ELI RABINOWITZ ’95
I have been fortunate to work in an industry allowing me to have great positive impact on people’s lives. I have helped individuals and families plan for their futures as well as manage their current finances with confidence. I am involved on a daily basis with ensuring that our clients are aware and taking advantage of the wide variety of products, services and resources worldwide that HSBC offers. I take great pride in what I do and believe that HSBC, now ranked as the top financial institution worldwide, is dedicated to being the worldwide leader in personal financial services.
The financial industry is such a dichotomy because there are some who truly care about the people they work with and those who are using people to further their own ambitions. I have spent the last six years building long standing relationships with my clients and colleagues by focusing on never becoming the latter. More than once I have found myself recommending another institution for a certain product or service if the client is better served there.
I believe that many of the traits that I value in my professional career are due to a foundation of respect that I gained during my time at the Washington Montessori School. I arrived in the middle of my fourth grade year at the age of nine. I had no idea what Montessori meant and I wasn’t entirely keen on being the new kid in a class of 15 that obviously knew each other. Quickly, I began to realize that this was a very different place. Simple things like referring to teachers by their first names created an atmosphere of mutual respect. This was a place where learning was something that occurred all day, not simply during class. It also taught me to have the confidence to work with people of all ages and backgrounds.
While at WMS, I had the uniquely rewarding experience to travel with a group of my classmates to Puerto Rico and spend a good amount of time enjoying the people and culture of the island . Something happened on that trip that I didn’t become aware of until years later. I had gained a fascination with other people and other cultures. In 1999, four years after I left my life at the Washington Montessori School, I graduated from The Gunnery and pursued my degree at Union College, a small liberal arts college in Upstate New York. An introductory anthropology course seemed an obvious choice and it began what was a fascinating pursuit of my degree. I was lucky enough to spend 3 months living in Fiji studying and completing my thesis. During this time, I also began working with my parents in their company, World Horizons. World Horizons provides summer trips for high school students looking to get more out their summer by traveling and engaging in a diverse set of community service projects. All of the experiences I have been lucky to have began for me at WMS. Through education of all kinds, I have been lucky enough to experience teaching from the points of view of both student and teacher.
I have been asked more than once how I came to enter the world of banking if my background was anthropology and not finance. I have always felt that all areas of retail, private and investment banking involve the ability to both understand and appreciate all types of people and require you to be both confident and capable of managing those relationships. Banking is not a typical retail platform where you have customers. In banking we have clients who expect a certain level of recognition and service more closely aligned with a long standing relationship than typical retail transactional businesses. I believe that we have a responsibility to provide people with honest, fair and professional expertise that is truly in their best interest.
There are millions of people worldwide who struggle with their finances and are unable to plan for education and retirement simply because they haven’t been given the information and tools they need to properly do so. It is an obligation of the financial industry to provide these solutions and unfortunately, our profession has had too much bad press. This contributes to a cycle of fear and misinformation that causes most people to simply ignore the problem. I believe that through education and compassion we can change the lives of many people for the better. I was once told that a person’s potential is constantly changing as they learn and experience more. I believe that in my profession, I have a very real ability to help people not only reach but increase their potential personally, professionally and financially. I also learn from all of my clients and use what I learn to better the experience for the next client. I am excited to be able to have a positive impact on many different people and look forward to doing so for many years to come .