Sophie Javary : An HEC graduate (1980), I spent all my career in the field of investment banking and am, since January 2014, deputy head of corporate finance (M&A and ECM) for BNP Paribas which I joined in 2011. Before this, I spent 16 years at Rothschild of which I was a general partner from 2002, mostly doing ECM and then debt advisory and restructuring. My experience covers a wide range of capital markets transactions with IPOs, privatisations and public M&A. While at BNP Paribas, I have been responsible for a portfolio of large strategic clients for which I handled many investment banking assignments.
- Can you tell us about the elective you teach in the program?
I have been teaching “Legal & contractual aspects of corporate finance” for the fourth year. I run this course for both “majeure finance” and the finance master. It aims at teaching the execution processes of corporate finance in three modules: ECM, M&A and debt/restructuring. It is a very enjoyable experience to teach every year about 40 students from a wide range of nationalities and share my experience and transfer basic notions of corporate finance that will be useful for those that want to pursue a career in investment banking or in strategic and finance departments of large corporates.
- You are one of the women in the world who belong to the executive committee of a major investment bank. What would you say are the main challenges faced by women in investment banking?
The main challenge faced by women is, in my opinion, to stay on track while you are in your 30’s and are facing the double pressure of work and having young children. But this challenge also exists for many men and the key is not to quit, accept some slower years of career progression and keep on going, knowing this career has many positive aspects in terms of quality of contacts, variety of situations and the thrill of deals.
- What advice do you have for students keen on starting a career in corporate finance in 2015?
My best piece of advice is to choose well your first employer, the one that will offer good training, international exposure and further mobility across business lines or geographies.