Could you introduce yourself and your career path through your time at Talan?
My name is Christophe Castellani, I started to work as a consultant in Paris and Philadelphia for several French Banks as a C/C++ developer specialized in trading systems for derivatives. I managed an IT consulting firm located in Paris and London and later joined another company as a Business Unit Director. I joined Talan in January 2014 when the group made a new acquisition. I was the founder of the newly acquired company, which specialized in IT consulting for the financial industry and was based in 2 locations (London and Paris). I held several positions at Talan such as Global Account Manager before moving to Montréal to undertake a new & exciting position as Global Head of Talan North America.
As Global Head of Talan North America, what goals are you setting for 2020?
One of the key objectives is to expand our global footprint in North America while becoming the preferred partner/trusted advisor of our Tier one clients (in North America). I work alongside local teams, head office and the CEO of Talan International to develop our business in North America and support Talan in its international development plan. As a truly global company, Talan works with its clients in local and global markets. We have grown around our clients’ needs and have offices around the world to better serve them.
Thanks to Talan’s international footprint, we can offer fantastic opportunities not only to Talan employees in North America, but also to Talan employees who are looking for new/exciting opportunities in the USA/Canada.
In order to reach these 2 goals, we must grow our business, win more projects with our existing clients, acquire new clients and recruit more consultants.
We also plan to acquire one or two companies in Canada and/or in the USA to accelerate our international development, deliver more service/business lines, offer greater breadth of expertise, and overall, enhance our value to clients outside the financial services industry.
Could you name a few of the greatest challenges that you have faced in your career?
The first challenge I had to overcome was the buyout of the UK subsidiary of a company which I was previously employed at. The second challenge was to keep my business profitable while being shaken by the “subprimes” crisis.
What does a typical day look like for you?
For me, it’s never the same. Today’s typical day is always so different from tomorrow’s typical day, which suits me perfectly!
What are your outside interests and hobbies?
I prefer to spend my free time with my wife and my kids enjoying life, travelling around the world and learning new things. I am a big fan of American writers such as Hemingway and Steinbeck. I love American painter, Edward Hopper and photographers Robert Capa, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt. I’ve been living in Montreal for 5 months and I recently discovered Michel Tremblay’s plays. It allows me to understand better Quebecois language and culture.
If you could choose one word that describes you most accurately, what would it be?
Curious. I need to learn new things every single day. This is very important to me, as I consider myself a lifelong learner.
Could you describe a strong memory you’ve had at Talan since you joined the Group?
I have had many memories with Talan, but one of the most memorable times for me is probably the day we acquired Planaxis/Groupaxis. We all felt so happy! I had the impression of accomplishing something very important for Talan. From this moment we knew we could start a new and ambitious growth chapter in North America, in line with Talan 2020 strategic plan…