By Nicholas Allen, Class of 1992 Les Roches alumnus
At last I’ve taken the opportunity to spend a little time with my good mate and the guy who is my biggest challenger as “Father of the Year” – class of ’93 graduate Paolo Montessori. Don’t forget to check back on my most recent ‘Between You and Me’, featuring the very fashionable Anton San Diego!
Nicholas Allen (NA): What is your profession and current position?
Paolo Montessori (PM): I am Chief Executive Officer of Lenddo EFL, based in Singapore. We are an alternative data credit decisioning company.
NA: Who was your first room-mate at Les Roches?
PM: Emiliano (can’t remember his last name). He was from Torino, but left school after ‘Service year’. I guess I wasn’t the greatest room-mate 😉
NA: Where did you grow up?
PM: I grew up in Vancouver, Canada.
NA: Whom has made the biggest impact on your professional career?
PM: Undoubtedly it has been my wife, Rebecca Hayward. Since the day we met at Les Roches she has consistently supported and pushed me (in equal measure) to progress and strive for more.
Maintain the global contacts you have established
NA: Who was your favorite teacher at Les Roches?
PM: Mr. La Salla (Service) was exceptional amongst a group of excellent teachers. He taught me professionalism and attention to detail that have remained with me to this day.
NA: What’s your advice for new graduates?
PM: The years you have just experienced at Les Roches are an experience that few in this world have the opportunity to enjoy. Cherish the memories, maintain the global contacts you have established and leverage the knowledge you have acquired in whatever field you choose to pursue. The lessons you have learned are globally applicable across many industries. Enjoy the path ahead and rest assured with a continued strong work ethic you will succeed.
NA: Who did you have a crush on at Les Roches?
PM: Rebecca Hayward. We recently celebrated our 25-year wedding anniversary last month!
NA: What is your fondest memory of Les Roches?
PM: There are so many fond memories that it’s hard to pick only one. Perhaps when I first arrived and was walking from the funicular station to the campus and as I walked past San Nick’s with all of my bags I was called over by some Australians for a beer (Nick you were there too!). Needless to say, a few beers later I had already made friends and hadn’t even checked in to school yet.
NA: Do you have any phobias?
PM: None that I can think of.
NA: You can ask me one question, what is it?
PM: When are we going to catch up Nick? It’s been way too long!
NA: Way too long my friend! I think Singapore is the go, missed you at the rugby 7s. Let’s get a long weekend organized and I will come up with my girls.
NA: Last question. You have organized a lavish dinner party with no expense spared. You can invite eight people, alive or dead, who are they?
PM: One thing I have learned is that there are no limitations; so I will not comply with the limitations you set in the question Nick! Why only eight people? It’s no expense spared, so can’t be a cost limitation. Is it a question of location? We can find a better location if we just look a little harder. If we are going to do this party of a lifetime let’s do it right! Rebecca and I have five children, so just our direct family would be seven-strong. I think 40 people would be reasonable…
NA: OK you win Paolo, let’s do it big! Thanks so much buddy.