Lucia Fulvi has been working in financial markets for more than 18 years, covering different roles over the years, ranging from operations/corporate actions manager to project management, and now compliance, developing international extensive expertise in post-trading. She has worked for a few years in London for top-tiered American Investment banks, such as Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and then moved back to Rome now working for the Italian CCP within Borsa Italiana (currently Euronext Group). In particular, she is the Chief Compliance Officer at CC&G leading the Compliance department, with a direct report to the Company Board of Directors and to the CEO/GM. Certainly, she has short spare time, but she has a strong passion for cooking, gardening and traveling, and has always a new project to manage. Lucia is constantly balancing her very busy professional path with her private life. Keep reading to discover the person behind the professional woman.
The pandemic we are experiencing has disrupted the way we live, the way businesses operate, the way we connect and all our relationships with others. Change is not always bad, though. Maybe, we used to underestimate or take for granted the opportunities we had to meet people and to connect with them. But when social distancing measures hit pause on gatherings, I found myself particularly grateful for my journalist job at PWA and the chance to better meet and interview our role-model members. One of them is Lucia Fulvi.
Lucia Fulvi first got into economics back around the early 1990s. Holding a graduated degree in Business and Economics issued by “Università Degli Studi La Sapienza”, a critical thinker: Lucia is a very interesting person, who has a strong passion for what she does. Nothing like the predictable kind of people you could expect to find when talking with a high-level Manager of the Italian stocks market. Lucia is capable of surprising you!
The astonishing beauty of the Eternal City downtown was the scenario for this interview. After greeting Lucia, we found a nice place under the Egyptian obelisk to sit down and talk. As soon as we started chatting, it was clear to me that Lucia is a gentle reserved person. I had the impression that Lucia was as curious about me, as I was about her, so it was going to be a tradeoff meeting: exchanging information about ourselves and getting to better know each other. Not a simple interview, but a nice friendly talk even though, at first, it seemed not easy for Lucia to let herself go with a person she barely knows. Later on, I had confirmation of my thinking, when she admitted that one of her golden rules is not to disclose too much, too soon; In particular at the workplace. Who could not agree with her, considering that for more than fifteen years she has been working in a very competitive (but stimulating) working environment?
Lucia Fulvi is a very courageous person, a fighter. She has a free spirit with a big kind heart, not stubborn but tenacious, reserved but not introvert, clever but not boring. She considers herself professionally and personally ambitious, but not a risk-taker. However, she likes to test her own limits, stepping out of her comfort zone to discover new places and people. Lucia knows well what it is to do for a risk assessment, but she likes to take on new challenges as she is used to doing it for her private life and for her work life in financial markets. She is the Chief Compliance Officer at CC&G SpA – formerly part of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), now within Euronext Group – , working from Rome after years of traveling between Rome and London. In fact, what Lucia misses the most during the pandemic is traveling.
The pandemic brought attention to many important issues. Now we know that the physical limits of the planet cannot be ignored, think about climate change, or the rise of inequalities. Health is a very big deal. Taxes are a front rank issue. Lots of jobs were lost; while the pandemic has been brutal for working mothers (a McKinsey’s recent research says so). As the health and human toll grows, “the economic damage is already evident and represents the largest economic shock the world has experienced in decades” is written in a World Bank’s briefing note. Economics is not often easy to understand, but we all could understand its impacts. “Doing economics requires stepping back from all the details to say ‘what is the essential here’? Economics is about people. It is not about money. And it ends up being about what people do”, said Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize in Economics. However, it is about a fairly limited set of things that people do, it is about prosaic stuff, it is about the ordinary business of life, and Lucia Fulvi knows it very well since she studied Business and Economics.
Lucia has been working in the financial markets for more than 18 years, since 2013 she is in charge of the Compliance department in CC&G SpA (LSEG), and she still likes her work. Her professional experience in this field has started abroad, not in her native country, Italy. Lucia was born in Rome, grown in a very supportive family with a brother and a sister, she was taught to think with a free mind, that does not accept limitations due to gender or origin prejudices. Lucia learned the value of hard work and the importance of developing competency to better position oneself in the workplace. She is very attentive to details and I suspected that she is a perfectionist, yet she does not admit it and prefers to say that her standards are very high.
Lucia Fulvi: a roman who madly loves her city, but with a clear mind to recognize that Rome often feels very provincial for her, and sometimes too much self-centered and narrow-minded for her standards. This is the reason why, Lucia has studied English with passion in London, looking forward to broadening her opportunities to travel, discover the world, and meet new proactive and open-minded people, while strengthening her work profile with new languages’ skills.
For the same reasons, Lucia joined PWA just after attending her first PWA ConneXion event. She felt that PWA could bring interesting inputs to her roman life, as she considers that PWA conferences, meetings, and events are not predictable, but have a strong international approach, a meeting-point full of like-minded professional women with very high standards as her own. For Lucia, PWA is a “protected environment” without barriers or prejudices, where “people are interested in people”, a place to find ideas and initiatives that could enrich her, such as the “One Rose for Rome” initiative, started by one of our members Ecaterina Schilling. Actually, when Lucia got to know about the initiative, she took action and contributed by planting two roses, dedicated to her two little nieces, and kept dedicating, where possible, spare time to maintaining the beautiful garden created near Piazza del Popolo.
As it is presumable, Lucia’s free time is little considering her very demanding job. However, she likes to immerse herself in activities that relax and passionate about her, like gardening and cooking. She loves to work with her hands. “It is not easy to balance heavy workloads with personal life”, she confesses, “but I constantly try my best to find the right tradeoff between personal and professional life, in order to find my equilibrium”. Right in the middle of this tradeoff, Lucia started a new project. A personal project that is all about finding the perfect balance in her life and that is keeping her busiest than ever.
Lucia knows quite well about trading and adapting to find the right combination of elements for success since she started working in financial markets. What was the best lesson learned for Lucia during this professional experience? Never slam the door when you leave a workplace! “Luckily, life is sometimes unpredictable, as I could realize when I found myself working at London Stock Exchange Group with exactly the same people that were working on the same floor I was working when I was at the CITIGROUP (a few years before) from among 10.000 people staff. Sometimes you are up; sometimes you are down at the roller-coaster of life, so you better always behave yourself at your best no matter what and build a robust network of professional relationships”, Lucia confessed.
Ups and downs, benefits and costs, risks and opportunities: tradeoffs… life could be a constant tradeoff game, but only those who could find the right balance will find serenity. I think this is Lucia’s case. She is a very curious, sensitive, and methodical person, who is not obsessed with perfection but when she feels fond about something, she dedicates herself to it with real passion. Actually, she loves to cook, and revealed that she did amazing things to acquire the know-how to make the “perfect” pizza recipe, homemade sausages, and low-temperature cuisine. “I never get bored”, she giggled, “When I am not working, I dedicate myself to my interests and to my family relations, and friends, and also to new projects, sometimes a bit weird, such as setting up an English cottage garden in the middle of the Umbria countryside!”.
At this point, it became natural to me to ask her why she hasn’t started her own company related to her biggest passion: cooking. And she wisely answered me that when a passion/interest became your work, it loses its magic. “I like to cook because cooking is an expression of love. I like to cook for family and friends because everything has sense if you can share your passions with others, but sometimes, some passions should remain just that, otherwise, the magic is gone”, she said. It seemed to me that Lucia never gets out of her balance. She knows the right tradeoff for her life.
Tradeoffs; This word kept coming around during our chat. Lucia is a very conscious person, who clearly sees that she is in a much-desired working position: well paid, highly recognized status, competitive and dynamic working environment, with high-level responsibilities that demand lots of time, efforts and dedication but leaving very short space to the spare time. “The famous golden cage”, she explained, “Made of gold, but always a cage! Everybody could see that it shines but very few people understand the high price paid for it, in terms of time, hard work, and sacrifices dedicated to reaching your achievements. You pay your toll for being where you are but people do not see it”.
With these words of hers, Lucia gave a “gentle pat” feeling to boost my daily gratitude attitude that day. A feeling that I revive today while writing this article: I will keep thanking Lucia for this tender memory she left in my mind when remembering our meeting. A sweet memory like her Hanami memory she keeps in her heart, and that comes to her mind every time she remembers “the emotional and touching experience of seeing the Sakura, Cherry blossom” when recalling her memorable trip to Japan.
Hoping there will be the chance to taste her “handmade with love” pasta, the interview ended leaving me with the pleasant feeling of having met a characterful and creative person who has so much to tell. What a pleasant time I had with Lucia… I was not wrong; Lucia is really capable of surprising you!
By Luisa Lopez