By Yusra Sarkar
In this edition of Faces of ZEDRA, we meet Frank Walenta, ZEDRA Luxembourg Commercial Director
Tell us about yourself
I was raised by French-German parents, (my mom came from Paris, dad from Berlin) and we lived for around 7 years in the US after my father went there for work due to his research programs. As a family we moved around a lot – more than ten times in total – and we lived in different countries around the world. I was actually born in Geneva, somewhat by accident as my dad working on a research project at CERN and my mom didn’t make it in time to the French clinic across the border!
I’ve been married since 1999 also with a French-German and we have 3 children (15, 13 and 10). I’ve worked in the financial sector since 2005. I travel backwards and forwards between Luxembourg, where I work and Frankfurt, where we live.
Can you tell us a bit about what you do in your spare time?
I’m dedicated to my job and it takes a lot of my time, but my spare time is ALL about my family and trying to make the best out of the little time I get to spend with them. My true passions: cooking and jazz! I actually wanted to be a chef, but my mom, who knows the business, objected… (thanks, mom, you certainly were right – it’s better to cook for family & friends than for strangers, too!)
If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Probably my German grand-father who passed away when I was 12. Not only was he a terrific story teller but in particular a very sharp mind in politics. A politically engaged man strongly opposed to populism, he was a strong believer in the European idea. An independent man with a clear view and straightforward speech he stepped on some toes on both the right and left wings of society, and his ideas probably cost him promotions at work. I’d love to have his opinion on today’s politics and politicians… I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d turn in his grave if he knew about the current situation in the world.
How do you think the industry will change in the next 5 years?
I think the industry will change a lot in the next few years with new regulations in place. To some degree I think these changes will not come with the aim to harmonize but instead to level down and penalize regional differences in the name of political motivation, and, in my opinion with the aim of misapplied “transparency”.
How is ZEDRA’s team showing strength in the current circumstances?
All of us are in a new situation, but I’m impressed by the mind-set and adaptability everyone has shown, first in Asia and now in Europe as we adapt to working at home and servicing clients in a new setting. We’re very much working as a team both between local colleagues reaching out to colleagues in other jurisdictions.
As a company we are very dedicated to making progress and moving ahead to make things happen and going the extra mile if necessary. The past weeks and days have shown that we are able to achieve these goals and uphold our values. As a company, it’s business as usual: Do More. Achieve More…whatever the circumstances.
For more information, please contact Frank Walenta