CHRISTINE Benjamin recently joined the VM Group as head of sales and client relations at VM Wealth Management. A seasoned investment professional with over 10 years of experience in investment banking and business development, she has honed her craft with some of the most established firms in the industry.
Benjamin is passionate about creating exceptional client experiences while ensuring that clients realise their financial dreams and goals. She took the time to share some insights into her experience as a woman in corporate.
Q: Describe what your role entails.
A: In an era of fast-paced and ever-evolving financial markets, the role of head of sales & client relations has become multifaceted. I have primary responsibility for fostering and maintaining excellent client relationships and driving sales growth within a very dynamic market. I lead and motivate a dynamic team of over 20 professionals who, through a client-centric approach, provide tailored financial solutions, offer expert insights into market trends and guide clients in building diversified investment portfolios.
Client relationships is the bedrock of our business, and it is my responsibility to ensure that the clients' financial well-being is at the forefront of every interaction.
Q: Looking back at your career journey, what would you say has been the highlight of your experience?
A: The highlight of my career has been the positive and transformative impact that I have had on the individuals I had the privilege to lead and mentor. As a sales leader, I have always believed in fostering a culture of empowerment and collaboration to fuel success. One of the most notable accomplishments is the turnaround of previously disengaged and demotivated employees in a team I once led. Through mentorship, open communication, and a personal commitment to see each team member thrive, I have witnessed remarkable shifts in productivity and overall morale in my teams. As a leader, I measure my success not solely by achieving the results but more importantly, witnessing the personal and professional growth of my team members is immensely fulfilling for me.
Q: How do you approach challenges or setbacks in your career, and what lessons have you learned from those experiences?
A: Setbacks are a natural part of any journey. I believe the key is to be proactive, remain adaptable and to stay focused on your long-term goals. One of the most valuable lessons I've learnt on my career journey is the power of resilience and humility. Resilience is what will keep you moving forward and in a positive mental state regardless of the obstacles you face. Humility, on the other hand, is what helps you to be self-care and introspective, recognising your own limitations and imperfections, which is important in your personal and professional development. The ability to handle challenges with grace and determination is crucial to long-term success.
Q: Who or what would you say has had the most impact in influencing your success as a woman in corporate?
A: I have had the privilege throughout my career to be mentored and supported by exceptional individuals who not only helped to open doors but also provided motivation through challenging times. It would be remiss of me not to mention my family who also stood by my aggressive aspirations, championed my dreams, and continue to do so.
Q: What advice would you give to young women starting their careers in the corporate world?
A: Climbing the corporate ladder as a woman can be a challenging journey but my advice to women is to first have confidence in your abilities and your worth, as that is crucial to your success; then develop a road map to achieving your goals and be continuously learning. You must also build a network, that is, cultivate meaningful relationships along your journey, not only with your peers but with people who are far more advanced in their journey than you are and also be strategic in how you go about achieving your goals. You must ensure your moves are well thought out and aligned with your long-term goals and executed with discipline. Often this involves short-term financial trade-offs; however, it is important that you stay the course and stay focused on your plan.