Alireza Sahraei (Adepa): Diversity and success

Alireza Sahraei, Global Head of Investor Services at Adepa, sees cultural diversity as the secret to the company's success. For this engineer, who was immersed in the challenge of the financial world, dialogue, constructive communication and integration respresent bridges, not constraints.

Can you tell your story in a few words?

From childhood onwards, I was always interested in becoming a solution-specialist, therefore I studied engineering in Iran. Looking for international experience, I moved to Germany to continue my education and to learn from the best in the industry. More than the content of my education, I was mostly interested in learning how to think and how to approach challenges with a structured and logical mindset, while staying open-minded and creative at the same time. After graduation, in contrast to what I expected, I still felt the need to enrich my knowledge more. In order to challenge myself, I decided to venture into a completely different field, so I chose finance. After a bit of research, I concluded Luxembourg to be right place to continue my journey, as it is one of the most important financial centres in Europe. Having a different perspective combined with a bit of perseverance has been for me an exceptional recipe for success. With this mindset, I developed my career in Adepa and today, my journey continues with developing our Investor Services on a global scale.  

“Luxembourg presents all people with freedom of choice and variety of opportunities in a diverse and open society, while allowing you to be just yourself.”

What is the impact of cultural diversity in a company like Adepa?

Adepa today has 17 nationalities and is therefore very diverse. Indeed this diversity has been our secret of success in my view. Our diverse culture in Adepa has allowed us to accommodate views and ideas of any type, therefore empowering all colleagues of any background and culture to be a contributing member of the company. It is quite an amazing experience to have a German colleague on your right side and a Spanish or Italian colleague on the left, have your lunch with a French colleague and a coffee with a Brazilian one. I think by creating such a multicultural setup, we have cultivated an inclusive working environment, where all voices are heard and respected. This in turn has naturally promoted cooperation and mutual understanding between colleagues. To address the challenges of a multicultural work place, we continuously promote dialog and constructive communication among colleagues to create a uniform and levelled mutual understanding.

What advice do you have for people wishing to “fit in” in Luxembourg?Luxembourg presents all people with freedom of choice and variety of opportunities in a diverse and open society, while allowing you to be just yourself. Therefore, in my view, integration in Luxembourg is quite straightforward especially if one would put the effort and learn one of the commonly spoken languages. In my interactions with Luxembourgish people, I have found them very open-minded and tolerant towards other cultures. Few years ago in a cold winter day, I just stumbled upon the prime minister in a supermarket and could just say hi and shake his hand. As he remarked “This is the beauty of Luxembourg” and I cannot agree more with this. In short, my advice would be to explore the Luxembourgish culture and its languages, try to find common grounds and respect others while being yourself.