CityOut has interviewed Hon Consul – Giuseppe Ambrosio. In this interview you will find out what he does for a living, how he came to his success, how he manages work, his children and a lot more.
– Hello Giuseppe, could you please introduce yourself?
– Yes, I have a public life that is linked to several institutional roles that I have, also charity roles and not-for-profit roles. And then I have a professional life, which is a bit more confidential, because it concerns clients. Because as a background I am a chartered accountant and tax advisor and until February 2020 I was a partner of one of the big 4.
Then in February I sold my shares, and I started my own international accounting firm in Italy and the UK. In Monaco I am authorized as a consultant. I am a Monaco resident, and I am an also an international entrepreneur, as a background I have been in professional services for over 20 years.
– So, it is finance and accountant consulting, on an international scale?
– Yes, I started with Italy then I was seconded to the UK for 3 years, later I moved to Spain for a year as a senior manager. After that I moved to Marseille then I arrived here in Monaco and stayed here ever since.
– So, the biggest highlights of your career would be…
– International career because I had an opportunity to live and work in different European countries.
– That is great, it gives full background and an understanding of different cultures and approaches of business.
– Absolutely, I survived in the UK, in Spain (laughs). Monaco can be even more difficult than Marseille. I think Marseille is the second biggest populated city in France, so it’s a complicated city however, it was not very difficult to adjust. Of course, for me it was just a temporary professional destination to qualify for the French accounting rules and that allowed me to come to Monaco.
– So, what are the biggest highlights of your career so far?
– Well, reaching the partner role in a big 4 can be exceedingly difficult, I think one out of a hundred can make it there. Also, I have the privilege to work in the big 4 in several countries. Of course, now my professional future is in Monaco, with links to the UK and Italy.
– And apparently some charity action as well?
– Yeah, people that live in Monaco and are successful, in my opinion, have a moral obligation to give back (to the society). We are not the biggest charity contributors, but we do what is in our possibilities, sometimes it is linked to other charity events recognized by families or that are more less visible. As you know I am a consul and it’s not a remunerated role. Also, I represent the ICAEW which is the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for Monaco, and I am not remunerated, again it’s not for profit. I am also at the association of Italian entrepreneurs. These are all associations that promote something that are not for profit.
– So, it gives you some personal satisfaction, I suppose?
– Yeah, I mean there is a risk that you can be bogged down in loads of things, it could last forever, and you need to be a bit selective on where you decide to be. It is something that accounts for a third of my time, and bear in mind that when I do accept a role or appointment then it means that I am giving up something else that is remunerated. It needs to be relevant for Monaco, it needs to be relevant for a certain community and certain institution, otherwise for me it does not make any sense because now I have limited time like everybody else.
– So, the challenge was to arrive at the level you are right now and be a partner of the business, isn’t it? What are the three traits that define you on a personal and professional scale?
– I have proved to be adaptable because I survived the UK, Spain, Marseille… because I always put the client’s interest first and this is something that is quite well perceived by my clients and that’s why I’m in a long-term relationship with them. I am also a good listener.
– It is a particularly good quality, absolutely.
– That is what I think, you should interview my clients and ask them (laughs).
– And if you wouldn’t be doing the career you are doing now, would you be involved in something else or would you like to be doing something else?
– Good question, I think I would be involved in the sports world. I would be probably either a former professional player or a manager.
– In which sport, in which area would it be?
– Well, I have two kids and I help them with tennis and football. I am sort of playing the role of the manager because I think families need to do that, especially when your kids are young. It comes down to organizing the training, organizing the tournaments, the logistics, choosing the coaches, etc. You need to manage the mood and the victories, the defeats, the pressure so you need to learn to do that, especially when you are a parent. If you do not do it at that age, it’s very difficult to get others to do it for you, for example my kids are members at the Tennis Club Monaco, Monaco Country Club, Bordighera Lawn Tennis Club 1878, (the oldest Italian tennis club) and they are training at the Piatti tennis center. I organize their membership for these clubs, so they have like four different locations, also different coaches and then it comes down to organizing the logistics, the tournaments and on top of that my son also plays football as a captain, forward, top scorer of the team. He is an exception, he is incredible.
– Do you think he is going to make a carrier out of this?
– We do not know because he is just 13 years old, but time will tell. Now the future looks bright and promising, but then 13 years old and still too young. We need to wait at least 3 years to find out. Now I can tell there is no one like him, because he is training every day, sometimes he trains for football and tennis. Both of my kids go to public school FANB here. I am there to support them to organise their logistics, to drive them to the location. It is like a job you are not training for the fun with your friends. Camilla Charlotte is the U10 tennis champ of the Principality and her future looks bright. She became the youngest tennis player ever to win the members adult double tennis tournament at MCCC with her brother this year.
– So, it is like a third or fourth job?
– Yes, the fact that I have 20 years’ experience allows me to do things in a way in a manner that is 10 times quicker than somebody else. I noticed that people were a bit skeptical of what I am doing, and right now they try to copy me, because they see the results. My kids have their own Facebook page (MCA TEAM, i.e., Michele ad Camilla Ambrosio TEAM) for example and videos and their success are published there. Michaele is exceptional and extraordinary in school and teachers do not know what he does after school, they think he is only studying. Football is the same he is the captain, top scorer, he is like pure talent in football and they think he is just playing football. He also trains for tennis almost every day that is why I believe that they are extraordinary. My philosophy is that you do not need to help them too much so they can learn to get themselves sorted, that is why they are going to public school. Because what I do as a manager, I only expose them to the best possible: best coaches, best organization of time, best setting and then I try to teach them that practice is the key to everything. You need to have quality practice with the top coaches and then you have no limits, there is also an investment component, you need to put the right budgets into things.
– So how do you describe success then?
– Success is to reach the goal you have set for you.
– How do you reach it?
– Success is when you have enough time to do the things that you want. Unfortunately, I am a bit short because again, this is a special year for me because I am setting up my international practice.
– For how long have you been setting this?
– It is a regulated business. It takes time to get the authorization and in times of Covid it is more complicated than usual. I have started with Italy, now I am dealing with the UK, so hopefully the first quarter in 2021 is set.
– So, it has only been a year that you have been independent?
– Yeah, it has been less, as I said in early in the year, I sold my shares in my former companies.
– So, success for you is – to set all your life in a way that you…?
– Have time to do the things you want and where you want to do them. I am in Monaco. It is already partially there, then I need to have a bit more time to do the things I want. So, I am not far away (laughs).
– What made you come to Monaco?
– As I said, I was in Spain and I was offered the job as an acting partner in a practice year.
– How long ago was that?
– This was in 2006.
– So, you have been in Monaco since 2006?
– Yes, I just arrived in Marseille. I started to work from there and then I moved in 2007.
– So, 13 years in Monaco, was it difficult to adapt in Monaco?
– Oh no, it was not difficult, because Monaco is like Italy except that people speak French.
– What amazes you the most about Monaco then?
– Monaco is a small country with the quality of people, entrepreneurs, and the ambition of the Government to play a model role internationally. In addition, HRH Prince Albert II cares about sustainability and subject matters that are relevant to the whole planet, even if it is a small country. Of course, this ambition to be an example and lots of fields and strive for excellence. Their desire to do things better here and that is something that I admire.
– What are your favorite places in Monaco?
– I think it is the Monte-Carlo Country Club, where I am a member, so I can stay close to my children to train when they play. Yacht club and maybe the Stadium Louis II in Fontvieille.
– So, all these activities are connected to sport? It is a passion.
– Maybe I have a secret desire to do these things myself as I have not done them. I enjoy watching my kids do those sports. There is nothing I would miss a football game or tennis. People know that when they do not see me, I am at the stadium watching the training or the football match. I am awfully close to my kids.
– So actually, you are a devoted father and successful businessman.
– Oh, thank you (laughs), you should ask the counterparties. You know what is interesting, it has a healing effect, it clears your mind and when other people would probably use a lot of sleeping pills at my place. I do not use sleeping pills. Also, can be quite a distraction. Sometimes it can be difficult when you must deal with the aftermath of the match, the tournament. You know it is not always smiles and victories, it’s just part of the development path as the sportsmen.
– What would you like to share something that will surprise us about you? I am already surprised that you are a sports manager.
– (Laughs) I will be happy to hand over this role as soon as possible so I can even enjoy myself more, because I’ll be more detached, and I’ll be there to enjoy myself. Now I am sort of contributing with loads of effort and energy, but that is something I do with pleasure of course. Well, I need to think about this question and let you know (laughs).
I am no longer Consul Giuseppe Ambrosio but I have become to be referred in Monaco to as Michele’s father or the Eye Doctor’s husband, by the way my wife is an Eye doctor, and she works at the CHPG and has a practice of her own.
– Well, I am surprised to discover a devoted father, a businessman involved in the charity, involved in active Monaco life and trying to develop different projects for yourself and this digital aspect as well, so thank you very much.