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Meet a member - Davina Saint

Who do you work for?

BNP Paribas

What do you do?

I head up the Dublin Branch for BNP Paribas Securities Services, covering Custody and Depositary and Fund Dealing Services. This is a relatively new role for me as I was the General Counsel for the BNP Paribas Group in Ireland until last year, so I’ve moved from a long career in the law into a management role.

What’s your relationship with IoB?

My relationship with the IoB is new and came about because of the change in my role and because of an opportunity to apply for an IoB scholarship through the 30% Club in Ireland. I was ready for some more continuing education and because of a long career in the Banking sector, I was keen to undertake the Certified Bank Director Programme.

How long have you been a member?

I’m a new member but I will be staying.

What do you find most satisfying about your job?

The relationships with people. Right now it is people’s amazing resilience. The amazing professionalism that I have been party to over the last couple of months. That everyone in the team is just there doing their job, hosting the Bank in their own homes, making it happen, pulling together and achieving daily deliverables. It is amazing.

What do you find most challenging about your job?

At the moment, it is the challenge of not being able to see the great staff that I work with in person. I am a social person and I am finding the disconnection really difficult.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Gardening, I really like growing things. This time at home has given me a lot more time out there and the garden is the main beneficiary of the whole event. I’ve decided to try and grow all sorts of things that I’ve never tried before?

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I’m being greedy here and having a big party because of the starvation of company. Just to frame this answer, I listen to quite a lot of podcasts these days, especially when I am out on my daily exercise around Drumcondra. And I am pretty obsessed with Rich Roll, a Californian Vegan Ultra-marathoner who interviews the most interesting people, but his podcasts are LONG! He would be there, along with Rangan Chatterjee, a British Doctor who writes great books (also a Podcaster) I would have Desti Saint my Brother in Law’s wife, she lives in Singapore, designs fabulous handbags and is always fun at a party and I’m missing family right now , and lastly, Brene Brown, because she spins a good yarn and has the best TED Talk.

What one thing would you bring to a desert island?

There was a guy on Desert Island discs in the UK once, who said he would take a car door so that he could wind down the window when he got hot! I always thought that was funny. I would take my Pillow. I don’t go anywhere without it.

How is the current Covid-19 situation impacting you?

Well it really has improved my technology skills. I am very proud of the amazing Work From Home shift that we have achieved in BNP Paribas over the last few months, it’s incredible really that everyone is at home, that we are all connected, that meetings happen, that SKYPE works so well. Now that I am used to it, I am finding that I like working from home more than I thought I would.

If you could make one change that would make a big difference for everyone working in banking today, what would that be?

If you had asked me this when I started working in Banking I would have said “get rid of cheques” “get everyone online”, well that has all pretty much come to pass. Online banking and digitisation are a movement that the banking Industry now has to keep up with rather than pioneer. I would like us to remain relevant and to do that, we have to ensure that all the new disruptive technologies fall into the same regulatory net as the Banks are already in, to protect the customer and give us all a level playing field.