Simran, aged 28 is one of the youngest Private Bankers in Citi London, holding the position of Vice President. She advises Ultra High Net Worth clients in the UK on their investment management, succession planning and lending requirements, and currently has $160MM of Assets Under Management. Beyond banking, Simran is an ardent advocate of the women’s empowerment agenda - particularly financial independence - and works extensively in this domain.
Simran Khanna
Simran Khanna
Citi Private Bank

She is associated with a Foundation in Punjab India, which promotes girl child education. Through this foundation she has been sponsoring the education of a rural girl child for last five years. She also provides capacity development (advice on how to open bank accounts & educating on loan application details) to rural women self-help group entrepreneurs in Uttarakhand, India.

Simran has been shortlisted for this year’s Young professional Award having been nominated by Louise Hatley of Citi.

How does it feel to be on the WIBF Awards for Achievement Shortlist?

I feel extremely humbled and grateful that people within my organisation think I am deserving of this nomination. The feeling is mixed with that of happiness and excitement. I came to work on (what I prematurely assumed to be) a regular Monday morning and discovered, to my happy surprise, that I had been shortlisted in this category. It was such a delightful piece of information to get on a Monday morning! I am looking forward to meeting and celebrating with the other shortlisted members.

Tell us about your day to day role

I work with ultra-net worth individuals, advising them on their financial investments, lending and succession planning requirements. On a daily basis, this involves understanding varying requirements, risk appetites and personalities of different individuals with one thing in common – high net worth. It is safe to state that no two days or two client interactions are the same for me. Everyday however, is exciting because I get to meet and learn about the journey of some very successful entrepreneurs, and, given the nature of the work, each day reiterates to me the importance of loyalty and trust.

You have a prominent role at a Foundation in rural Punjab which focuses on educating female children in life-skills and employable skills. Can you tell us more about your involvement?

I am a member of the Bedi Foundation – a not-for-profit organisation started by my paternal grandfather with the objective of empowering girls, through provision of education, in the region. The idea was to provide financially disadvantaged girls opportunities to receive formal education so as to enhance their employability in the future.

I review scholarship applications submitted to a government school in the area. Post the review, I shortlist twenty applicants each year, whose education is to be sponsored completely by the Foundation. The scholarship includes the provision of tuitions fees to the school, as well as direct benefit transfers to the girls (as maintenance grant for purchasing school uniforms, books and stationary).

We also arrange skills training, for example, we are currently working on a digital media skills training program for girls. This will create an opportunity for children interested in pursuing employment as junior assistants in digital media firms.

What is the biggest challenge facing your area of the sector?

The increasing regulation in the wealth management industry is causing some changes on how we conduct our business. The new MIFID II regulation requires us to comply with numerous regulatory steps before initiation of discussion about any product with a client. Though the regulations in themselves are not a challenge, the flux and changes they cause in the industry are tasks that need to be accounted for.

Who has been the most influential person in your career and why?

The most influential person in my career has been my father. Though he does not come from a banking or finance background, yet his ethics and values have played a prominent role in defining my professional journey. One such value has been his emphasis on financial independence and empowerment. Whilst the norm for girls in my native country is to get married post education, my father enabled me to be an anomaly. He supported me in my decision to stay back in the UK and pursue a career in banking. Furthermore, his teaching of “never to be complacent, as complacency deters growth” engrained in me the basic principle of hard work. Thus, his impact in my career - though not thematic - has been a positively functional one.

Finally, how do you like to unwind?
A quick thirty minute swim in the evening is my remedy to unwind. I also love to put on some Bollywood music at home to get my feet tapping!