Stuart Thomas provides strategic investment and portfolio management advice to high net worth individuals, trusts, charities and businesses across the South Island.
People Focus: Solène Troussé
Vice President, UX Design and Multimedia
Multimedia and user experience specialist Solène Troussé never expected to work in financial services. Her New Zealand working holiday turned into a long term move when she joined Jarden and discovered the exciting opportunities in FinTech.
Solène works with teams across Jarden to create digital products that support the firm’s goals and delight clients. Her projects include a portal for wealth management clients, an app for Direct Broking, and processes for customer on-boarding.
She previously worked for a digital agency in Montreal, Canada, as a user experience and user interface designer, and front end developer. In her native France, she was once a weather presenter for a local television station, where she built her portfolio in graphic design and motion video.
Solène now lives in Wellington, where she’s a senior dancer in Batucada, a Brazilian samba percussion group. She loves sharing the joy of Brazilian music and being part of an inclusive community where all are welcome, regardless of dance, musical or physical abilities.
Solène has an MVA (Multimedia) from the University of Strasbourg, France, and speaks English and French.
How did you come to work at Jarden?
I came to Wellington on a working holiday visa. I had no idea I would end up working in the finance industry and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. But my first year at Jarden was pretty amazing, so my interest in finance grew. The work was really stimulating, and there was a good team, spirit and culture. For personal and professional growth, it was one of the best years of my life.
What made that first year so special?
Jarden’s then CTO had a way of making our whole team feel excited about what was coming up. We had a great team, and people were always teaching each other new skills. You could tell that it was a room full of people with very active brains, feeling positive and inspired.
This was also the first job where I had ownership of design projects. In an agency, you work under an artistic director, but at Jarden I loved the initiative you could take with a design. Of course, at first some things didn’t go so well, but that’s all part of the learning experience. People here are eager to see you succeed.
At the end of my working holiday, Jarden sponsored me in seeking residency. I am very grateful for their support, they did everything they could to make the process easy for me. New Zealand is my home now - I see myself here for good.
How did you find the transition from a creative agency to working in financial services?
I never expected to find financial services so exciting and interesting. I gained a huge amount of financial literacy in my first year, simply by trying to understand the business. I had to learn about portfolios, share allocations, investment strategies, and what understand what really matters to our clients. It was fascinating and my interest in finance grew and grew.
My newfound financial literacy inspired me on a personal level as well. I have started to invest for myself, and that is something I never thought I would do. The personal growth has been fantastic.
Tell us about your role
I try to be a bridge between what the business needs and what we can achieve with digital design. On every project, my first task is to try to understand the problem, by identifying the specific issues we are trying to address with a digital tool. I listen to the needs of the business, then research the behaviour and processes involved.
This is followed by an innovative and creative phase where we explore different solutions, identify the best options and seek feedback from users or stakeholders. I’m always watching out for any gaps, misunderstandings, or incorrect assumptions I have made. This is a vital part of the design process - if a solution appears to be perfect right away, that’s a red flag for me and I know I need to think more deeply about the problem.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love the excitement of finding an innovative solution to a complex problem and I’m inspired to think about how we can integrate new technology into our services. I read a lot and like many designers, I often build experimental side projects at home, teaching myself how to use new technology or techniques. For example, I might read an article about how to plug a chatbot, and then figure out how to do it for myself.
What advice do you have for young designers?
There is a saying ‘Don’t fall in love with your ideas, fall in love with the problem’. You should always seek constructive feedback around your work. There is no perfect solution - there is always room for improvement.
Multimedia and user experience specialist Solène Troussé never expected to work in financial services.
Aaron Shields Wealth Management Adviser Nelson Aaron Shields works with high net worth individuals and trusts to manage, grow and protect their wealth through diversified investments.