03 March 2021
"We are in Portugal because there is talent", says the managing director of Natixis
Jornal Económico
The geographical, historical and cultural proximity to France and the entrepreneurial mindset in Porto are positive factors, but the main reason for choosing the city to host an innovation hub that already employs 1,000 people was the existence of highly trained talent in the various areas of computer technology, said Etienne Huret, managing director of Natixis in Portugal.

"The first and most important factor is talent. We are in Portugal because there is talent. The level of education in Portugal is very high, there is a lot of talent coming out of universities with degrees in computer science, in new technologies, and also in financial activities", explained Huret, who has been in office since August 2020.

Natixis is an investment bank whose trading, investment banking, wealth management, insurance and payments are among the most important areas of activity. It is a company that employs 16,000 people in 28 countries.

"In Portugal we are a thousand. We created the hub in 2017, and at the beginning we were focused only on technology and information technology. Since 2019 we are also focusing on back-office, compliance, finance, risk activities and CID (customer identification) operations, so we are now 800 in technology and 200 on back-office", said Huret.

Regarding talent in Portugal, the manager stated that he found a good connection established between universities and the company, with around 80 to 100 students per year entering internships, many of which later result in permanent hiring.

In addition to the talent and training factors, Porto prevailed in relation to other destinations, such as Spain, Romania and Poland, was it showed advantages in other criteria such as entrepreneurship, the connection to France, and the international mindset.

"We are two hours away from Paris, which is an important advantage, there is this proximity. There is also a cultural advantage, we are Latin and we speak Latin languages, even if there are differences, and there are many historical connections as well, we have many people from Portuguese origin and also in Portugal many people who speak French well", said Huret.

"There is an entrepreneurial mindset here in Porto. I don't know if it was always like this, but since I arrived I have seen this culture that is very present in our employees", he added. "They want to do it, they take initiative, they are always making proposals, they do not remain silent and even accompany colleagues in Paris, London, wherever they go. It is a very good attitude".

He also stressed that there are many startups, fintechs in the Porto region that can help the bank, also contributing to what he calls entrepreneurship mindset.

Portuguese talent in the field of information technology are disputed not only by Portuguese companies, but also by international companies, both those that create centers in the country or that offer appealing posts abroad.

"It is good to have competition, if there were not, we would not even think about what to do to add and push for the teams and have an interesting offer", explained Huret. "It is true that from time to time we have people who leave Natixis. We have to constantly promote an internal mobility process to support the development of people and also ways of doing things differently".

"With our portfolio of activities, we are competitive as we are constantly growing, and that is appealing", said Huret.

This aspect helps Natixis to attract talent from other countries and Huret says that the Porto hub has more than 100 people who came from Brazil.
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