Kiran joined the Investment Bank in London after a summer internship. "Lehman Brothers collapsed on my first day of training," he says. So, how do you start out as a brand new entry-level employee during one of the worst moments in banking history? "People were in need of resources, so I just provided any help I could," he says. It brought him respect and visibility, and after one year, he had enough credibility to make a move into an analyst position.
Then a completely different opportunity beckoned. "I was approached by Wealth Management colleagues in Switzerland. They wanted junior staff to relocate to Zurich for a new business delivering high quality investment advice to Wealth Management clients." It was the launch of the Chief Investment Office (CIO). "I was happy in my analyst role, but this was an opportunity to be part of something new and the people involved were very impressive. I’m somewhat risk-averse, but I took the chance."
He's been with CIO ever since. A ten-year path from former intern to MD is unusually quick. "I benefited from being in at the start of something that grew rapidly, where I could take on new challenges as they came along," he says. "But, looking back, it was also advantageous to be in unchartered territory from a career development perspective. There was no clear path for me – and that can be helpful. It makes you stay alert to what is working and what isn't, create opportunities, and stay flexible."
And how did he get on the radar of the newly-forming CIO team in the first place? "They were asking around in the Investment Bank, and someone I had done a small task for right when I first started remembered me and put my name out there," he says. "You just never know when a favor will be repaid."