HomeNewsAlumni of the Month - December 2014

Alumni of the Month - December 2014

To create and preserve a network as well as "just be a student". Advice that Christoph Haller, MSc, Director Trust Banking at Raiffeisen Privatbank Liechtenstein AG would give today`s students. He is speaking about his own studies and his career in this month` Alumni of the Month interview.

To create and preserve a network as well as "just be a student". Advice that Christoph Haller, MSc, Director Trust Banking at Raiffeisen Privatbank Liechtenstein AG would give today`s students. He is speaking about his own studies and his career in this month` Alumni of the Month interview.

Christoph Haller, MSc, Alumni of the Month December 2014

Dear Christoph, you have been studying at the University of Liechtenstein from 2006 to 2008 in the Master`s Programme in Banking and Financial Management (Master in Finance from September 2014). How did your path of life go on after having finished your studies?

I`m still working for Raiffeisen Privatbank Liechtenstein AG (RPL) in Vaduz, where I started my professional career after my studies. I have been working there as a customer account manager in our trust banking team. In 2011 I was promoted team leader of trust banking.

How did it feel to start working life after your studies?

Actually it was not too hard for me since I have been working for RPL since 2006. Also during my Masters I was working there part-time.

What criteria were crucial for you when it came to your career choice?

Basically I aimed to work in a bank. My interest in working for RPL and my decision was strengthened by the fact that I had the chance to set up something new. Since the team trust banking was founded in November 2006 and I had the chance to be part of that, it was the perfect match. I got the opportunity to realize my career plan there.

How did you first get to know your employer?

I was contacted by my employer directly when the job opened up.

What did you bring to your current job from your studies?

Apart from a very good understanding of the functionalities of financial markets and a profound knowledge of various parts within the field of banking it is especially the personal network that is being cultivated up until now. Additionally I would say: the basic rules of successful communication.

How does your daily routine at work look like?

Well, fortunately there is no such thing as a clearly defined daily routine. I am responsible for a small team of 5 employees. Ever since the foundation of this team we have been able to realize constant growth. Therefore, a lot of new tasks come up time and again. Due to the fact that regulations – especially within the banking sector – have changed severely and will keep on changing, we will keep facing new tasks and demands. Additionally, nowadays new customers come to us upon their own initiative very rarely which means that we need to be mobile and flexible in our acquisitions. As far as I am concerned I travel a lot and also two of my team members.

What do you especially like about your job?

The diversity and flexibility of a small but internationally oriented bank. Compared to large banks we do have more generalists and less specialists. Therefore one can get more insights into a large scope of duties and is not so much limited to just one special topic. Furthermore, I like the interaction with our customers from a variety of countries as well as the challenge to find solutions to complex circumstances.

What would you consider to be the biggest challenge of your job?

Since I am in the first flight with and for customers, I would say the biggest challenge is to keep these customers.

Do you remember your biggest challenge as a student?

It was not always easy to combine studies and also part-time working. After a day at work it was hard to motivate oneself for learning. But facing the goal of achieving a university degree always made it possible.

In your opinion: which skills are especially valuable for your work and how did your studies at the University of Liechtenstein support the development of these skills?

I think that the ability to communicate is especially important for my work. My team is specialized on the support service of external fund managers, trustees and insurances. Since we therefore deal with professional market participants in our acquisitions and supports, open and timely communication of all relevant topics is crucial for all parties involved.

What comes into your mind when you think of your time at the University of Liechtenstein?

Some fellow students that have become real friends. Some exams which were real challenges. Various study trips and countless evenings that I spent writing seminar papers or preparing for exams.

What connects you to the University of Liechtenstein today?

Former fellow students, docents and partly also the Alumni Club. Of course also future Alumni: In my team I have three employees who did their Bachelors at the University of Liechtenstein.

What would you personally recommend current or future students? Which advice do you have for their studies?

To build a network in Liechtenstein and around. The university and also Vaduz should not just be a place where you study and then drive home again. This does not help neither the university nor the students. In fact, you should use the time besides your lectures to foster social contacts.

What would you do differently today?

I would probably not be working so much besides my studies and just be more “student”.

What about your work-life-balance?

My family is my counterbalance to work. If time allows for it, I also try to do sports on a regular basis.

Is there any dream that you have not been able to realize yet?

I still have a lot of dreams that I would like to realize. The most important one – having my own family and being content with what I have – has already become true. But I think it is important to have dreams and to try to realize them in order to live a contented life.