Women on Top: Corine Kiame

Believe in yourself, believe you can do it, and enjoy the bumpy ride.

Corine Kiame joined IM Capital as Investment Manager in 2015, where she supervises the matching and insurance capital process and manages the work of the analytical team. She is responsible for IM Capital’s operations, including deal sourcing, investment project evaluation and valuation, business models validation, value creation and mentoring in investments, and supervision of exits from investments. 

Prior to joining IM Capital, and for more than 9 years, Kiame was a Director at SHUAA Capital psc Dubai, UAE, where her responsibilities included Product Development, Strategy and Project Management, as well as Operations. In 2006 and 2007, she worked as an assistant fund manager on several regional funds representing USD 1 Billion in assets under management, covering fifteen Arab markets. 

She holds a Masters in Finance from Paris IX Dauphine in Paris, an Executive Education Certification from Harvard Business School with emphasis on Private Equity and Venture Capital, an Executive Certification from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with emphasis on Venture Mentorship.

She is a member of the Lebanese League for Women in Business, and a member of Seeders Business Angels group and Rising Tide Europe 3.

The Interview

How did you start your career?

I started my career as a Financial Advisor and an International Equity and Forex Trader.

What was the main drive that pushed you towards choosing the industry you are in?

I was 14 and I was browsing through different TV channels and stopped on Bloomberg because the scrolling numbers caught my attention and fascinated me. I asked my dad what those numbers were, and he said that I needed to understand finance to know. And that was it. I chose my career path then and there. I still love watching those numbers scroll on my screen!

What was your biggest fear moving up the ladder? How did you overcome it?

My biggest fear was learning how to balance between work and family, and I am still trying to. 

What do you look for when recruiting an employee?

One of the most important aspects is having enthusiasm and passion, demonstrating ambition. I expect everyone to put their skills into action, be responsive but also great team players.

How many employees do you currently have? How do you describe your management style?

I currently manage a team of 6. I like to lead by example. I lead from the front by taking action, demonstrating what needs to be done, and keeping my team organized to make sure we’re all on the same page and contributing equally. I’m good at delegating and finding the strengths of other team members.

How do you describe yourself in 3 words?

Meticulous, ambitious, sharp

What’s your favorite part of your work, and why?

Deal closing and the negotiation. I like the challenge behind it.

If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?

Believe in yourself, believe you can do it, and enjoy the bumpy ride. 

How do you balance the different aspects of your life? (well-being, family, social and professional)

Women want to have it all, they yearn for that, but the funny part is that your career clock and your biological clock are in total conflict with each other. How do you have kids and build a career at the same time? I am still looking for the right answer.

I’ve missed a lot of school activities which at first made me cave with guilt. I have more recently developed a coping mechanism and trained close family and friends and everyone around me to be my support system. Some supported me and my career ambition while others shied away, which is OK. 

I have two daughters and I now plan my life very meticulously in an effort to be present and to be a role model for them. Motherhood on its own is a full-time job, and unfortunately, we cannot do justice to all aspects of our life. My choice today is quality over quantity when it comes to time with them. 

Women on Top Series

Berytech has partnered with the Lebanese League for Women in Business – LLWB, to create ‘Women on Top’ to highlight women entrepreneurs and executives in a series of motivational interviews about their stories, overcoming their own challenges and their entrepreneurial endeavors. Read more. The series is also highlighting successful women in sports and business.

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