‘The pandemic has accelerated the need for further use of technology’ – Adriana Camilleri Vassallo
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Times of Malta Interview
FJVA celebrated its 20th anniversary
Francis J. Vassallo, founder of FJVA, has a simple explanation for his company’s 20-year continued success: keep things ethical; be honest with regard to client needs; and, above all, always put the client first, before anything.
He places client satisfaction at the nucleus of his company’s success. It is precisely this satisfaction that has opened up opportunities for referrals, essentially FJVA’s main channel for growth.
No one stands by the firm’s ethical mission more than Mr. Vassallo.
Indeed, he emphasises honesty as the company’s entrenched priority, a value he has always expected from his colleagues, a team which has grown from just two, namely himself and his daughter Adriana, to over sixty multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary professionals today.
“The most important asset the firm has is our people,” notes Mr. Vassallo.
The formula has nurtured mutual respect between the company and its clients, where over the years relationships have grown from strength-to-strength. In fact, Mr. Vassallo is proud to count most of the firm’s clients as personal friends.
His credentials are impressive. Before establishing FJVA, Mr. Vassallo – who speaks five languages, English, Spanish, Italian, French and naturally, Maltese – spent 28 years with Chase Manhattan Bank, heading up various divisions in eight countries.
He attributes his ability to adapt to so many different cultures, both geographically and within the office environment, as the main advantage he has over his peers in the market. “It gives you a thick skin,” he notes, not mincing his words.
He subsequently held office as Governor of the Central Bank of Malta at the critical time when Malta was introducing a complete package of financial services legislation and was instrumental in changing the banking and financial sector to meet the application of Malta in joining the European Union.
For this he participated ex-officio in all the main steering committees, where the mandate was to create a stable and regulated financial services environment. The package was finally delivered in 1994 and today the island can proudly boast of being as competitive, if not more efficient, than some of the world’s already long-established jurisdictions.
“We don’t sell companies, we sell solutions”