Arnault BrunetShared Services Director in Asia

Testimonial

Originally published on 09.03.2018, this testimonial was updated on 30.06.2022.

In brief

Working at Rémy Cointreau since: October 2022
Current position: Shared Services Director in Asia
Based in: Singapore

Your position as a Shared Services Director for Asia

What does your job involve on a daily basis?
The Asia Shared Services Center is responsible for “servicing” the various business units in South East Asia (GTR, SEAP, Malaysia, Japan). Our responsibilities include finance, supply chain, human resources, tax, legal, public affairs and compliance, IT, and purchasing. We help the BUs in their daily activities (product flow management, invoicing, customer management, legal support, human resources management) as well as in their various projects (e-commerce website, new subsidiary, development of mobile applications or digital platforms).

What are the main challenges for the support functions in Asia?
The main challenges are to serve our customers (BUs) in the best way by providing them with strong technical expertise, proactivity and innovation. Asia is evolving very rapidly, which requires a very high level of responsiveness and a good understanding of the specificities of the various markets. You also need to be able to bring together teams in different countries.
The Covid crisis was very specific in Asia. The measures taken were generally more drastic than in the rest of the world. After two years of weak activity, we are facing a rapid rebound and many projects. In terms of human resources, the Covid crisis has led us to review the way we think about interactions, the organization of work, and the dissemination of the Rémy Cointreau culture.

You initially joined Rémy Cointreau as Internal Audit Manager in 2013 before being appointed Group Audit Director in 2014: what do these past experiences bring to your current position?
My previous functions have taught me the ability to deal with different situations that require adapted solutions. This implies a great openness of mind, a spirit of analysis and a great adaptability in the proposed recommendations. The different functions I have taken on over the years have also led me to tackle new issues and therefore to show curiosity and learning, key qualities on a daily basis in the Asia region.

Your internal and geographical journey with Rémy Cointreau

Why did you initially join Rémy Cointreau?
Rémy Cointreau was exactly the type of company I was looking for. First, I wanted a small or medium-sized company, not an international giant – which is not necessarily my cup of tea. Secondly, I wanted to join a family business, with a positive atmosphere and a sense of belonging that was not only profit-oriented. Third, I wanted to work in a company where I wasn’t talking to robots but to individuals who share a passion and enjoy working together. Finally, the product itself. Craftsmanship had to be in the company’s vocabulary. I firmly believe that we remain true to tradition and remain as authentic as possible at Rémy Cointreau. When we say something is made in Cognac or Barbados, it is true.

What motivated your change of position and geographical area?
After 6 years working in audit, I wanted to do something else, something more operational. A position in a subsidiary and in connection with the support functions made sens. Moreover, through my work with the various BUs, I developed skills in “new” fields such as sales and marketing. Why Asia? Asia is an interesting and dynamic region where there are many things to do. I wasn’t thinking specifically about Singapore, but when the opportunity came up, I didn’t think twice.

How would you describe your expatriation?
My mobility was a bit special because I am part of what I call “the Covid generation expatriates”. No one had anticipated such a long crisis. It is true that the two years were difficult because of the adaptation to a new job, to new teams that you cannot meet and the living conditions or constraints that were not the easiest, especially for my wife – whose courage and resilience I praise – and my children. If I had to give an advice: evaluate the overall impact on the family. A mobility is not only a “personal” project, but also and above all a team adventure.

What do you like about working at Rémy Cointreau?
Rémy Cointreau is an ambitious family group. The people I have the chance to work with share the same values: this is a privilege. Moreover, Rémy Cointreau is a very dynamic group, undertaking many projects. The next few years will be full of fascinating and innovative projects: it’s very exciting.