We speak to Andrew Lewin about his path into banking and what has kept him there
Andrew joined Kleinwort Benson in 2015 as a Private Banker and is responsible for providing integrated bespoke solutions to UK-domiciled and non-domiciled high net worth individuals, families, trusts and charities.
What are the unique challenges of working with senior executives?
It’s a well-used phrase, but it’s true - no two clients are the same. It is what makes the job enjoyable and keeps it interesting, whether I am meeting senior executives, entrepreneurs, musicians or lottery winners who get wealth thrust upon them. When it comes to senior execs and why they are particularly interesting, it is because you have to tailor your proposition and pitch appropriately. These guys are very financially savvy individuals so you have to be well prepared and have strong analytical skills to quickly understand what their financial priorities and long-term objectives are. If you don’t, they will lose interest as they have such little time to spare you. The beauty of working with Kleinwort Benson and SG Hambros is the wide range of solutions that clients appreciate having under one roof.
Why did you get into banking?
After leaving university, I worked at Wimbledon tennis in the hospitality suite. While I was there, I approached a guest who worked for a sport federation and became interested in the idea of working in sports marketing. I soon worked out that what I really enjoyed in the job was meeting people and the client relationship aspect. I then quickly realised that I wanted a more structured career path than that particular role could offer, which led me into finance. Joining in 2007 when markets were so volatile, there was a very steep learning curve, but client communication was an incredibly important aspect to the job which they valued at such an uncertain time.
What are your outstanding memories of the financial crisis?
I didn't really realise the magnitude of it at the time. Having just started in financial services, I gradually began to realise that this was a very serious time. I had an excellent colleague who had a strong influence on me at the start of my career. I remember him saying, “If you can get through this you can get through anything”.
It was a steep learning curve but it taught me how to deal with the most volatile of market conditions and how to speak to clients. Talking to clients around that time was very challenging but also rewarding. They appreciated us being pro-active in communicating during a difficult period.
Brexit was another case in point. By Friday of that week, I had called all my clients. It was a satisfying day in the most surreal of circumstances. That sense of panic that ensued from the vote to leave the EU felt similar to the days of 2008, but then, as now, it is all about communication.
What's the most important thing in nurturing new talent on the team?
It is essential to keep our junior members of the team interested. I do believe that the client facing aspect of the job is the most interesting aspect of my role. Diversity in the job is also useful, especially when you are getting involved in different parts of the business. Private banking assistants often have a very close relationship with clients because bankers are on the road a lot of the time and it is the assistants who are in the office with their finger on the pulse of what is going on, day-to-day, with the clients.
Not a lot of people know this about me but...I am something of a pub quiz secret weapon! Not only am I a bit of a sports nerd – I am on the committee for Wimbledon Cricket Club and play cricket for my club every Saturday – but I like to feel I can lend something to the music round as well. I can name any pop song between 1995 and 2005 within five seconds. Sadly, I have reached an age now where I have lost touch with mainstream music!