Fiamma van Kessel
The Private Banking Young Professional Programme: ‘A good investment in myself’
An internship at a different bank sparked her enthusiasm for private banking. Fiamma van Kessel stayed on at that bank after graduating, and ended up working there as an assistant customer relationship manager in the charity department for a couple of years. She thoroughly enjoyed the role, in which she had a lot of autonomy, but there were limited growth opportunities. In contrast, the Young Professional Programme within ING Private Banking offers plenty of prospects.
“The Young Professional Programme is a 15-month training programme – a kind of short traineeship. I wasn’t concerned about embarking on a training programme with three years of professional experience under my belt. There are eight young professionals in our intake year and most of us have worked for a couple of years first. I regard this period as a good investment in myself. There’s a strong focus on training, coaching and personal development, and the benefits will last for the whole of my career.”
From old money to young DJs
“We’re all following the same 15-month programme together, even though we’re spread around the country. Everyone starts off as an Advisor at an ING branch. You work on Reception for the first three months. That’s followed by six to nine months as a Personal Banker at the same branch. That’s when you have more in-depth discussions with customers about their financial position. Those are my favourite kinds of conversations! I’m very lucky with ‘my’ branch, which is on Rokin in Amsterdam. It’s one of the busiest branches in the Netherlands, with hugely diverse customers ranging from the elite to students, from old money to young DJs who are doing very well for themselves.”
“After working at the branch, you do several internships within Private Banking. You can indicate your preferred specialisation; I’m very keen to work on the lending side because that’s a very important aspect of what we do as a bank. Private wealth management really appeals to me too, so I’m exploring the opportunities to spend a couple of months working in that area. I see the other young professionals at least once a month, either at a training session or some other kind of meeting. It’s really useful to be able to discuss your experiences together and help one another move forward. At the end of this programme we’ll all find a position somewhere within Private Banking, perhaps as an Account Manager, in Lending or maybe in Investments.”
Not just about money
“What I love about working in private banking is that we help people to realise their dreams. A lot of people don’t really think about their finances, and yet it’s so important to start planning in good time – for things like your pension, for example. And our conversations are about much more than just money. We discuss the present and the future, how to turn plans into reality and the expectations and difficulties involved. Recently, the other Private Banker at our branch was advising a couple who had just sold their business. That had suddenly made them very wealthy, and the woman was concerned about the safety of the couple’s children. My colleague put them in touch with a security firm from within his own network. Neither he nor the bank benefited from that in any way, but it really helped those customers. I love things like that!”
Please note that it’s mandatory to speak Dutch for this function.
Fiamma holds a bachelor’s degree from Hotelschool The Hague. She did an internship at a different bank and ended up working there for three years. She and her boyfriend live together in Amsterdam, and they are now looking to buy a house. She spends her free time relaxing with friends, working up a sweat at the gym or enjoying the great outdoors, preferably in the woods.