Sneak peek: a glimpse into the agenda of Junior Relationship Manager Elise

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The world of banking has always attracted me. After my degree in commercial economics, I knew exactly where I wanted to work. Through a LinkedIn connection, I saw that ABN AMRO was looking for a Relationship Manager. I let them know that I was really interested in the role, but also that I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it. So I asked myself: how can I make sure I will be ready for the next time? Before I knew it, I’d met with the regional director and was starting as Junior Relationship Manager.

In my role as Junior Relationship Manager, I get so much room to grow Elise Ouwens Junior Relatiemanager Food en Retail

I thrive on making personal contact

As Junior Relationship Manager I work for several Relationship Managers, each of whom manages their own client portfolio. I learn a lot – not just because my work touches a large number of clients, but also because each Relationship Manager has their own working style. And I get a lot out of that. How do they stay in touch with their clients? How do they get to the bottom of the various issues companies face? What do they do to win new clients? A relationship management role really suits me. I thrive on making personal contact with clients, and I enjoy thinking with them about their financial and strategic challenges. 

Understanding what occupies our clients

What really speaks to me about the financial sector is that banking has such an important role to play in society. It goes so much further than just lending money. We help entrepreneurs to realise their dreams. As Relationship Manager, it’s important that you understand what occupies your clients. For me, those clients are in the food and retail sectors, like supermarkets, interiors businesses and large webshops. I often go to visit them, follow the news relating to them, and carefully review sector reports from our economists. And all of this with one end goal: to give them the best advice possible. For example, is it the right moment economically speaking to make an acquisition? How can they work on sustainability? And are their finances in the right place to be able to open an extra branch?

Not a nine-to-five job

Every week is different. But on average I’m with clients around three times a week. Either for a review meeting in which we discuss all the ongoing issues, or for a cash management meeting in which we go through the entire financial situation in order to optimise it. And of course I’m also on the road a lot visiting new prospects. In addition, I often have calls with clients that require work – those take up about a quarter of my work week. I’m in a team with sixteen colleagues: thirteen Relationship Managers and three Junior Relationship Managers . Every week we discuss ongoing projects in a team meeting. Once a month, we combine it with a client visit. Relationship management is certainly not a nine-to-five job. We’re always available for our clients, and in the evenings there are also networking events on the agenda. But my work-life balance is still fine: I’ve never had to miss either of my two evenings a week when I play sports.  

So much room to grow

What I really love about this job is that I get so much room to grow and to discover which aspects of my work suit me best. The training opportunities are outstanding. Last year, for example, I really amped up my financial knowledge. That’s crucial to being able to assist clients properly. After a year and a half as Junior Relationship Manager, I’ve now got the chance to become Relationship Manager Food and to manage my own client portfolio. It’s not a given that you’ll be expected to become Relationship Manager, though – as a Junior Relationship Manager there are many different (account management) roles that you could end up taking on within the bank. 

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