Alison is the Head of Sustainability at Coutts; having previously been a Strategy Director, and prior to that a Business Manager to the CEO. She joined the Graduate scheme at Coutts in 2014, after graduating from the University of Durham with a Law degree.
Alison Robb
Alison Robb

Alison has been nominated for the 2019 Young Professional Award.

How does it feel to be nominated for our Young Professional Award?

I was really pleased to be nominated and to make the shortlist for the Award! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the projects I’ve worked on during my various roles at Coutts and it’s great to be recognised for the hard work involved and the impact that some of the activity has made on the business.

Can you tell us your career path so far? Did you always want to work in banking/finance?

After internships at both HSBC and Coutts, I joined the Coutts graduate scheme in 2014. The graduate scheme is a great programme and I loved rotating through the different parts of the business. I left the scheme to become our CEO’s business manager; which was an amazing role and one I felt very privileged to do. I’ve since joined our Strategy team which I’m also really enjoying. I studied Law at University; it was a very close decision between that and Economics. I always knew I would end up in a commercial based role and I can’t imagine leaving the banking industry any time soon.

You created a Volunteer Portal for staff at Coutts, can you tell us more about that?

We’re very fortunate at Coutts (and across the whole of the RBS group) to get given three days every year given to us to take part in any type of volunteering activity. At Coutts, we wanted to help our staff engage in this opportunity so I created the volunteering portal to make volunteering and choosing when and how to volunteer as easy as possible!

Philanthropy has always been part of our DNA in Coutts so it’s great to be able to help us continue that journey. We’ve recently partnered with a local girls school and there will be a whole range of volunteering opportunities showing on the portal shortly!

What is your favourite part of your job and why?

The variety and feeling like the work I do is making a difference! Being part of the wider RBS Group means there is opportunity for breadth and experience in different areas and the ability to contribute to the wider strategic picture. It’s also great to be part of a winning team – the progress at Coutts has been outstanding over the last few years.

What has been the hardest career decision you have had to make?

Deciding whether to complete the graduate programme and become a Private Banker or leave the scheme to become Business Manager to the CEO was a really difficult decision at the time because I loved working with clients, and at Coutts we have the best clients around…

What are you reading at the moment and are you enjoying it?

One of my favourite things to do is travel, and this gives me the opportunity to read as many books (on my kindle) as possible – something I don’t often get the time to do whilst at work. The last books I read were ‘I am Pilgrim’, a great thriller by Terry Hayes; and ‘This is going to Hurt, Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor’ by Adam Kay, one of the books we had on the Coutts client Reading List the summer before last! I’d thoroughly recommend both for some escapism.