to regulatory to core banking systems and transformation. Throughout all of that, I started to, very naturally and organically, practice the people management skills. I’m very grateful for that. And then I moved into sustainability.

Today, I am the Head of Corporate Sustainability at Quintet Private Bank at the group level, which means I am responsible for setting the corporate sustainability strategy for all the entities and then help to plan and organize how we roll that out. The topic is my passion, and I get to work transversally with so many different departments and countries – not just Luxembourg.

Are you finding that the role is similar to our Deloitte study about Chief Sustainability Officers in banks?


Definitely. I think about it a lot. The coordinating and orchestrating that came out in the study is very true in reality and also knowing that there are areas where sustainability is already advanced. I think the other thing that I also see from the study last year was that how you define sustainability will define what you do after. Having a definition that everyone is really on board with and agrees with is fundamental, so that you don’t just do things randomly because they sound nice. It must be intentional.

Looking back, how did you choose Deloitte?


My last internship was at a bank. And that was what really opened my mind to the private sector. I was tickled by the idea of working on consulting. Like any recent graduate, you hear about it a lot, and then someone told me about Deloitte specifically and referred me. What really helped me jump was the interview process. I was interviewed by Charles Delancray and [A1] [A2] Irina Hedea, and it remains one of the fondest memories I have of an interview. I really felt at ease and that they were really trying to get my personal skills and competencies. It was really refreshing and reassuring. I felt like I could be myself. That’s what made me say, I’ll go for it.

During this interview process, I shared that I had a one-way ticket to Vietnam. They asked if they gave me the time to travel, whether I’d start at the firm thereafter, in a way whether “I was giving my word”. That really spoke to me about honor and respect. In the end, I got the offer, still got to travel and then came back to start my job.

What is your favorite memory while working at Deloitte?


Workwise, my first post-merger integration project – it lasted two years and was very complex. But it was such a cool mix of strategic aspects and practical things. I have this memory of sitting with my director in the boardroom to make the go / no-go decision to open the bank after testing all weekend. That was exciting.

Also traveling for work. Discovering different cultures, including my own culture in Italy, as I moved to Luxembourg when I was 5, and getting to work in Italy for a project.

And then the more personal things. I discovered a love of running thanks to Deloitte. I’m grateful for that. And together with some colleagues we got to open a bar (The DBar)!


Is there anything you miss?


When I say what I miss, it’s not because I don’t have it now. But it was something that was really remarkable at Deloitte that I brought forward with the junior people I worked with. I always felt that I could propose anything, and if the idea made sense and was well-presented, I’d be supported and people would follow up with me on the senior level and make sure that I could make it happen. I don’t take that for granted because I don’t think that’s always the case. When I launched the sports consulting initiative, I went to the MP of the time. And he said, let’s make that happen. And of course, you need to have integrity and diligence so that you think about it properly before you go and knock on your CEO’s office, but people are there to listen and that is really remarkable.


What skills or knowledge did you develop at Deloitte that you are still using today?


Obviously, with sustainability – the skills, knowledge and best practices that I learned when working with clients, that is fundamental for me. Also project management skills. I think that regardless of whether you’ve had the chance to work on project management missions at Deloitte, you inevitably learn how to do it. That’s just how it works in consulting. And it includes so many things including also  managing stakeholders, how to interact with them, how to get them on board with your idea. And obviously this is very important for me today. Project management is fundamental, and I’ll carry it forever.


What is the best work advice or lesson you’ve received that you would give to others?


Two years into my career, as a consultant, two directors that I looked up to left Deloitte. I felt lost because I felt I didn’t have any more mentors. At the same time, one of my clients was trying to recruit me. So I felt lost. I had dinner with my partner, and he told me this: “You’re sad because you’re missing two people. But remember that we are a 2,000+ big company. People who you do not know yet are ready to help you. So just go and knock on doors. People will open the doors.” And it changed things. It helped me to meet Francesca Messini, Deloitte’s Sustainability Leader, and years later she became my boss. And it made me stay at Deloitte.


Can you share a challenge you faced and how you overcame it?


I’m very thankful for the challenges. They made me grow in ways that I wouldn’t have pushed myself to explore otherwise. At some point, I felt that my work was not aligned with my passions. I was doing it because I’m diligent and want to do things well. I could do it with my eyes closed, but I wasn’t exactly passionate about it. I think my partners knew that. At that stage of my career, if it had continued, it wouldn’t have been sustainable. They made me aware of the fact that I had the choice and helped me move from banking to sustainability, where I am now.


What leadership strengths do women bring to the table?

First is emotional intelligence. When clients see a company like Deloitte, you think you can do the exact same regulatory gap analysis or implementation in the exact same way, but for a different client or situation; that’s not true because contexts and needs are different. Some of this is obvious and objective, and some is situational. Emotional intelligence is something we bring to the table.

Second is caring for our teammates. In my experience at Deloitte, I saw that this was not just managers to their teams, but also juniors and below managers doing this for their peers. And even upwards, you can care for your boss. You can know when your boss isn’t doing well or having a bad day and say the right words to help them. Caring is something I think we can bring more easily to the table.


What advice would you give to the young women entering the business world?

I wouldn’t change the advice I give to a young woman or a young man. My advice is to find your aura and keep it and nourish it and don’t be ashamed of it. Your authenticity is what makes you a valuable addition to your employer, company or society at large. But it’s not easy advice to give because being authentic takes courage, that you’re not trying to be anything else, and self-awareness so that you know what your authenticity is about and what you bring to the table.

It also requires some elegance in the sense that you know when and how to bring your authenticity to the table because there are some moments when it’s counterproductive, it’s not going to have the impact that you hope, it’s not going to help anyone. Doesn’t mean you have to fake it. But it still requires elegance and exercise.


As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I wasn’t brought up to think that what I could do is different than my two brothers or male peers. But I am fully aware, and have had experiences, that women experience uncomfortable situations and try to normalize them because of whatever social or societal context we’ve grown up in, even though we shouldn’t and should call them for what they are. If I had to name an obstacle or a barrier that we have as women today, it’s that. It’s calling out and being outspoken in a constructive, efficient, kind, compassionate way about situations that are uncomfortable. It’s not easy, I am also learning myself, but I think that can be complicated for us in the business world.

What has been your proudest work accomplishment?

The three-bank integration – I never imagined being a project manager with something like this, plus all the professional growth and learning opportunities that I got from it.


What do you see as the biggest challenges and trends facing sustainability in Luxembourg and EMEA? How did they impact you?


In the financial sector, our focus has been mainly on SFDR disclosure requirements. Now we see more regulations coming to life, and they’re very much interlinked. Departments have to work together within an organization. Each of them is impacted by different organizations, but they’re all linked. It’s really important to have something that enables collaboration and coordination to find synergies and that you’re not doing something that’s different from the company’s strategy and business model. Two years ago, one team could take care of the specific sustainability subject that was regulated at the time, but now it’s really the whole company.

If I take this at a macro level, now that we’re concretizing the Paris Agreement, coordination across economic sectors is also important. There’s only so much the financial sectors can do on their own without the real economy or public sector following – and vice versa. Public policy can only do so much without the public sector following. That same need for coordination within organizations is also needed across sectors. Otherwise, we’ll see a lot of inconsistencies and be counterproductive.

And some rapid fire:

1.     In a few words, describe:

  • Yourself: grateful
  • Your career: unexpected
  • Your leadership style: authentic, I hope
  • The Grand-Duchy: home

2. A typical day...

  • Starts with: train ride to work
  • Ends with: a gym or running session

3. What languages do you speak?

Italian, English, French, a bit of German, learning Spanish

4. When you think about Deloitte, what first comes to mind?

The people and lifelong friendships

5. Who do you miss the most?

No one. It sounds bad, but it’s because I feel like my ties aren’t broken since I left.

6. What’s a favorite Deloitte memory?

Facilitation of induction in Crete, right before COVID

7. You’ve got clients visiting Luxembourg. Where are you taking them?

Luci in Bonnevoie

8. What’s your favorite way to blow off steam from a busy week of work?

Sports, running

9. What’s your next:

  • trip? Lac d’Anncey for a trail run
  • Meal? An apéro this evening with a former colleague
  • Movie? Beau is Afraid
  • Book you’re looking forward to? I’m re-reading Harry Potter but in Spanish!

Any takeaway or life/habit change from the pandemic that has stuck with you?

Cooking, but I don’t do it as much anymore.

giulia bruni roccia

Giulia Amparo Bruni Roccia, Deloitte Luxembourg