When did you join ABN AMRO Lease UK?
I actually joined ABN AMRO Commercial Finance UK in August 2014 as a Senior Portfolio Manager. I was attracted by the entrepreneurial spirit and independent nature of a full Asset Based Lending offering, versus the traditional lenders that I had previously worked for. I then moved to the Lease side of the business in March 2019. This allowed me to go back to my roots as my banking experience started in Asset Finance way back in Sept 1998.
Describe your role at ABN AMRO Lease UK
My role is a combination of new business generation from existing and new clients, as well as being the first line of defence when constantly reviewing existing facilities to protect our risk. I liaise with various stakeholders internally such as credit, legal, service centre, portfolio management and commercial support. Externally I deal either directly with clients or via a broker. It’s a varied role and no one day is the same. Currently I cover the whole of the North including Scotland, which is handy with living in Rochdale & having family in Dundee!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The variety of my role is something I thrive on. Building long term, working relationships is important. For me, it’s all about working through each individual client journey and being able to really understand a business - learning what each client does and how they do it. From there it’s always rewarding to deliver an effective funding solution that will support a client’s business growth.
What’s the biggest value-add your role brings to clients?
My tenacity to fight for my clients and the experience I bring enables me to truly support them and deliver a solution that works for all parties. I want to, not just meet but, exceed my client’s objectives.
What does a normal day of remote work look like for you?
Since my son left for University I’ve been able to convert the box room to an office. This room is next door to my bedroom so the commute is fairly easy! An unhealthy day means I start work around 8am, barely move from my desk and, whilst juggling virtual meetings and emails, I’ll suddenly realise around 10.30am that I’ve not had breakfast I’ll then do a similar thing and forget about lunch. Most days I’m organised and have breakfast and lunch with a break away from my desk. I also like to make sure I head out for a walk either at lunch or around 6pm.
How are you staying connected with your clients during these challenging times?
Adaptability has been key. Conference calls and MS Teams virtual meetings are a regular feature of my day. I always make sure I’m available and responsive to support clients through their challenges.
Do you have any tips to find a good work-life balance while working remotely?
Pre-Covid I worked from home and have done so for most of my working life. Despite this experience, the hardest thing for me when it comes to remote working has been making sure I take regular breaks away from my desk and do not extend the working day too far. If I were to give any tips they would be, don’t be afraid to be flexible – there’s always plenty of occasions when you go the extra mile. It’s also important to make sure you switch off at the end of the day, not forgetting to close the door to your office – space permitting of course!
What was your dream job as a child?
Banking was destiny, finance has always been in my blood, with my Dad being a Chartered Accountant, and one of my very first work experience roles was at 16, working at Lloyds Bank in my hometown of Dover.
What makes your heart beat faster?
I love spending time with my three grandkids and that certainly increases the heart rate. Being a Liverpool fan I’ve enjoyed the last couple of years of the Champions League and the Premiership wins have accelerated my heart rate too.