100 Women in Finance Q&A with Claudia Bertolino
Claudia, congratulations on being appointed as Head of Private Equity and Private Credit, Fund Services of the Citco group of companies (Citco). You have had over 20 years’ experience within Citco. What was your first role there and, over those two decades, what was your forward progression to achieve such a prestigious position?
I started at Citco Fund Services (CFS) back in 2000 as a Vice President – Fund Accounting Senior account manager, before becoming the Director of Hedge Fund Accounting at CFS.
I then expanded my remit to become Managing Director, Global Head of Client Service Management, and then in 2017 I became Head of Business Development and Client Service Management, and a member of the management team within CFS.
The beauty of this role was that I covered business development for all our lines of business across CFS, from hedge funds to private equity and real assets.
I was in this role when the Citco achieved its long-term goal of getting $1trn of assets under administration, which was a fantastic accomplishment by the whole business, and we have grown that figure substantially since then.
Can you explain more about what your new role is? How do you plan to drive the private markets asset-servicing evolution?
At Citco, our focus from here is all about becoming the ‘next generation asset-servicer’, using a combination of cutting edge technology and true partnerships with our clients to become their operational backbone.
When it comes to private equity (PE) and private credit (PC), the goal is to better understand client journeys, creating a more consultative service model, whilst also creating more digitized, technology-enabled platforms to support managers within Private Capital Markets.
We also want to achieve further data integration between us and our PE and PC clients, providing the right tools to increase collaboration between all the parties involved on a daily basis to significantly speed-up the various administration processes.
We will achieve this by adapting our business to truly integrate with our clients and how they work on a day-to-day basis, while making this as streamlined as possible by investing in our technological capabilities to make sure we remain at the cutting-edge of the industry.
In 2019, you were named one of 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds. What advice would you give other females who strive to position themselves in executive roles in finance?
In general across finance, women have been under-represented for generations but it is great to see this is now changing rapidly.
I personally don’t put anyone’s success down to being a man or a woman in finance, it is simply about having the desire and drive to succeed.
Above all else it is imperative to stay positive and take your opportunities when they arise. Challenges are always opportunities to grow and learn, and striving to be in a continuous pattern of both self-growth and professional growth is essential. Mentor relationships are always very important, for both the mentee and mentor; there are gains to each side of these relationships.