Mentoring and Motivating at Coutts: Q&A with Franklin Asante
What do you do at Coutts?
I’m a Director at the bank, a Private Banker working with Coutts’ entrepreneur clients.
What’s it like working with entrepreneurs?
It’s really rewarding – I learn something every day, and I love the positive attitude that my clients have. They’re creators and inventors, and they have an amazing approach to creativity and getting things done.
How long have you been at Coutts?
I joined the bank after I graduated in 2008 and became a private banker in 2012. I joined in a very junior role as a clerical officer. We’ve since introduced some great graduate programmes and internships that provide a structured pathway to a career in the industry.
You quickly worked your way up to being a Private Banker. How did you do it?
I was very focused, and I set about gathering as much experience of the various departments, products and services that I could. It was a case of making contacts all across the business, listening to my managers and their advice, and applying for roles in different departments. That’s what our graduate programmes and internships now provide. They give experience of different departments and help connections get made. I made sure that every opportunity I pursued would lead me to my ultimate goal of becoming a banker.
You’re an award winning mentor, how did that come about?
Because I was achieving promotions and building a career quite rapidly, colleagues began asking me for advice, and my managers suggested I get involved in mentoring, to pass on some of the things I’d learned and experienced. That was seven years ago and I’ve now mentored colleagues that work at the same level as I do, as well as junior and senior colleagues, and students.
I didn’t get involved with mentoring for any kind of recognition. It’s very rewarding to just be able to help someone with their career, so I was very flattered to be named Mentor of The Year at the 2019 UK Social Mobility Awards. The awards are organised by a charity called Making The Leap, which has supported over 50,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds over 26 years. It’s brilliant to be acknowledged for playing a small part in helping people make the most of themselves. I’m really proud of helping my colleagues at Coutts. Six of them have achieved a promotion following my mentoring, and that’s been great to see.
How does your mentoring happen?
It’s a mixture of formal and informal conversations. Sometimes I am simply chatting things through with a colleague, and other times it’s more formal, such as a seminar, or open days for students. I’ve mentored over 1,000 people now, and the bank are fully supportive. I’m passionate about my work and about helping people to achieve their goals the way that I have.
What’s your biggest achievement?
I’m very proud to have worked my way up to becoming a private banker in such a short space of time. And, at the same time, that experience helped me become a mentor. I was making faster progress than colleagues that had been in the bank for a lot longer than me. They began asking for advice, and it’s been a great achievement to have now helped so many people.
What’s the best piece of advice professionally or personally that you’ve been given?
It’s actually advice that I have discovered for myself, and it’s to make sure to be the best of yourself wherever you are. It’s important not to spend so much time thinking about tomorrow that you don't make the most of today.
What would you say to encourage someone to apply for a role at Coutts?
I would say that it’s brilliant time to join us. We’re going in a great direction because we’re embracing what makes us special. We have a great heritage and history but we are current and contemporary. There’s no barriers, everyone can shine as an individual.
Finally, how do you spend your free time?
I like to keep busy! I’m always doing something, my mentoring takes up a lot of my time, and I have a social media account that I use to share advice and ideas and positive motivational messages. I don’t see it as work, it’s who I am, and I love helping people become the best that they can be.
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