Out of office
Is there a leader you particularly admire?
I admire lots of leaders, but there was one who is perhaps less well known: a philanthropist called Abdul Sattar Edhi from my hometown of Karachi, who set up the largest charity in Asia. His selflessness and how he was committed to helping the society has stayed with me for a very long time, and I get inspired by what he was able to do for the community. He’s not a corporate leader, but is somebody I would always look up to.
How much has your family influenced your work and leadership ethic?
Family has had a deep influence on me. Both of my parents were academics, so I was brought up in a very academic environment, but one that was also about honesty and integrity.
Just as I’ve learnt from my parents, I learn from my kids every day. I have an 11-year-old, an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old, so you almost have two generations ahead of how people are thinking about products and services. For example, I bought my 11-year-old a phone the other day and wanted to set up email and she said, “that’s so yesterday” and wanted to set up Snapchat and Instagram. I thought: “By the time she’s 18, how will she want to do banking? How will Barclays open her first student account for her?”. You learn in many ways and bring it back to the business. Your kids do influence you.
How do you unwind?
Unwinding is a game of golf, followed by a nice lunch. A day out with the family. I like driving fast cars, so sometimes being in a car on my own, with nice music, is a great way to unwind.
If you hadn’t gone into financial services, what would your career have been?
I most probably would be an academic or a teacher. I grew up on a campus, so I’m heavily influenced by that, and have always wanted to teach. Post-retirement – if I got the opportunity – I would be doing that.