How has the team of Prime Capital developed since the company’s foundation in 2006? What are the milestones? What atmosphere characterizes the different offices in Frankfurt, London, and Luxembourg? Find some answers to these questions in our interview with Christine Rudolph from Human Resources at Prime Capital.
Christine, what has changed since the early days in 2006?
The biggest change in comparison to the early years is the size of our team. In 2006, we had five full-time employees, today there are more than fifty people at three locations. However, the high cultural diversity in our company remains virtually unchanged. Even in the early years, we already had staff from four nations. Although we frequently spoke English back then, the first language in our company was still German. Thanks to our international positioning this is quite different today.
What were the first milestones of the company’s development?
In 2007 two new teams joined Prime Capital: our London-based Legal Team around John Staddon and the Asset Management Team around Dr. Werner Goricki. As a consequence, the number of nationalities at Prime Capital increased from four to eight and we moved to a larger office, near the River Main. Although we had become even more international, there was still a family atmosphere in our company and everybody knew about projects and colleagues. Since then we have grown considerably. Over the time, we have grown consistently and several new colleagues have joined – senior staff as well as youngsters. From the very beginning, we hired student employees, giving them the opportunity to gain practical work experience. One of our first students is still with us, working as an analyst in our Absolute Return Group.
How has the financial crisis affected the Company?
Being a company with innovative investment solutions, we could use the crisis as an opportunity. Consequently, we created new teams, partly shifting their focus. The distortions, particularly in 2008 and 2009, required Prime Capital to adapt itself. With the asset classes Infrastructure and Private Debt, we have developed two new business segments. Again, this is something that is typical of Prime Capital: wherever possible we continuously explore new markets, create new demand fields, apply different approaches, and develop new products.
So, the company continued to grow. What were the outcomes?
The steady growth naturally led to many changes, including the locations of our company. Overall we have moved three times, each time to larger offices. Our employees are not sitting in one office in an old villa in Frankfurt’s Westend anymore. Today, our staff works in large, centrally located commercial buildings with large open offices, allowing us to communicate directly with each other. Long gone are the days when everybody knew everything about what is currently happening at Prime Capital. Our company’s product and services portfolio has grown far too diverse for that.
How do you keep your team and individuals updated?
Today we have weekly calls and conference calls within or between the various teams. Additionally, for a few years we have held regular ‘Town Hall Meetings’ to gather staff and allow them to connect with each other. In these meetings, individual departments get the opportunity to report on current topics and latest projects. Here again, the main language is English.
Communication is more than just language, how do you foster intercultural identity at Prime Capital?
Direct face-to-face communication in meetings still plays an important role. We seek to create human contact at a personal level. Two years ago, at an internal event, we placed the flags of all our staff’s nationalities on the table – which were quite a lot of them! No wonder that one of our major tasks today is to bind together all employees in one team, and to maintain communication at a high level, irrespective of language.