Raoul Bhavnani tells Doug Simon that his almost 20 years spent advising companies (including over 15 years at FTI Consulting) prepared him well for his move into the in-house world as chief communications officer at independent digital investment advisor Betterment.
"Over that career, I had seen many different circumstances benefiting organizations of all types," Bhavnani says. "So, I think in many ways I had seen this movie before and have the tools and the experience to be able to shift from advising multiple clients on any day of the week to going in and having a singular situation to navigate."
For Bhavnani, two major factors made the move attractive. "One was coming to an organization which has such a sense of mission," he tells Simon. "The other big attraction for me was having a relationship with our chief executive officer, who I've known for many years. So, I'd say that those can be and perhaps should be touchstones that others in my position on the advisory side might want to look for."
He also says that potential job-switchers should not underestimate the challenges and opportunities that can come from moving to an in-house position. "I think the world of working in-house for a single company but dealing with myriad issues is just as exciting and just as engaging, perhaps more so because you get to go so deep. I think the other thing is that it's nice to be on the inside because you get to see it through."
Experience as an advisor can also add a major degree of perspective for pros who deal with outside advisors in their new in-house posts. "I'm able to be a better client because I understand the way their day is chopped up. I understand that I'm not the only client that they serve."
Bhavnani also adresses how to neogtiate relationships with collegagues when you enter an organization in a senior position, often with many long-term employees reporting to you. "I think in many ways you're only as strong as the relationships that you build around the organization because you constantly need to ferret information. You need to understand what's going on."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]