As an introduction — how would you describe WEM in three words?
Eva Jahelka Filipp: Honesty. Growth. Transparency.
Matej Bastovansky: Character, professionality and humanity.
Norbert Galik: Changing the market.
What was the greatest surprise regarding working in WEM?
Eva Jahelka Filipp: Strong character, vision and thinking of CEO Peter Stadler and the impact it has on the entire company and the people in it.
Samuel Grecner: Management’s trust towards the employees. It makes a great difference in the overall atmosphere, motivation and, in the end, in the results as well.
What was the greatest change working for WEM required compared to your previous employment?
Matej Bastovansky: First and foremost it was the fact that despite still being a fairly small and young company we can already determine various trends on the financial market in Slovakia and influence its development. It’s a challenge, responsibility and a tremendous motivation all in one.
Michal Kovac: For me, one of the key changes was that in WEM I can grow way more freely and comprehensively, I can directly participate in the growth and development of the company and I can do work which really makes sense. And also how direct and visible impact the work of every one of us has on the lives of our clients.
Norbert Galik: Work effort. This didn’t come so much from WEM as such — it was more of a result of the fact that I could — finally — fully identify with the vision of the company I work for. To have a tangible positive impact on the Slovak financial market and, in the mid-term horizon, to bring our clients the best experience with a financial institution — that’s a goal that fills me with tremendous energy.
Who do you think should be interested in working for WEM? Who’s the right person for WEM and who can succeed there?
Eva Jahelka Filipp: People who want to change how the financial market works in Slovakia. That requires, in the first place, that they are people of character and integrity, people of responsibility who want to work to improve and better themselves. People who place the client front and center. Such people can succeed here and leave behind a significant mark.
Matej Bastovansky: First of all it must be somebody whose values fit with ours. That’s simply a fact. It makes no sense for us to hire the best person in the market if he or she doesn’t share our vision and values. This also means we’re looking for people with a long-term perspective who want to be a part of something valuable. And as Eva says — our people must focus on our clients and their long-term benefit and satisfaction.
Michal Kovac: Somebody who cares about building real values and relationships in both professional and personal life. Persistent, tenacious person with critical thinking who is, at the same time, open to perceive the world and his/her surroundings and the needs of other people.
Norbert Galik: Person who wants to bring something new to the world and who wants to keep improving. Products, processes and him- or herself. And, thanks to that, help others improve themselves as well.
Vice versa, who shouldn’t be interested in working for WEM? Who is not a good fit for WEM and will not succeed there?
Matej Bastovansky: Those who are only after their own success and quick money. People of bad character. We talk about it a lot and it might seem like a cliché: “Yeah, right — character, in the financial world, sure thing.” But whoever would join us would very quickly find out how things are. Yes, it goes against the stream of what is by now deep-rooted in the financial world. But this is how we are, and this is how we do things.
Michal Kovac: Somebody who will only pursue his or her own selfish goals and aims. We have no space for such people, it just can’t and won’t work with our approach and direction.
Samuel Grecner: Dishonest people looking for shortcuts. Working for WEM isn’t for everybody.
Norbert Galik: Anybody looking for a warm corporate spot. Here you can’t hide in a mass of hundreds of employees and you can’t shift blame or responsibility of someone else.
What does “success” mean in WEM?
Eva: Helping people secure the future for themselves and their close ones. Securing their retirement, family, studies for their children. To be a part of it, to contribute towards it is a huge reward. That’s success.
Matej and Michal: Satisfied clients.
Samuel: To come to work, again and again, with the determination to again improve both yourself and the company — and, together with that, to help our clients to live a meaningful, fulfilled life. Our ambition is to create a company that will last for generations. So — if my great-grandchildren will still know WEM, that wouldn’t be a bad outcome.
Norbert: Praise from our clients when they notice the results of our work. Because it means that all the tremendous effort during implementing new products and processes works and brings fruit.
What’s it like to work for WEM?
Eva: More demanding than anything else I’ve done so far. At the same time, incredibly fulfilling.
Matej: Very dynamic and very enriching, both from the professional and personal standpoint.
Samuel: Motivating, demanding, stimulating. It’s a source of growth, satisfaction, reward.
What’s the most demanding about it?
Michal: Depends on where you are in your development. It’s incredibly difficult for some people to leave their comfort zone — but here in WEM, that’s a rule, not an exception. It’s easy to read about how people grow best outside their comfort zone, but to live that constantly takes some character and no small amount of adaptation.
Samuel: It’s a long-distance run and it’s necessary to treat it accordingly. The thing is, Slovak market is unique, in several aspects. There are many topics which strongly polarize the society — personal finances being one of them. While family wealth management is actually very common abroad, it’s still a fairly new term in Slovakia and it will take some time until it becomes a full-fledged and normal part of the society.
Significant part of the company vision is therefore dedicated to changes that will take years to take effect. That requires a lot of determination and perseverance. Luckily, the current WEM team is capable of carrying and fulfilling this mission. And new people keep joining us, which is great.
What is, for you personally, the best and most meaningful about working for WEM? What do you value the most?
Eva: The freedom and the possibilities to change things — and to change them fast. The older you are, the more you value time — both your and that of others. The more I also appreciate how important and valuable it is to have a real impact on how things will look and work like tomorrow, a year from now, in 20 years.
Matej: To see our happy clients after some years. And to share with them all their positive changes, to be a part of it. From their first mortgage, through opening the initial investment savings all the way to investing in our portfolios to secure their family. We can literally see how our clients fulfill their dreams and how they are opening new possibilities, and how they share the possibilities with others.
Michal: When clients and colleagues become friends. It happens time and again and it’s always almost unbelievable in how precious and valuable it is.
Samuel: The trust and the possibility to fully use and develop my potential better than I ever thought possible. And the possibility to use all of this to contribute to a truly meaningful thing.
Norbert: No two days are the same here. That’s not a trivial thing at all because if people really want to improve themselves, this broad scale of experience together with a great deal of responsibility means having the opportunity to influence things and to see the results of their efforts, but also having the opportunity to develop in multiple areas. And that, when projected into the future, is absolutely crucial.
What do you consider to be the most important difference in what people get in WEM vs. in some other place?
Eva: Real support to behave honestly and transparently. It’s part of our DNA and without this element we cannot function. This impacts everything — from how every one of us grows and changes as an individual up to how we grow and develop as a whole, as a company. It also influences what we as a company can or can’t accomplish and how it will influence the lives of our clients as well our society on a broader scale.
Michal: I’ll repeat myself — it’s the openness and friendship. Here, colleagues become good friends who don’t leave when times become tough.
Samuel: In WEM we really change lives. We create personal relationships and often even intimate friendships. That’s neither matter-of-course nor insignificant.
Norbert: The drive and support of the entire team. The space to really make yourself heard and to have the opportunity to realize your ideas and initiatives which maybe nobody would be interested in somewhere else, in another company.
What’s the best way to get fired from WEM?
Eva: Dishonesty towards the client or the company, that’s an instant deal breaker. Lack of self-reflection, because no growth is possible if that’s missing. Stagnation, because it also doesn’t allow for further development and furthering of our vision.
Matej: To deceive a client.
Michal: To talk more than you actually work.
Samuel: To only think of yourself, to lie and to cheat.
What does it mean, for you personally, “to change the financial world”?
Eva: Doing things transparently and with character. To always look for the good of the client and to always be aware of the commitment stemming from his trust. To see real families living better lives thanks to our products and services.
Matej: I try to change the financial world with every single satisfied client. It doesn’t always have to be a tremendous, ground-breaking change. One client after another, gradually and — most importantly — continually changing the lives of our clients.
Michal: Not forgetting that the wealth and prosperity we’re building is a means, not a goal. Discovering and seeing the real value which supports personal relationships.
What makes WEM different from other companies?
Michal: First and foremost it’s the people and our overall attitude and relationship towards our work, colleagues and clients. That changes absolutely everything.
Samuel: In many companies, there’s a great disconnect between what employees do and how it reflects in the lives of their clients. We, however, have very close and direct relationships with our clients and keep witnessing the impact of our work on their lives or even on the lives of whole families. You can’t hide from that and it’s a very specific dimension of our work.
Bonus question: What message would you send, in one sentence, to somebody who’d be interested in working for WEM?
Eva: If you’re a person of character, not afraid to go against the current, if you’re ready to work hard and want to leave behind a legacy, join us. It’s worth it.
Samuel: Have a clear idea: what do you expect from WEM, what do you bring, how do you want to improve the company and what you’re willing to do for it.