At Redwood Bank, our people are firmly at the heart of everything we do. We understand that when you, our customers, work with us, you want and expect a personal relationship to enable quick decision making and flexible solutions. This is why we’ve taken some time out to speak to the people that power Redwood Bank.
Leon Marklew, Director of Business Development
Positivity is Leon’s middle name, as he readily admits to bouncing out of bed every morning raring to go. The wannabe trout fishing farm owner has been in banking since 1988 when he left university and has not looked back since. A big Muhammad Ali fan, Leon shows absolute commitment and loyalty to Redwood Bank, and is excited about its future.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I’ve always been a positive optimist and really do believe in starting a day as you mean to go on. So, for me, I start with being grateful for everything I have, looking ahead to what a new day will bring and the opportunities that will be presented. I also love uplifting, inspirational quotes and for the past eight years I have posted a new one daily on my LinkedIn page to help inspire others.
If you were not doing this what would you be doing instead?
I’d be the owner of a trout fishing lake or stretch of river, as I find fly fishing immensely relaxing and enjoyable, although I haven’t had much time for it recently!
So how did you end up in banking?
I started back in 1988 when I left university, and as part of the whole job application process I met some people from Midland Bank. They spoke so passionately about being able to make a difference for their customers and their colleagues, which sparked my interest.
I joined banking thinking it sounded like a great place to start out and I’m still here 32 years later, because it has proven to be all that I had hoped for and much more.
What’s the best part of your job?
Two things, customers and colleagues. Meeting our customers and hearing the passion they have for their business or the opportunity they are seeking to pursue is really powerful.
Our job, wherever we can, is to help them succeed. Working with great colleagues who love their job and also know how and when to have fun, is also really important to me. If I didn’t enjoy working somewhere, I wouldn’t stay, life is far too short.
What has been your proudest achievement with Redwood to date?
Being part of a team that’s delivering on its plans and commitments to all our customers and stakeholders, despite the global pandemic.
You already had a lot of experience in banking when you joined Redwood, but have you learnt anything new in the last two years?
I’ve learnt a huge amount since joining Redwood. Being part of the Executive Committee for a Challenger Bank gives you exposure to areas you just don’t see in a large high street bank.
I’ve picked up valuable skills and knowledge from asset and liability management through to dealings with our regulators and our shareholders. All of which helps you develop, and that’s always been a key ingredient for me in any job that I have undertaken.
How do you see Redwood evolving in the next two years?
I see it building on the core business it has successfully developed in its first three years, as well as diversifying into new products and services to help SMEs in a variety of ways.
At the same time, I see Redwood continuing to attract and recruit new talent to help us on our journey to becoming one of the leading Challenger Banks in the UK.
What keeps you up at night/anything on your mind?
I’m currently in the process of selling my flat and moving house and doing it all remotely is interesting to say the least! That’s probably the thing that’s occupying my mind most outside of working hours right now.
What three people, dead or alive, would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?
Muhammad Ali – in his prime
If I could add a fourth it would be Maya Angelou.