Inspirational Woman: Delyth Richards | Head of Client Solutions, Kleinwort Hambros

Delyth Richards

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role:

I was raised in London, 2nd generation Welsh in London, by supportive parents who had a strong work ethic and encouraged me to follow my own path.

I studied Geography at university and started my career in the late 1980s working as an Estate Agent and Management Consultant. It was after joining an International Private Bank specialising in Real Estate Advisory that I completed my Masters in Valuation and Property as CASS Business School, later qualifying as a member of RICS.

I joined Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in 2000, initially as a Structured Finance Specialist in the Credit team, and still remain with the company, now SG Kleinwort Hambros, having undertaken a variety of roles in my time. Today, I head SG Kleinwort Hambros Client Solutions Group where we provide solutions to simplify our clients’ financial challenges. I love the diverse responsibilities of my position, defining the bank’s strategic proposition of products and services, building the brand, and driving our Responsible Roadmap forward as we forge ahead to become a Leading Responsible Bank. I love helping our clients to navigate their challenges with solutions, expertise and excellent client service.

In addition to my day job, I am Chair of Cloudesley Charity, where we provide health grants for individuals and organisations alongside Church grants in the Borough of Islington, working with an amazing team committed to maximising the benefits for the people of Islington.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Whilst I didn’t have a formal career plan as such, I have relished every challenge, and opportunity to learn. Each role has presented new experiences to grow. Alongside my commitment to do my best, I have worked with fantastic line managers who have encouraged and motivated me, growing my self-confidence.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

In my early years, it was easy to feel intimidated by experienced male colleagues, and it took a while to build the confidence to speak up. However, as my understanding and experience developed, this changed and I have become very vocal now. Of course, along the way, I have experienced some disappointments, but I see every challenge as a learning point for the future.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

As a member of SG Kleinwort Hambros Executive Committee, I am privileged to be part of the team working with colleagues across the organisation to define our Client Strategy, and improve our deliveries. My biggest achievements are our biggest achievements – an engaged high performing team, and clients who recognise our improvement trajectory with growing Net Promoter Scores.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Opportunities and supportive managers have enabled me to be authentic throughout my career. A thirst to learn new skills, drive and determination have always helped and I also love what I do which makes work a pleasure.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I have mentored a number of people over the years, most recently with one of our top performers based in Paris. I have also had a reverse Mentor, part of a programme matching senior leaders with other members of staff. This initiative provides invaluable feedback, and a new perspective which I have found very insightful.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

I was lucky to grow up with the belief women could achieve anything. However, there is still so much to do to reach gender parity. I specifically would like to see the acceleration of the pension parity because this doesn’t seem to get the same spotlight as other initiatives but given the backdrop of pay gaps and career gaps, it becomes even more so alarming for women as they approach pensionable age.

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