Italians in London | Italians in London Giovanni Mangini
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#14 Giovanni Mangini

I am 33, Pugliese d.o.c.
I grew up in Bari, where I spent most of my time studying, becoming a juggler and an event manager.
Becoming a juggler was a  passion a job and ultimately a voluntary experience at the same time. In general I have been working since I was 14.
In Bari I am a co-founder with my very good friends of an association, a social company and a circus school (CircoBotero)
I worked as juggler and clown in many different Locations (USA, Europe, Africa, Albania,…), in very different situations (street, theatre, school, hospital, …) and for an heterogenic variety of people (rich/fancy people, homeless in Africa and terminal ill children in the hospital, …).
I studied statistics in Bari and Rome with one year of Erasmus in London and I became a certified actuary in Italy and UK.
Before London I have lived In Bari, Rome, Milan. I also had a very brief experience in Berlin because of my juggling passion. Every city had a different impact on me, and taught me different things.
I am passionate about people, diving, juggling and travelling.
What do you do in your life in London?
In London I have been working for a very large financial institution since 5 years. I am an actuary which you could describe as a mathematician for Insurance, actuaries make sure insurance companies perform their calculation with the right criteria and in compliance with regulatory constraints. On paper, this might seems a boring job :), this job is something in between making calculation and writing reports.
The true is that all those activities are core for the insurance industry and the calculation and reports are pretty complex and as consequence stimulating. An actuary needs to be able to interact with many different people and explain concepts that are, on average, not simple to be understood. In my role I need to provide consultancy to Insurers on what my company thinks to be the best approach for a specific problem, so I get to visit many different clients in various countries like Middle east, South Africa, Bermuda, Italy, Norway, UK, …
Beside this job, I run a side business. 2 years ago I co-founded a start-up that manage touristic accommodation with a current Turn Over of 1MLN £ a year.
This business is growing and I am very proud of what my business partner and our staff are realizing.
You asked me about fun too. Well, I do not always work 🙂 but I do very often travel, so I have found a way of making the travelling itself the best fun experience of my life, I have many friends around Europe and I like to do many activities when I am abroad (yoga, surf, sky diving, diving, hiking, running, enjoying the night life). I love doing sport and the beauty of it is that you can manage it everywhere.
What is the reason to leave Italy and come to London?
I left Italy for 2 main reasons, one is related to me as person and the second is related to Italy as country.
a. Italy is my own country and I do not want this to be the only place where I will live, I want to discover as many countries as possible in the unique life I have been given.
b. Italy is not a place for young people, salary for high educated people are low, an old job-legislation is killing the employment, entrepreneurship is not supported, on the contrary it finds an hostile territory to growth.
Salary wise: the first year I moved from Milan to London, my salary increase was extremely high, and this is based on comparable jobs title and job activities between Italy and UK (Milan/London).
Let’s now look at entrepreneurship, last year I have tried to co-found a club in Milan with one of my friend and that did not work because of high taxes, high start-up cost, mentality of landlord, renting rules, and mindset in general.
I am not saying that this could not have worked out with more patience but it definitely did not work for me and my friend who lived in Singapore for a while. We usually deal with different mentality and leaner processes. We work with countries/companies/people who are willing to take investments. Italy is not genetically built for entrepreneurs. Our country is not changing or when it does the steps are so small that you could barely see those. I did open my company in London with 50 pounds, 30 minutes and now its value is paying back UK with taxes and services.
What were your best and worst experiences in London.
Best experience in London: I like to think that every day in London is special.
Maybe my best experience has been when I had dinner with 12 people who I consider my friends, coming from 11 different countries.
Worst experience in London: in general finding a nice place to live at an affordable price is hard. When I came here the first time (2008 –Erasmus time), I was living in a very bad place. In general London is not a place where is possible to live well when the salary is below a certain level, I have seen people leaving London crying. This could be a tough city, you can be alone surrounded by 9 million of people, and sometime you need to fight your way out.
I asked you to choose a place in London that you like or you are tied to, what was your choice and why you made it?
I will break the rules here, I will tell you 2 places: the first one is a bench close to London Bridge, and that is pretty much related to a personal event of my life and the second is Maltby Market, a truly English market where it is possible to find great food from everywhere around the world, especially the best burger I have ever eaten.
During your early times in London, did you have any problem?
I came to London twice, the first time was in 2008 for my Erasmus and the second time has been in 2012, when I started working for the financial institution where I am currently working.
The 2 experiences were very different, the first time I was trying to live in London with 700£ a month, my level of English was very low and I knew no one, so yes basically everything was difficult, basic communication with people, booking an appointment with a doctor, find a nice place to live, buy good quality of food, in general being able to have a decent quality of life. Still I remember those days as my best days in this city: a new city, Interesting people from all over the world, learning experiences every day, and who says tough things are not good is wrong, I guess it depends on the goals and ultimately to the results. I always knew that was a short period and I was trying to take the best of it.
The second time everything started in a different way, I had a much better salary, some friends of mine were here already and my English was enough to have 90% of my daily conversations.
The company I work for is a great place for work, they never miss a chance to make you fill as part of a family.
What do you think about this project?
This project is great, thanks Rob for this idea, I think the will be useful to create a community here in London, is always useful to share experiences and especially to learn from others, secondly I think it might support many others young people who have the will to come but they still see more constrains the benefits in the change.
How do you think you could support and promote Italian culture? 
Besides having worked for the Italian institute of culture in several countries I try to support Italians and Italian culture in several ways. I fight prejudice and stereotype at least the ones were Italians are associated to Pizza and Sophomoric humor and nothing else.
I have hired 4 Italian people and I have provided support in several ways to other Italians who moved to London. But of course this is never enough, let me know if you have any suggestions I will be happy to embrace those.