The WFE's Women Leaders 2023 - Julie Vichi, Head of Communications & Marketing, Luxembourg Stock Exchange

By: Julie Vichi, Head of Communications & Marketing, Luxembourg Stock Exchange Mar 2023

Name: Julie Vichi

Organization: The Luxembourg Stock Exchange

Job Title: Head of Communications & Marketing 

1. Brief description of nominee’s role/job

I am the head of communications and marketing at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE). In this role, I advise the senior leadership team on the company’s overall communications strategy and ongoing communications activities, and I am responsible for implementing them. So far, I have led a team of four dedicated communications professionals, and together we manage both internal and external communications via a range of traditional and digital channels, as well as events, sponsorships and press relations. My team and I are responsible for the communication campaigns around new product launches, we create content for different channels and audiences, and we manage various communication channels, including internal and external newsletters, client announcements, press relations, events and social media. LuxSE’s senior leadership team, notably our CEO Julie Becker, are active public speakers and recognised industry experts, and frequently speak at events with major audiences. Our experts are also regularly contacted by journalists for interviews, insights and comments, and I am responsible for centralising and advising on the best approach. An important part of my role is to act as an advisor to Julie Becker, drafting speeches and crafting compelling messages and clear responses to press inquiries, all while ensuring consistency in the corporate messaging and positioning.

I am convinced that communication is crucial for employee engagement, and together with my team we have implemented an active and personal internal communication strategy to drive engagement and commitment within our company. I am also very involved in the company’s CSR Committee and activities at LuxSE and I am passionate about Diversity & Inclusion. Every year, I take part in a LuxSE initiative that consists of mentoring unemployed women and help them rejoin the workforce, and I form part of a taskforce established to define an action plan to improve gender balance and equal opportunities at LuxSE.

I see myself as open-minded, proactive and extremely committed. It is important to me to be a good manager and to bring visibility to my colleagues’ work, skills and efforts and help them learn and grow. I strive to make inclusive decisions and listen to different views. Throughout my career, I have been known for my strong positions, but also for walking the talk, and that has helped me build good relationships with colleagues across departments.

In January of this year, I was asked to assume responsibility for the marketing team in addition to the communications team, which I accepted. This means that I am now responsible for both communications and marketing at LuxSE and I lead a team of nine people.

2. Short bio (career highlights, education, interests/hobbies):

Passionate about stories, reading and writing, I decided at an early stage that I was going to be a journalist one day. I went on to study journalism with a specialisation in comparative literature and political science, and worked for different newspapers and magazines in Norway for some years. When I moved to Luxembourg with my family 17 years ago, I had to take a step back and adapt my career aspirations to a new country and a very different work environment, and I decided to enter the financial sector. I worked for Goldman Sachs and Deloitte for many years, before I joined LuxSE in 2019, where I am now responsible for communications and marketing.

I believe that my curiosity, enthusiasm, and interest in learning new fields are what define me both as a professional and as a person. My passion for stories has only grown stronger with the years and I love reading and listening to podcasts. I like to stay informed and I follow current affairs closely. I also love outdoor sports, especially those involving snow or water.

In Norway, I was raised to believe that girls and women can achieve the same status and positions as boys and men. In fact, equal opportunity was a concept I took for granted until I moved away from Norway to live in France, Spain and Luxembourg. I then quickly realised that outside of Scandinavia, women are still struggling to get the same opportunities as men, and I try to inspire a more Scandinavian way of thinking about gender balance around me. Now in my mid-forties, I have spent almost half of my life outside my native country, my husband is Spanish and we are raising our two teenage daughters in our multicultural home in Luxembourg. I am very involved in my daughters’ lives, and it is important for me to be able to follow up on homework and activities, and be there for them when they have something to share. Without any family nearby, it is not always easy to combine family life with my busy work schedule, but I do my best to make it work.

3. What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2022?

As the head of communications of an exchange, when welcoming a new year, I always wonder what the year will bring in terms of communication opportunities and challenges. 2022 turned out to bring a lot of both. At the beginning of the year, LuxSE sold its subsidiary and its 50 employees became part of a different group. I defined and implemented the internal and external communications approach for this decisive moment in the exchange’s history. As expected, the news was perceived differently by different people, major change tends to inspire fear and insecurity, and it was challenging to strike the right balance when breaking the news as well as in the weeks and months that followed the initial announcement. I learnt a lot in this process.

In my role, I work closely with our CEO Julie Becker, who is a very well-known and respected business leader in Luxembourg and a highly sought-after speaker. Throughout the year, I had the opportunity to advise her on the best communication approach on a range of different topics and help her use her platform not only to position our exchange, but also to foster awareness of important subjects such as sustainable finance, gender equality and financial literacy. Julie Becker’s work, vision and active involvement in the financial sector in Luxembourg throughout the year led her to win the important recognition as Luxembourg’s most influential economic decision-maker in 2022 by Paperjam, the only award of this kind in the country. Our CIO Laurent Pulinckx was nominated THECIO23 by The Dots, which also brought great visibility to LuxSE. These recognitions made me feel extremely proud, as they illustrate how important the right communication approach and visibility are for competent business leaders with an important message to share.

LuxSE is a pioneer in sustainable finance and even in 2022, when the world’s attention turned to more pressing issues like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis and energy security, LuxSE kept its focus on accelerating the sustainable finance agenda, with a specific focus on bringing sustainable finance to emerging markets. One of the most important highlights for me was when LuxSE entered into an MoU with UN Women and committed to help advance financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment. This is a topic that is close to my heart and communication is an essential part of these awareness efforts. It was truly rewarding to be able to make gender finance the overarching theme of our communications last year.

In 2022, through my efforts, I contributed to strengthening the positioning of LuxSE in Europe and beyond and helped bring the sustainable finance agenda to new arenas. I believe communication is an essential aspect of the mission and mandate of market operators. Through open and transparent communications, we strengthen the visibility of regulated markets and promote issuers that commit to transparency, and we facilitate the access to information for investors and other stakeholders.

4. What and who inspires/has inspired you to achieve your professional success?

What I find truly inspiring about my job is to form part of LuxSE’s mission to accelerate sustainable finance. It is important for me to work for a company that cares about more than its financial results and that wants to contribute to bringing about positive change. LuxSE is a company that capitalises on its position to push for change in its industry, and it is truly motivating to be part of these efforts. I am inspired by the idea that capital markets can be a force for good and serve to make the world a greener and more inclusive place, and I am convinced that exchanges have a crucial role to play in getting there. This is what motivates me to write compelling pieces and create communication strategies and content that foster awareness of the importance of making finance more sustainable.

Next to the idea of transforming capital markets so that we can transform our societies, I also have other important sources of inspiration. First of all, my dedicated team, who works relentlessly to make sure LuxSE is seen, heard and recognised. Being part of a team with such exceptional team spirit is a real gift. I also find our CEO Julie Becker very inspiring, and I admire what she does to encourage women to set high ambitions for themselves. I am also inspired by people who are experts in their field, and who dare to be different and break out of the destructive power of group think. I really enjoy the multicultural society in Luxembourg and I have learnt a lot from working with people from so many different cultures, each with their unique story and perspectives.

I believe I also have a strong inner motivation that drives me forward. When I think about it, I have worked with great dedication in all the jobs I have ever had, even when I was waiting tables as a student. That was around the time when I promised myself that I would always try my very best, and then a bit more. I believe this has helped me get to where I am today.

I try to set an example for my daughters so that they grow up thinking that they can be what they want to be, and that the only limits they will have are those that they define for themselves.

5. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions?

My advice to women who aspire to be in leadership positions is to avoid waiting until you feel that you are 100% ready. There is a fair chance that you will never feel fully prepared for the challenge, so if you get the opportunity, go for it and you will learn what you need along the way.

You can go with the flow and seize opportunities as they present themselves, which is what I did, or you can define a clear goal and a step-by-step plan to get there, which is what my sister did. Either way, I believe the most important thing is to be yourself, play to your strengths and believe in what you can achieve.

Unfortunately, it is still the case in many sectors and countries today that a woman has to work much harder than a man to reach a leadership or a senior leadership position. Be prepared to put in the hard work and long hours, work on your resilience and be patient, and you will get there in the end. Times are changing.

I would also like to give an advice to competent, hard-working women who are not aspiring to be in a leadership position. Whatever is holding you back, reconsider. Finance needs more female leaders, and so does the world.


The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.