Heroes Work Here: Mario Cohn

18 April 2018

Mario Cohn is a Managing Director in our Geneva office, working closely with clients throughout the LatAm region.

Born in Erlangen, Germany, Mario grew up in Guatemala and has also lived in the US, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. Mario’s family tree has German, Spanish, Lebanese and Chinese roots (that he knows of…).

Mario is fluent in Spanish, English and German, and speaks some Portuguese and French. ‘I have German nationality and studied in an Austrian school, but my mother tongue is Spanish, which is the language we have always spoken at home. I’ve always enjoyed learning other languages as it is a way to really connect with people, and of course given all the places I’ve lived, it has been really useful.’

As to his background, Mario studied Law in the Canary Islands and Granada, before completing a Master in Foreign Trade and Master of Laws in Saarbrucken, Germany. He then started his professional career in Munich, where he worked for one of the Big Four as a Tax Consultant, before going on to work for an internationally recognised Trust, Corporate and Fund service provider in Luxembourg and later Zurich.

‘Moving to ZEDRA in 2016 was an exciting challenge and I think as a firm we hold a really unique position: we’re fresh but also have the long-standing Barclay’s heritage – I think that is very appealing to clients. We’re also very proactive as a firm: we’re very aware of current topics that might affect our clients and we really pride ourselves on having teams in place that understand their individual needs, outlook and wherever possible speak their language.’

Mario continues: ‘We’re also able to offer a high level of trust to our clients – if clients have questions about ZEDRA or they want to understand how we propose to work together we can also offer them the opportunity to meet or have a call with a very senior member of the Group: the firm is very much in the business of putting people’s mind’s at ease and making time for clients, which I think is a great mentality and clients really feel this.’

Outside of the office, Mario is a big football fan and enjoys the occasional adrenalin rush: ‘I’d say that others tend to think I’m quite serious, but people might be surprised to know I love things like rollercoasters, bungee jumping and zip lining – and I’d love to skydive! I just weigh up the risk before making a decision – I think I’d say that of myself at work and in my personal life: for me it is important to know what the hazards are and assess if the outcome is worth them, but it is also important to let go sometimes and have fun.’

Mario also likes to cook: ‘As a child our kitchen in Guatemala was always full of people. I would also spend a lot of time in my grandmother’s kitchen where I learned how to bake. Coming together to prepare meals and eat is probably my favourite way of spending time with family and friends – I love spending time in the kitchen.’ As to favourite food: ‘My job takes me to various countries in Latin America and I always enjoy spending time in Mexico, where the food is great! But if you’re a meat lover, like I am, then Argentina and Brazil are the places to be.’