It’s all about managing relationships for Dorsett
High above Thompson Boulevard in a conference room overlooking the College of The Bahamas’Oakes Field campus, Christopher Dorsett, who heads Citibank in The Bahamas, toldGuardian Businessthat in the high pressure industry of banking, balancing the demands of a career with your”regular life”is most challenging.
“Because you want to be seen as the best at what you do, you invest a lot of time and energy into it,”Dorsett said.”To put it frankly, sometimes you get distracted from the other aspects of your life and that’s one of the challenges of being in this industry.”
Relationship management was Dorsett’s gateway to Citibank five years ago when he joined the company as a Senior Client Relationship Manager. But the client-centric focus of relationship management remains a special quality he brings to the job.
“Despite titles and everything else that banks will give you, in the business that we are in it’s all about relationship management,”Dorsett said.”It’s all about getting to know clients, getting to understand who they are, what their needs are and delivering solutions that meet their needs.”
Dorsett is currently Country Business Head for The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Turks&Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands for Citibank in The Bahamas, and currently serves as the chairman of the Clearing Banks Association. He is also a CFA Charter holder, a designation he has had since 2004.
Delivering results for clients and taking them from a state of need to a place where their needs have been met, and the analysis involved in getting from the need to the solution, motivates the executive.
“I have to admit, being a CFA, the analysis part is really exciting to me,”he added.
Dorsett also said the ethics underlying the CFA designation have helped him to always keep the best interest of the client foremost. But Dorsett, who is also a Rotarian, said that the Rotary organization is based on similar ethical principals and has likewise helped to keep him client-focused.
In addition to the networking opportunities it provides, Rotary has also allowed him to express his gratitude for all that he has been able to accomplish by making a meaningful impact in the lives of others.
“I saw it as a way to give back. A lot of times we in the financial services industry are so focused on our careers and getting to the top of the mountain, we forget that we have been successful. We should be grateful for that success, and we should find a way to help other people as well,”Dorsett said.”Rotary provides that avenue.”
Dorsett has been in the industry for more than 15 years, and was promoted to Country Head in August of 2009. He is married and the father of a 3-year old son, and said he makes a special effort to spend as much time as he can with his immediate and extended family. He likes to relax with a good book, a bit of leisure travel when he can, and a good game of basketball. He relaxes by playing the game, but said that when it comes to watching,”there’s only one team,”and then mentioned the colors purple and gold.
Dorsett, a leader by most definitions, said,”I believe that each of us is a leader in his own right, and the best way to get the most out of somebody is to actually push them to extract that leader in them as well. I believe that placing value in the ideas and the efforts of others is the best way to go.”
Human nature, according to Dorsett, often results in tunnel vision, but he said leaders needed to get beyond thinking that the only right perspective is their own, understand the motivations of the people they are leading and”really show people what’s in it for them,”to get their buy-in, and ultimately accomplish your objectives.
Asked what his advice to young people who were considering a career in the financial services industry would be, Dorsett said that beyond the cliches of studying hard and getting good grades, he would offer this advice:”Make sure you do something that you love.”
“If you truly love what it is you’re doing, you look forward to coming to work every day and getting involved and actually adding value for both your employer and for yourself,”he said.
“First and foremost you have to be sure that you are going to love what you do. If that isn’t there, forget about the industry.”