Geographic and cross-entity mobility have been the hallmarks of my career.

I’ve moved from Paris to Munich and back again, working in a variety of roles and several different Allianz operating entities. I didn’t necessarily “move up the career ladder” with each new role, but I can say without a doubt that every move has advanced my career.

I’ve always been a figure-driven person. I joined the Allianz Group in Paris in 2012, where I headed one of the technical accounting teams. Two years later I moved to Munich to take on a global role in technical accounting with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

However, while accounting is definitely more interesting than most people think it is, I didn’t want to stay in this arena for the rest of my career. I knew that I wanted to move into a financial controlling function. Controlling is basically the process of measuring a company’s performance against and deviation from standards to ensure that it is moving toward its goals. It’s a forward-looking function that’s all about steering the business in the right direction.

So, I took a role as Head of CFO office. This was a great position that ended up facilitating my next move into controlling. It was a lateral move, but it broadened my network and my outlook. I think of careers as a series of steps – keep them coherent and find a way to get to where you ultimately want to go.

Today, I’m Head of Strategic Planning & Performance Management for Allianz Trade in Paris. My role involves target setting, performance monitoring and steering of our regional entries, as well as regular interaction with shareholders in Munich

For me, the most challenging part of any move has been starting fresh in a new organization. Every time, I feel like to learn the rules of the game, both of the role and the culture! The first six months are a real investment phase; you have to put in the time and establish yourself as a performer. But I really enjoy the task.

Geographically speaking, too, moving isn’t always easy. You have to adjust to a new country and, sometimes, a new language. Before having children, I lived and worked in China, Luxembourg and Canada. The moves back then were quite different: I would pack a couple of suitcases and call it a day! But these days, there’s not just me to think about.

Thankfully, the executive relocation team at Allianz eased the complexity of our moves. They took care of a lot of the heavy lifting, including administration, taxes and housing arrangements. When we moved to Munich, that support enabled my family and me to really embrace the city without too much stress, and it has become one of the only places I’ve truly considered home. It’s a beautiful city full of mountains, lakes and parks. We grew together as a family there and made lasting friendships. And we have already been back several times since we moved – and have plans to revisit many more times in the future.

I don’t regret any of the moves I’ve made; they were career accelerators for me. They have helped me establish a strong network, and proved to me that I can handle challenging situations. If you’re willing to take a risk, consider moving to a different country and/or working in a different operating entity. Take a bet on yourself and watch how it pays off!
Mickael Quiniou
Head of Strategic Planning & Performance Management
Allianz Trade Group