Lu Fu

Managing Director

Head, eTrading and Digital Transformation

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Years in the industry: 14 years
Others:  Champion of Gender Diversity Network, Mizuho EMEA

Tell us a bit about your career journey to date

After I graduated from the London School of Economics, I joined Citi Grad Programme, working in various eCommerce areas for local markets Rates, Credit, and FX. I stayed at Citi for seven years before joining UBS where I worked in Rates and Credit for another six years.

I’ve always had a passion for technology, data and the business side, so in my current role as Head of eTrading and Digital Transformation, it’s the perfect mix because it’s a technology driven, data driven business and you can see how technology and data can help to grow the business.

How did you feel when joining Mizuho?

I really enjoy the culture at Mizuho. As a bank with Japanese heritage , it has a very humble culture. This is the first time in this industry that I feel that I don’t have to fight to be heard.

I’ve also realised that being a senior female leader, the key thing for me is to give back. The moment I joined Mizuho I expressed my interest to help with the diversity and inclusion agenda. I’m very proud to co-run the Gender Network in EMEA this year as well.

What advice do you have for underrepresented talent?

The first thing that I learnt was that you need to increase your self-awareness and you need to celebrate and embrace who you are.

I also learnt about the PIE model recently (P for Performance, I for Image and E for Exposure), and I believe that keeping a good balance of these three things will help progress your career i.e. get your job done well, build your own personal brand and expand your network.

There are many opportunities to do that at Mizuho. For example, I joined the Gender Network, which has been a great way to help drive culture change - you are empowered to be the change and it is a great platform to network.

How important to you is it to maintain a work/life balance?

When I was working from home during lockdown I realised the importance of getting my work/life balance correct. With working from home, the line between work and life became really blurred, so for me it was about doing something to show the closure of my work day whether that was going for a run, doing yoga, horse riding or even enjoying small glass of wine.

Running, yoga, and horse riding, all give me the time to focus on the connection with my body rather than my mind. It helps free my mind and recharge.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means two things to me: be inspiring and being balanced.

In terms of inspiring, it’s about being passionate and continuously learning, and then using that same energy to encourage, support and develop others to be the best they can be.

The other thing is being balanced. There’s a Chinese concept of Yin and Yang – I think it’s a really good leadership approach because of the nature of our job, we make decisions every day, and it’s good to look at things from different angles and strive for balanced views.

What book are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading a book called ‘Nice Girls Still Don't Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers’. I really like it, and it’s not limited to women only. It’s really practical advice, they even have a self-assessment where you can find out where you rank in terms of how you think, how you act, how you sound, how you speak, how you’re marketing yourself and there’s loads of real life examples in this book to help you identify any improvement areas.

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