Don’t start off by chasing money. You will soon become too expensive for your actual ability. Rather focus on building and improving your skillset.
Divan Strydom is a dealmaker at FNB Commercial Banking and he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2015. He gained experience in the banking sector, and specifically in deal structuring (financing) when he joined FNB in 2015.
His role consists of financing or deal structuring to help ensure that clients’ businesses have the best possible finance structure in place. Divan is also responsible for non-agricultural market share growth within the commercial banking space.
What he enjoys most about his job is the number crunching and deal structuring part of his role and he says it is also very fulfilling to bank a new customer. “What’s even more fulfilling is to build lasting relationships with our clients and see their businesses grow and succeed, knowing you played a part in that.”
Divan is disciplined and very competitive in nature. He believes that giving up is not an option. Together with this, building relationships within and outside of the work environment is a crucial part of his success. “When in doubt, I will try and assess all possible pros and cons to make the best decision. Most of the time trusting my gut and a sense of calmness also helps in making those tough decisions.”
A piece of advice Divan lives by is the advice he received when he just started out: Don’t start off by chasing money. You will soon become too expensive for your actual ability. Rather focus on building and improving your skillset. The performance and incentives will then come a lot easier. Divan feels it is still relevant.
A moment that defines him is when he had a serious injury during the latter part of high school. “Reality quickly set in that I won’t be able to compete in sports as I used to. Being a big lover of sport, this was difficult to accept but I had to adapt to the situation and make the best of the cards I were dealt.”
When asked what his best decision, he says it was definitely marrying his high school sweetheart. “We are blessed to have two beautiful kids together.” The decision he regrets the most is “wearing white shoes with a charcoal suit to my matric farewell!”.
Divan takes time for himself by living a balanced life. “I spend my time with my family, I cycle, or just relax by watching all kinds of sport on television.”
TEXT: Justine Fortuin