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by Lilli Kahana

Editor in Chief i-vest

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Passionate about diversity and sustainability issues in companies, Raphaël Hatem holds a degree in communication and marketing.

In 2005, he started his career in the watch industry and joined a watch company in the LVMH group. In 2010, he became a freelance digital communication consultant for many companies and subcontractors in the world of watchmaking and microtechnology.

In 2019, he participated in the development of the Swiss LGBTI label, which promotes diversity and inclusive organizational culture, regardless of the sector or size of the organization, and accompanied many companies that wish to implement diversity policies.

We had the opportunity to speak with him for the third part of our “What is wealth?” series.

Thank you so much for making time for this conversation! We look forward to your perspective. Let’s dive in!

It is essential to create a workplace to attract and to retain the best talents and skills. 72% of allies say they are more likely to accept employment with a company that supports LGBT+ employees.

When we hear “wealth”, most people’s minds immediately go to finances. From your perspective, how important are your finances when it comes to your wealth?

For me, managing my wealth is necessary to live independently and free from need.

I like the idea of financial freedom to create professional projects that are important to me. I am very invested in the associative life, it is important for me to find meaning and a sense of fulfillment in the actions that I conduct.

What is your own personal definition of true wealth?

I am gay, a member of the LGBTI community, and a diversity and inclusion consultant.

My commitment to inclusion, fairness, and diversity is an essential and ongoing pillar of my business strategy. Strong diversity and inclusion practices are good for business.

I’ve found that LGBT-friendly companies have better financial results and recruit the best talents.

It is essential to create a workplace to attract and retain the best talents and skills. 72% of allies say they are more likely to accept employment with a company that supports LGBT+ employees. In addition, employees who are “out” with a feeling of safety contribute more to the company than employees surrounded by a hostile environment: they are 20 to 30 more productive, trust their employer more, are more satisfied with the promotion rate, and feel more connected to the company.

An inclusive workplace that allows us to embrace the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of all our employees to create better outcomes for clients and society is my definition of true wealth. Wealth depends on talent and talent depends on diversity.

In 2020, Firmenich, one of the world’s largest privately held fragrance and flavor companies, understood this and was proud to announce that it had received the Swiss LGBTI* Label in recognition of its inclusive organizational culture that promotes a sense of belonging for LGBTI people.

In your opinion, is there something like a Swiss understanding of wealth? If so, do you believe it is a good one or one that needs to be redefined?

Switzerland sometimes suffers from clichés and its people’s perceptions of its culture of discretion. Social and environmental responsibilities have become a must for companies.

The Swiss are aware that the creation of wealth must be socially and environmentally responsible and must abide by transparency norms. Today’s vision of wealth is community-oriented and ethical. This resonates well with Switzerland’s direct democracy system, strong local traditions, and at the same time its strong international role as an epicenter of multilateralism.

I see that things have changed a lot and I am delighted to accompany companies that are evolving and transforming their identity and values to be more in line with our time.

What is something that irritates you about the conversation around wealth?

I’m often a bit bothered when I hear only about numbers and profitability. Of course, all of that is important, but values, human feelings, and intuition should not take a back seat. A lot of things could not have been done if we had only been driven by numbers. Numbers are necessary, but not sufficient. You don’t get true achievements just with numbers. Leadership is primarily about the spirit.

What do you wish every child learned in school about wealth?

Wealth is obviously not just about money. Unlike financial success in the investment world, there are no hard and fast rules for achieving happiness. Fulfillment comes in different ways for different people, but there are common principles we can all follow to help us build emotional and psychological fulfillment. Wealth is nothing without a meaningful life.



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About the author

Lilli is a Berlin-based creative strategist and writer. She has created campaigns and strategies for brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Jägermeister. When she is not reading, she is training her two insane leopard cats. She joined the i-vest team in 2021 as a writer and editor.

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