My money

Corinne Lozé: Wisdom without borders

Corinne Lozé, CEO of Orange Luxembourg, loves her suede jacket. Photo: Andrés Lejona/Maison Moderne

Corinne Lozé, CEO of Orange Luxembourg, loves her suede jacket. Photo: Andrés Lejona/Maison Moderne

The CEO of Orange Luxembourg, Corinne Lozé, maintains a cautious relationship with money, although she prefers electronic money over cash.

Catherine Kurzawa: Do you have a motto or principle with regard to money?

Corinne LozéCorinne Lozé: None. I'm always thinking and I'm not a spender. At a certain level of responsibility, money allows you to indulge in little extras that give you pleasure all the same... You don't necessarily need money to enjoy yourself. For example, I have the pleasure of gathering with my family around a table.

Do you remember your first salary and what you did with it?

Yes, it was when I was working at the Egyptian embassy in Mali [where Lozé grew up], I must have been about 19. I bought a plane ticket to Greece, it was my first trip and I have great memories of it, it was great.

Has your relationship with money changed over your career?

Not through my career, but through my family. When you have children and grandchildren, you start asking yourself how to help them and make them more comfortable. That's more my angle of thinking: to make sure they don't lack anything.

Do you teach them certain values about money?

Yes, first of all I teach them that money requires investment in work, that it is not very easy to have a lot of money. I try to teach them that they are lucky: they live in Paris, and I compare it with Bangui [the capital of the Central African Republic], where the children have a much harder time. I try to make them perceive the gap that exists in the world.

You have travelled between Europe and Africa during your career. Is there anything you've never parted with?

Yes, I can't fly without the same suede jacket I had 20 years ago. There is no explanation for that. It was given to me as a gift and, to me, it's something that protects me.

What is so special about it?

Nothing special. It's a beautiful beige suede jacket. [It reminds me of the launch of] Orange Money in the Central African Republic, Orange's mobile money transfer solution in 2016.

Are you pro-electronic money?

I only have this! I use money transfers, Payconiq and I never carry cash with me, except for a few coins to get my coffee from the vending machine. In Europe, it seems that the adoption of mobile payments is slower than in Asia or Africa.

What do you think about this gap?

Europe has deep-rooted habits, whereas in Africa, mobile payment solutions really meet a need and a challenge. The rate of bank penetration is much lower, the distances and transport difficulties make these mobile formulas very suitable, not to mention that, for the merchants, it means they don't have to carry money.

What can't money buy?

A lot of things. For me, the only thing that matters about money is that it can give you a choice: I place a certain importance on having a choice, on having a certain freedom.

Is money taboo?

No, not at all. Money is not something that has guided me in my life. What has guided me is learning things and discovering cultures. I'm in an industry and a profession that I love and, at the end of the day, that's always been more of a guide than money.

Originally published in French by Paperjam and translated for Delano