Sir Richard Kleinwort
This week we hear from our namesake, Sir Richard Kleinwort
Sir Richard Kleinwort is a member of the advisory board of Kleinwort Benson. He began his career in the world of commercial banking before moving into financial public relations in 1989.
What does your current role with Kleinwort Benson involve?
I am the senior member of the Advisory Board. This involves advising on strategic matters and advising on, and implementing, new business development. I also help identify potential clients, lead them to the doors of Kleinwort Benson and, of course, successfully sign them up as new clients. Overall, I carry out a full ambassadorial role wherever possible.
Did you always want to follow your namesake and go into banking?
I was always fascinated by the merchant banking world growing up and I had two experiences abroad with Kleinwort Benson Geneva and Buenos Aires in the eighties. After moving into investment banking at Deutsche Bank in Germany, I decided to return to London and began my Financial Public Relations career. Having banking in the blood has always fuelled my fascination with the financial world, though. I certainly did return to banking about a decade ago when we were based in Gresham Street and the Ambassadorial role was developing into today’s Advisory Board position.
What is the definition of a good private banker?
I think, to be a great private banker, you have to be great with people. The best bankers combine this with strong analytical skills, intuition and a willingness to move with the times. Ultimately, however you have to be able to engage with your clients and potential clients in order to promote yourself and your expertise, and, of course, the expertise of the bank.
Who has inspired you in your career so far?
My grandfather, Ernest Kleinwort, for far too many reasons, but he was a visionary as well as an immensely strong detail merchant. The other person who has inspired me in my career is Michael Altenburg. He was at Deutsche Bank Frankfurt Investment Banking in the late eighties and was a charismatic man who really could get the work done and the deals won.
Not a lot of people know this about me, but…
In my early twenties - for a dare - I once water-skied in Black Tie from Port Grimaud to St Tropez in the south of France, without stopping.
*Pictured above the main article is a portrait of Sir Richard Kleinwort's Grandfather, Ernest Kleinwort (1901-1977).