Before taking over as COO for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Elisabeth Perié agreed with her family to commute back and forth to Germany weekly. Though she has held several positions within Euler Hermes, this is Elisabeth’s first international assignment, and despite coming during a challenging period, she is very excited.
“It’s important to move around and change positions, as it gives you greater perspective on the business, the Group, and how things work worldwide,” she says. “It’s also a great opportunity to meet new colleagues, explore different cultures and understand what motivates clients to buy our products. In Germany, for example, I’ll be able to work closely with Allianz, and gain a deep understanding of their experience with other market products.”
Elisabeth started with Euler Hermes in the IT department, before moving to the Actuarial Department of EH France in 2004. “That was a true challenge,” she notes. “It was my first time managing a team, and I was leading a group of actuaries without actually being one. Outside of work, I was studying to become an actuary, all while mothering my two-year-old daughter.”
Balancing career and family has always been important for Elisabeth. “I’ve always been clear with colleagues and managers that when I’m at the office, I’m 100% present, but when I’m with my family, they get my full attention,” says Elisabeth. “That said, I feel incredibly lucky to have worked for Euler Hermes. The company helped me maintain a good work-life balance throughout my career, while letting me thrive and take on several fascinating roles.”
Elisabeth is keen to mentor younger colleagues, especially women, helping them network and navigate within the company. “A manager early on in my career told me very clearly that I shouldn’t wait and hope for things to come to me. I had to act, and convince people that I could move beyond my current position. That’s the message I try to pass on to the women I mentor.”
Ever since undertaking actuarial training to prepare herself for a new position, Elisabeth has championed the idea that any skill set can be learned with enough planning and determination. “I always encourage my mentees to have a plan for reaching the next stage of their careers,” she says. “Especially at this transformative time, we need people from diverse backgrounds who can learn new skills and apply them to change management challenges.”