“Money is the best motivation”
UFG Wealth Management is the first independent family office in Russia. The company was founded in 2005 as a new direction in the investment company UFG Asset Management and in 2006 transformed into a separate business. Over the next 10 years, the company opened offices in Cyprus and Luxembourg, launched two hedge funds in Bermuda, increased revenues by more than 10 times, and Oksana Kuchura became a full partner with two male experts. Here are her 10 commandments for a successful career.
1. Think about how you will make money
Formulate realistic, but not very achievable goals at this stage and think of steps for their implementation, so that in a few years you can satisfy your basic necessities of life. No need to rely on dad or a rich husband.
2. Engage in self-education
I graduated from the Kazakh University of International Relations and World Languages in the mid-1990s. Then all financial markets were created by foreign experts and knowledge of languages was welcomed at any level.
My parents were not against my passion for languages and approved the choice of institute. In our family, independence is considered natural. Sometimes a career is a good combination of circumstances. I got my first job in finance almost by accident: in line in a cafe, a USAID representative saw me reading a book in English and offered me a job as a translator in a program for advising investment funds. After working for some time, I decided to pursue a career in finance: it seemed interesting and profitable to me.
I do not have a financial education, MBA or other diplomas. A diploma provides a market advantage, but without self-training and practical work it is impossible to move forward.
3. Do not be afraid to start all over again
I arrived in Moscow in 1999 with my husband, who got a new job here. She came from Almaty, where at the age of 23 she was the director of a brokerage company. And in Moscow, without any connections or recommendations, she got a sales manager at the Renaissance Capital investment company for a very modest remuneration.
In fact, geography does not change anything. Everything depends only on you. People who can create something will create it in any village.
4. Do not expect quick results.
I never did anything right away. Career success requires several years of hard work. When I came to work at UFG, my main task was to raise funds in foreign funds. The first serious money was “raised” only after a year and a half.
After three years at the company, I came to the leadership with the idea of creating the first multi-family office in Russia as part of UFG. Then, talking with clients, I understood that there is a free niche in the Russian market: no one was engaged in professional management of family capital. The leader took the idea coolly. Having been refused, I did not give up, I wanted to develop and create something successful. The next year, I literally sat in two chairs – I managed sales at UFG and tried to create UFG Wealth Management. And soon she felt that she was ready to exchange a share in the company for her own business.
5. Believe in your ideas, do not be afraid of risks
Do not bury your abilities, use all your resources and do not allow internal dissatisfaction – it destroys a person from the inside. Perhaps the quickest incentive to realize my skills was the careless phrase of one of the co-directors: “For such a beautiful woman, $ 100 million is enough.” Now we have under management $ 800 million and dozens of customers. Although initially the idea of a family office was seen by many market participants as unprofitable.
It is not easy for a woman in the business world: all the time she has to prove to others what you can do, not just talk. On the other hand, people sometimes do not understand who they are dealing with, and give us girls a head start. And this handicap can be used.
6. Make human connections
Over the course of my career, I only once blindly sent a resume. I got a job, but after a couple of months I left. In all other cases, I developed with the help of people who offered me a job. I came to the UFG thanks to Florian Fenner, with whom we collaborated 17 years ago at Troika Dialog. He called me to the position of head of sales when he assembled his team.
For my team, I stand by the mountain. Whoever says anything about my colleagues, I always defend them to the last and never find out the relationship in the presence of the client. You can always talk with an employee behind closed doors.
7. Manage time correctly
I doubt the lack of time statement. I do not believe in businesses that require around-the-clock presence in the office. Personally, I have a fairly tight work schedule, but many things (for example, to edit an analytical report or check quotes) I can do at home, this is a matter of habit and discipline. You can easily make an hour a day at the gym if you want.