“The broad education of the MBA gave me knowledge of many different industries, which now enables me to have in-depth conversations with clients about their own work.” – Simon Snelder
Meeting people from different backgrounds and sectors in his daily work, Simon is applying the knowledge gained through his MBA to drive forward his impressive career in wealth management.
When Dutch national Simon Snelder came to Dubai, he left behind the security of personal and professional networks that he had built up over many years back home. Starting out from scratch to create new networks and to establish himself professionally, Simon has grown to become one of top performers in his role as Wealth Manager with leading UAE-based financial services firm, Holborn Assets.
Graduating with an MBA from UOWD in 2014, Simon confesses that he faced challenges in the early stages of his studies. He reveals, “When I started my MBA, I could not write and speak English well. It helped me a lot in the beginning to communicate better and this was useful, English being the main business language in the UAE.”
As well as learning the language of business, Simon gradually developed the knowledge to be able to converse on the same professional level with clients from a wide range of industries, which he believes is vital to the success of his work. He says, “In my job I work with clients directly, long-term, and build up lifelong relationships. My degree helped me to be flexible, think differently, and connect with people on multiple levels.”
As with his graduate studies, Simon also faced challenges early on in his professional journey. He reveals, “When I started in the financial industry it was not easy and I ended my first year at the bottom. There were multiple times when I was wondering if this was the right place to be, but I did not give up and the year after I was one of the top performers.”
Climbing from the bottom to the top is one of Simon’s most rewarding professional experiences to date. He says, “When I was one of the top performers I qualified for a trip to Las Vegas. I worked a full year towards achieving that goal and it was great to reach the finish line.”
Having established a strong network in Dubai and an impressive international client base, Simon now contributes as an industry expert to various media outlets and is in the process of establishing his own podcast. He reveals, “At the end of 2020 I started with live webinars, and I want to continue to make quality content available on my platforms to create an extensive library full of accessible digital resources about financial topics. I am investing a lot of my time and resources into building this up, so that I can take this to the next level.”
Passionate about the financial services sector, Simon believes that, despite the knowledge he has already gained, the learning curve is endless. He says, “I love my career because I learn something new every day and that journey will never end. I will never be able to know everything even if I dedicated my full life to just studying and researching.”
Simon continues, “My motto in life is: Listen to wise people. Find them and engage with them. Wise people can cut decades in your learning curve. Do not make the same mistakes as others. Learn from your own and others’ mistakes.”
Looking back on the particular lessons he learnt during his studies, Simon says, “It is like a library of knowledge that is stored and ready to be accessed. For example, I get a financial report and I can quickly bring back the most important points from the accounting class. You see mistakes happening in your organisation and suddenly you remember the corporate governance class. It comes back automatically.”
With such immense passion for his career, Simon says he is addicted to learning everything he can around investments and to building up a great investment track record. He concludes, “I love my job. I do not see it as work. That is why I will gladly continue with what I do long after I do not need an income from work anymore.”