5th/58th gets to know one of the faces of our new Goodman campaign, investment banker Philippe Zrihen.
5th/58th: When did you arrive in NYC?
Philippe Zrihen: In 2000.
5th/58th: Why did you choose to live in NYC?
PZ: Initially the appeal was the opportunity to build a finance-career in the financial capital of the world. What has kept me here is the fact that New York is highly livable for work, personal/free-time, to raise a family, etc. … while always making you feel like you are in the middle of ‘it’.
5th/58th: What do you love most about NYC?
PZ: It is incredibly easy to live here and everything is at your disposal. At the same, it seems like the whole world comes here to congregate making it an exciting place to be every day.
5th/58th: What’s your occupation?
PZ: Investment banker.
5th/58th: Describe your job.
PZ: I serve as an advisor to companies (primarily within the real estate space) who are assessing the feasibility of using mergers & acquisitions, capital raising to help achieve their strategic objectives.
5th/58th: Describe your industry.
PZ: Highly competitive and fast paced. Cut throat and political at times. Every day is different. Theoretical financial analysis is a key driver of what I do but ultimately success is driven by the ability to understand people, being self aware and thinking 2 or 3 steps ahead.
5th/58th: How do you define success?
PZ: Success for me is all about freedom. Freedom to spend time doing something I enjoy… whether that means doing a job I like, working out/sports every day, and making sure personal life/family takes a front seat to everything.
5th/58th: Any early career struggles or notable stories that helped define your career, work ethic or life direction?
PZ: When I was 25 and has just started working in finance, it became apparent to me that many finance employees were conditioned to view long hours, mindless tasks and a singular focus on work as a badge of honor. In an attempt to follow suit, I boasted to my brother (who is older and much wiser) that I had just worked over 100 mindless hours in one week! As opposed to offering congratulations, he provided cautionary words that have helped drive my outlook since. His message essentially being:
– No honor in working hard just to work hard.
– The goal is to figure out how to work smart at some thing you are good at and like to do.
– Success will come when you KNOW you are doing something you enjoy, and the line between work and play becomes blurred.
5th/58th: Describe your “uniform” or what you typically wear to work.
PZ: Suit, lace-up dress shoes, dress shirt , cuff links, watch; socks optional. Tie as rarely as possible but with tie clip if I have to wear one.
5th/58th: Do you own a suit? If so, Do you wear it? When do you wear it?
PZ: I wear a suit every work day.
5th/58th: What is your favorite thing to wear?
PZ: Anything that looks good with a pair of Converse.
5th/58th: What will you never wear?