The WFE's Women Leaders 2024 - Chiara Caprioli, Head of Business Development & Sustainable Finance Expert at Luxembourg Stock Exchange

By: The WFE Focus Team Mar 2024

Name: Chiara Caprioli

Organisation: Luxembourg Stock Exchange
Job Title: Head of Business Development & Sustainable Finance Expert


1. Brief job description

Chiara Caprioli is a pillar of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE)’s Business Development team having joined the exchange in 2015. As Head of Business Development, an expert in Sustainable Finance and leader of a team of business development experts active across the broadest number of regions, Caprioli is in charge of the international expansion of the exchange’s core business area — international debt listing — across non-EU markets and, of course, supporting issuers a little closer to home too.

As Head of Business Development for the world’s leading exchange for the listing of international debt securities, Caprioli and her team are constantly interacting with internal and external players to think and stay one step ahead of the curve to maintain LuxSE’s competitive streak.

Certified in Sustainable Finance, Caprioli was also one of the driving forces behind the launch of the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX) in 2016 — the world’s first and leading platform dedicated exclusively to sustainable finance. Since the very first whispers of this ambitious and trailblazing initiative, Chiara has been part of it all and has gone on to become a lecturer at the LGX Academy.

2. Short biography

 Caprioli is a passionate and seasoned business development and sustainable finance expert with more than 20 years of experience supporting revenue growth via integrated business development, relationship management and brand-building activities.

In recent years, Caprioli has turned her dedicated spirit to capital markets and sustainable finance — zooming in on how to better link the two to meet our global goals and continue to make LuxSE the undisputed leader in this field.

Before joining LuxSE, Caprioli’s career saw her working for the likes of Linklaters LLP, PwC, the European Commission, European Court of Auditors and European Parliament in a variety of different roles including business development and communication.

She has a master’s degree in International and Diplomatic Relations from the University of Trieste (Italy) and was an Erasmus student at the KEDGE business school in Bordeaux (France). Caprioli is also certified in Primary Markets by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) and ESG Investing by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment as well as being a Frankfurt School of Business Certified Sustainable Finance Expert. She is also actively involved in various committees and working groups in the field of capital markets and sustainable finance.

In her spare time, Caprioli is a yoga enthusiast with this hobby taking her all over the world to develop her methods and teachings and a fervent ballet devotee. Also regularly busy brushing up on the latest political, economic and financial trends, Caprioli is a woman of many different hats that allows her to embrace new things and lead projects with vigour.

3. What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2023?

In 2023, I became Head of Business Development at LuxSE so of course, this was a big highlight. This came with new challenges — which I like to see more as opportunities — as this promotion meant that now I manage a team of highly skilled and ambitious colleagues. The greatest thing I have come to realise in this past year is that a team is much more than a sum of its members.

Each of my team members focuses on a specific region, product or industry so it’s been a really enriching experience to work together as a team and share our success stories. While we all have our own areas of focus, the end goal is always the same — to use our expertise to grow LuxSE’s footprint and help develop sustainable capital markets in specific regions.

As a team that is naturally always “on the road” and “in motion” to meet our goals, I’ve had to learn how to support team members that are often working from the other side of the world. Trust, empowerment and clear channels of communication have been crucial in helping to bridge the geographical gap that may be between us at times.

This year marks my ninth year working at LuxSE so passing the lessons that I’ve learned during that time onto my team is extremely important to me - not just because it gives them the knowledge they need to go out and secure new listings and clients but also because it gives me a chance to reflect on how far I’ve come in those nine years and where I have still yet to go. There is always a learning curve ahead of us!

4. Tell us about a few of your key achievements?

In the world of business development, achievements are often counted in numbers — whether that’s the number of new clients or the additional revenue generated but these results are only possible if you know how to interact with clients and partners.

While I built my career by making my next professional move when it felt like the right time for me, all my key achievements have happened at the intersection between business development and building human connections. By marrying the two, I’ve been able to bring additional value to the institutions I served and my clients.

Whether it was during my time as an external advisor for EU institutions, developing EU tenders and advising on projects undertaken by these EU institutions or in more recent years, promoting sustainable capital markets, my key achievements have been made possible by bringing a human approach to industry knowledge.

One of the most tangible achievements in this respect is, of course, the role that I played in the launch of LGX and the initiatives we worked on when no one else dared dip their toes into the world of sustainable finance.

This role in the launch of LGX has acted almost like a wave for many other achievements for me — a wave that I have happily and wholeheartedly learned to surf on since then. Adjusting my balance to ensure that the momentum is not lost and that the mission of LGX gets the global coverage it deserves.

5. Who and what inspires you to achieve your professional success?

I’ve been lucky enough to encounter many people who inspired and continue to inspire me — both men and women. Whether those are colleagues, family or public figures that I look up to, all have very different personalities, work in different industries and have different styles but do possess a couple of common traits — dedication, authenticity and humbleness.

One example that has inspired me and was brought to my attention by the personality traits of a very senior and respected person from my former professional life is the idea of the power of introverted leadership, against the mainstream and extroverted models. This forever changed the way that I thought about leadership.

There is more than one way to make your voice heard and that is to be authentic and focus on the real and most genuine assets you bring to a company, instead of emulating role models that don’t share similar personality traits to you. Being and empowering your true self leads your team members to follow suit, and that is when the most brilliant forms of teamwork are witnessed.

Being under the leadership of a female CEO such as Julie Becker has also been an inspiration as her challenges are also other professional women’s challenges within the company. She shows us solutions by paving the way for other women to be bolder and more assertive, advocating for the importance of making your voice heard while remaining truly authentic in an industry that has been heavily associated to masculine traits in the past.


6. How have you overcome setbacks, and what have you learned from adversity? 

I truly believe that setbacks are the real accelerators of growth. Professional and personal setbacks are things that I am no stranger to but I choose to live by a motto of “run marathons rather than sprints”. I think you need perseverance and some healthy detachment from situations to keep focus on the ultimate goals and the bigger picture while also acknowledging that we all have a right to fail. You either win or learn and setbacks, as part of taking risks, should be normalised!

While some setbacks have allowed me to embrace my true enjoyment of finding a way of overcoming obstacles, I’ve also learned that other setbacks require a pause or a moment to reset and regain clarity.

In terms of advice, I think it’s always important to acknowledge the fact that you are not an island. If you find yourself experiencing challenges or find yourself at a crossroads, ask for advice. We cannot be expected to do it all by ourselves and you will find the right people to help and support you. I have happily surprised to see how much easier it is to be able to count on people than I thought. Stay humble and curious because setbacks will come, and you will have to find ways to overcome them to flourish.

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

While, in the past, women were often excluded or limited when it came to taking up position of leadership. It’s refreshing to see that this is changing. We are beginning to recognise our potential and the potential of our female colleagues so if I could give just a few words of advice to women and girls looking to forge a path towards leadership, it is this:

Work hard but don’t let the battle to be perfect stop you from making decisions or taking action. Challenges will come but so will opportunities — be sure to grab those opportunities with both hands but to also embrace the challenges too as progress is never linear.

Take risks and step out of your comfort zone — well behaved women rarely make history.

Be sure to support other women. I’m lucky to often experience and see solidarity and mutual fellowship amongst women at the workplace and I find it extraordinary! Standing up for other women means you can use the milestones that you’ve already gone through to help others overcome similar setbacks and thrive.

If I can leave readers with one takeaway, it would be to always remember this quote by American feminist and activist, Kavita Ramadas: “We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.”


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.