Taking a chance: Saionton’s story

A change in career from the law to Private Banking opened up unexpected new doors for Saionton.

Saionton Basu

Director, Relationship Manager, Global South Asia Community, Private Banking

I moved to the UK in 2007 from India, where I’d worked as a lawyer with many high net worth clients. I’d never even considered a career in banking, but Standard Chartered decided to take a chance on me. Now, just two years later, I’m currently among the top-performing relationship managers within the Global South Asia Community team. It reflects my work ethic – I like to get things done – but it’s also down to the support of some excellent people around me who have made this transition possible and invested in my success. I feel very fortunate.

Working here sometimes feels like you are building your own small enterprise. I have that sense of ownership that drives me on. We also cover a great range of markets through our global footprint, so I’m able to help my clients with their business by connecting with colleagues in different countries. There is a real sense of collaboration that feels very special. 

“Working here sometimes feels like you are building your own small enterprise.”

If I wasn’t in my role today at Standard Chartered, I’d probably be a full-time writer. I feel compelled to write most days after work – even if only for 20 minutes. I’m a published author of a book about a person from a different culture who comes to a whole new environment, takes themselves out of their comfort zone and adapts to different rules and social interactions. You could say it’s semi-autobiographical in parts. 

Recently, the bank sent me on a private banking academy programme in Singapore. I had the chance to experience top-quality classroom teaching, as well as collaborating with amazing colleagues on case studies from different parts of the bank. This enriched me beyond belief and I remain grateful for this opportunity.

This is a fabulous place to work which offers great diversity and invests in your success. I was also chosen as one of the top innovators in the bank, having successfully pitched an idea centred around expanding our client universe, augmenting client experience and as a consequence reduce the timeline from client engagement to earning revenue. I really enjoyed the process of engaging with SC Ventures (which is the in-house incubator of innovations) to develop my idea and pitch to the Dragon’s Den chaired by our CEO for Europe and Americas, Tracey Clarke. What would otherwise have been a nerve wracking experience turned out to be the most fun event.

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