Anita Nassar – Founder of Teach For Lebanon UK and former managing director of hedge fund Citadel.


What motivates you?

What motivates me is my generosity and commitment to philanthropy.

What has been the biggest learning curve in your career?

Being flexible and mobile without losing my objective. Building a successful career in finance depends on finding the right fit. I personally was not fit to be an investment banker, which meant that I needed to find a culture that worked for me. Citadel’s values and culture helped achieve my objective. Citadel closed its funds to new money in January 2015. I resigned in March 2015 to focus on philanthropy and prepare for the last challenge in my career path. I am always ready to move on.

What matters more, ambition or talent?

They both matter. Talent without ambition will prevent you from achieving your objective while ambition without talent is a recipe for failure.

What advice would you give to your 30 year old self?

Be more diplomatic and political.

Who do you admire?

Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi, for having achieved success in her career and family life.

In what place are you happiest?

At home with my family.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

Luxurious holidays with the family.

How would you change government policy to help women in the workplace?

I would impose on employers to provide career coaching for women. What holds most of us women back is ourselves as we lack self belief and lose sight of our objective and the ability to move on. In finance we are competing with men who never fail to take credit for their performance. Women in general wait to be recognised rather than being proactive. This needs to change in order to encourage more women to have a career in finance. Success is about believing in your career so completely that there is no other possible outcome.

Do you believe in quotas?

Yes, boardrooms are a men’s private club.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Hard-working, ambitious and organised.

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