KPP Leadership Spotlight with Thierry Gagliano

Thierry Gagliano has had a wealth of experience in his career and was Vice President of External Audit, Risk Management and Compliance until June 2023.

Having completed a Master’s degree in financial Markets in 1991, Thierry also attained a Business School Degree focusing on Business & International Trade. These educational accomplishments equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of financial markets and a solid foundation in business and global trade practices.

Thierry says that there were four main milestones in his career. Shortly after finishing his degree, he worked in the financial markets and banking institutions for six years until 1998. Following this, he had the privilege of working within the realm of Audit & Advisory activities at EY for 10 years, a renowned auditing firm. This role granted him invaluable experiences in learning complex financial landscapes, scrutinising systems, and offering strategic insights to clients. The dynamic nature of audit and advisory work at EY honed his analytical skills, giving him a solid foundation for his next career move.

In 2009, Thierry became Head of Audit for SBM Offshore where he was responsible for overseeing all audit functions. His role involved implementing robust strategies to assess risk, enhance internal controls, and maintain adherence to industry standards.

His next move catapulted him into a lead role as Head of Audit and Risk for CHACGM Group of Companies. This pivotal role involved comprehensive risk management strategies and ensuring adherence to regulatory frameworks. Thierry was responsible for leading audits and assessing potential risks across operations.

Thierry’s inclination towards activities that safeguard and enhance value has been a driving force in his career journey. Embracing various opportunities, each a stepping stone, he’s consistently sought avenues to progress and evolve. This succession of experiences has not only fuelled his professional advancement but also enriched his skill set. This a continuous growth mindset has greatly enhanced his diverse ventures and opportunities. In fact, so much so that when we asked what his typical day would involve, he answered “I’m now at the stage of seniority, that I no longer have a fixed schedule!”

If Thierry could offer himself advice when he first started his career, it would be to embracing self-assurance. He says it’s been pivotal to his journey, allowing him to focus on nurturing essential soft skills that facilitate meaningful interactions. He’s committed to developing these abilities, recognising their significance in ensuring effective communication and building strong relationships. This deliberate development has empowered him to engage more authentically, enabling a deeper understanding and connection with individuals across various situations, enhancing both personal and professional exchanges.

Reflecting on his type of career, the most important aspect that Thierry would change is reinforcing the autonomy and independence of the Internal Audit community. He believes that strengthening the independence of this community involves advocating for greater empowerment, ensuring direct access to crucial information, nurturing a culture that values and respects the autonomy of internal auditors. This change would further fortify the integrity and effectiveness of audit processes, contributing to enhanced risk management and governance practices within the corporate landscape.

The most important skills for exceeding in this profession is professionalism, integrity, and diplomacy. Professionalism forms the bedrock, encompassing expertise, reliability, and a commitment to high standards. Integrity acts as a guiding principle, ensuring ethical conduct, transparency, and trustworthiness. Diplomacy enables effective communication, conflict resolution, and the ability to work through complex situations. These skills collectively underpin success, create credibility, resilience, and impactful decision-making.

For Thierry, the attributes that are most valuable for prospective employees and two dimensions were particularly critical for him. This would be a level of competency to include hard and soft skills, and a true commitment to deliver which is more behavioural oriented.

We asked Thierry what impact Covid-19 had on his firm and how they operate. Much like most businesses, Thierry’s team worked from home during 2020. Since then, they have continued to work remotely on a part-time basis which has been successful, while having no impact on the business.

Undoubtedly, the most impactful innovation that Thierry has seen is the advent of artificial intelligence. This innovation continues to evolve, consistently reshaping the professional landscape and offering boundless opportunities for growth and advancement.

Contemplating the future of his profession, Thierry considers the emerging trends and changes to be most influenced by artificial intelligence and data mining. These technologies hold immense potential to revolutionise the way we establish controls within our systems. They offer the prospect of implementing more systematic and enduring controls, allowing for comprehensive oversight and analysis across entire datasets. Embracing these advancements could lead to a shift in how we approach risk management and compliance, offering more robust and continuous monitoring in audit, risk and compliance.

Thierry says that the common misconceptions about his profession are that there still seems to be confusion between external auditors and external financial auditors. While both roles involve auditing financial information, external financial auditors concentrate solely on the financial aspects, while external auditors may encompass a broader scope, including operational and compliance assessments alongside financial reviews.

When we asked what advice would he give those aspiring to achieve their goals in this field, he answered, “Define your own vision at work and identify tips and tools to accommodate your vision with the corporate one”.

The most recent book Thierry has read is by French author Jean-Pierre Dupuy “Pour un Catastrophisme Eclairé”, and the most used app on his phone is WhatsApp.

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