“My passion for spirits drove me to China.” Read what Frenchman Léo Robert is doing for Rémy Cointreau’s spirits from Shanghai.
Why did you decide to work in spirits?
Spirits was a passion before it was my job. I have been a spirits—especially whisky—aficionado and big adventurer for several years. It started with a bike tour of Tasmania in 2012 to visit the newly-developed whisky distilleries on the island and meet the producers behind them. Since then, I had the opportunity to discover more French, Cambodian, American, Barbadian … distilleries, all of them led by enthusiastic people!
What about Rémy Cointreau attracted you the most?
I joined Rémy Cointreau for the quality of its products. I stayed for the opportunities that the Group offers worldwide and the authenticity of its people.
What sparked your interest to move abroad and live outside of France?
At first, it was more the opportunity than having a concrete plan that drove me abroad. Rémy Cointreau proposed me to join its US Travel Retail team in Florida, an experience that I loved. The local Miami team was extremely welcoming. I find that same spirit today in a more structured division of Rémy Cointreau Greater China.
How did Rémy Cointreau help you transition from Miami to Shanghai?
All the moving was supported by a professional company. I experienced no major hassle, which was much appreciated, so I could stay focused on the job transition and get accustomed to my new life in China.
What does your day look like as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis for Greater China?
Reviewing financial performances with my team or other departments, re-assessing the profitability of the region for the current fiscal year and implementing new business intelligence solutions to better analyze our distribution model and sales performance, etc.
Biggest misconception about working in finance?
It’s not all about figures. Data is the KEY, but also entails understanding operations, marketing and business decisions, too. Finance, especially Financial Planning and Analysis, requires building strong relationships with marketing departments, sales, management teams and others to ensure accuracy in analysis and planning.
What’s the Rémy Cointreau Shanghai office like?
A large open space, mixing all departments from finance and marketing, to business development and digital.
What leisure activities do you enjoy in Shanghai?
Shanghai is a delight when you are a foodie and love discovering local gastronomy. Being able to try new restaurants and speakeasies every week is incredible. I also enjoy playing tennis, running and biking in the city, especially around South Bund.
Your favorite cocktail and why?
Revisited Side Car with Bruichladdich’s Classic Laddie, Cointreau, a zest of lime and ice. Shake well. It’s an iconic cocktail: simple, elegant, both strong and refreshing. It’s also easy to make at home for guests.
Since his testimonial, Léo has moved to London as Chief Financial Officer for the UK and Ireland.