Myret Zaki

1973

Editor-in-chief of Bilan magazine, Geneva

"With my books, I managed to make finance understandable, and make the very obscure concepts of stock-market speculation and tax evasion more accessible to people, in order to raise awareness of these key issues."

My career path

I’m a journalist and writer, and up to the end of May 2019 I was editor-in-chief of Bilan, a bi-monthly business magazine. As editor-in-chief, my role consisted of working with fellow journalists to ensure that each edition fully reflected what we know how to do, in terms of exclusive stories, the quality of our contacts, and the beauty of the magazine’s design. It was also my role to ensure that we had a cutting-edge website, with relevant videos and articles – the site has on occasion been compared with that of bfmtv.com in France.

What I find most motivating is being able to spark a debate on issues that are essential for our society. There is nothing more important than how our wages are progressing, the pay differences that exist, our retirement and the risks to it, how wealth is distributed in our society, and the geopolitics governing financial markets, particularly in Switzerland. It’s also important to have a debate on ideologies and the varying fates of political parties in our country.

My career path. Following the 2008 financial crisis, I was given the opportunity to write a book about UBS thanks to a key encounter with Pierre-Marcel Favre, who became my publisher. My research for the book took me to the States, and I was able to make some real discoveries and take a critical approach to the crisis and everything that caused it. I had an incredible audience – one Youtube video about the euro crisis got one million views in 2011.

In addition to Pierre-Marcel Favre, who was a mentor to me, my first mentor was without a doubt Stéphane Benoît Godet, who’s currently editor-in-chief at Le Temps newspaper. In 2011, he hired me to work at Le Temps as economics editor, even though I was coming from a bank. Then in 2009, he was also the one who hired me at Bilan, as deputy editor-in-chief.

A downside or obstacle ? I think because of a lack of time, resources and energy, I haven’t been able to investigate everything I would like to have investigated. There is less time and there are fewer opportunities to do purely journalistic work. I only really came across obstacles at the bank – it was difficult to progress there. I did an MBA to gain more recognition, but it was still a challenge. But I think I’m partly to blame because I realized that journalism was more up my street than doing financial analysis in a bank. Another obstacle has been taking on responsibilities in financial journalism. I’ve also sought to better myself and improve my people skills. Another challenge was writing my first book : I had to take a sabbatical and write it in record time. But then I couldn’t get the information I needed in Switzerland, so I had to go to the States. When my book was a success, I felt more valued both within and outside my team. Each time, I try to reflect on what I did wrong, without thinking of myself as a victim. At the end of the day, journalism offers more equal opportunities than a lot of other jobs, even though economic and financial journalism is still very male-dominated.

I’m proud first of all to have worked with such an amazing team at Bilan for nine years. I developed very warm and even family-like relationships with everyone and made the magazine a rare success during a period that’s been very hard for journalism. I’m also very pleased to have published four investigative books between 2008 and 2016, all of which have been bestsellers in French-speaking Switzerland. With these books, I managed to make finance understandable, and make the very obscure concepts of stock-market speculation and tax evasion more accessible to people, in order to raise awareness of these key issues.

The Proust Questionnaire

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Au-delà de votre profession

Mes filles (6 et 10 ans), le cinéma, la musique, la course à pied, les livres parlant de spiritualité.

Des personnes qui vous inspirent

Natasha Polony (journaliste) et Ron Paul (politicien américain).

Un livre & un film

The Amazing Results of Positive Thinking (Norman Vincent Peale) et Dragon, l’histoire de Bruce Lee (Rob Cohen).

Un modèle

Des journalistes d’investigation comme Denis Robert, des réussites comme Mediapart ou le Canard Enchaîné m’inspirent. Je regarde aussi les débats à la TV française et malgré tout ce qu’on peut en dire, ils et elles maîtrisent mieux que quiconque l’art du débat contradictoire, compétent, éloquent et informé, ils et elles sont une référence.

Un objet

Un nénuphar

Une couleur

Le bleu saphir

Un rêve

La paix, la plus grande de toutes les richesses.