By Yusra Sarkar

ZEDRA prides itself on its diverse, hard working team of industry professionals; it is a team we’re proud of and we’d like to give you the opportunity to get to know us better!

In this edition of Faces of ZEDRA, we meet Yolanda Bornand, Global Head of Marketing and Communications

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m 41 years old and a mum of 2 boys. I’m instinctive and passionate about people, creativity and about building something fun and memorable together. I can’t imagine a life or work without sharing – whether this be sharing knowledge, passions, laughs or even problems.

I was born in Geneva and I’ve lived in Switzerland my whole life, but I am both Spanish and Swiss. I have a real mix of both cultures: my heart and my lack of punctuality are absolutely more Spanish than Swiss! I come from a very traditional Spanish family and even though we were totally integrated in the Swiss community, speaking French at home was forbidden. My parents wanted us to know our roots and to be perfectly fluent in both languages.

My parents raised me and my brother in a very Spanish way: siesta, fiesta and family meant everything. The door was always open to welcome friends. Long lunches on Sundays were the normality. I have always worked in Geneva but studied in France and Wales where I spent an Erasmus year.


What inspires you?

Passion in others, spirituality and of course love!


What piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Stop trying to please everyone and listening to everyone’s advice to be nice. If I could go back, I would also tell myself not to have any barriers and to shoot for the moon!


Can you tell us a bit about what you do in your spare time?

With the family we like discovering new places. Living in Geneva offers so many possibilities to travel easily. We ski in winter or it’s possible to visit other European cities in summer. In the last 2 months, this became impossible, so we rediscovered easy pastimes (walking, board games, cooking) and spending time at home doing nothing.


What single achievement are you most proud of?

To have kept the same old friends from years in spite of distance, different lives, different ways of thinking and opinions. No judgements and being caring, loving and respectful are key in a friendship.


How do you think the industry will change in the next 5 years?

It’s obvious, but digitalization will play a huge part, especially in an industry like ours which is so administrative.

I think we’re also seeing that younger people are wealthy, and they will bring extensive change. They want to be in control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. That said, even for sophisticated structuring, having a trusted advisor will always be needed. Especially when we think about younger clients – be these corporate, private or funds, I think ZEDRA’s fresh and entrepreneurial approach works well: people want professionalism but not an ‘old-school’ experience.

A strong digital presence and approachable brand are also important. Clients have a lot of options and investigate thoroughly before picking a service provider, evaluating CSR, ESG and how effectively a company lives up to its values. Part of my role is to facilitate people ‘getting to know’ ZEDRA and what we stand for.


What are the responsibilities of your job?

I am in charge of the external and internal communication, reputation and PR strategy for ZEDRA with events, social media, advertising, editorials and so on. Internally, I work very closely with HR and top management, we put a lot of efforts in building and strengthening a common ZEDRA culture for all employees in our 16 offices. In a situation like the one we experienced in the last two months, it was a major challenge to keep the teams together and emphasizing the company’s values was essential. I think it worked well and camaraderie and team spirit has never been so present.


What makes ZEDRA unique in the industry?

I believe ZEDRA is totally unique in its roots and philosophy. We have foundations in one of the most reputable and well-known banks in the world. Just four years down the road, ZEDRA is now considered as one of the most proactive, professional and personal companies within the industry.

The entrepreneurial spirit of the management and our employees are at the center of everything we do, and we understand that flexibility, reactiveness and personal dedication will be the best differentiators with our competitors. The internal culture that we are working hard on strengthening will be our best USP.