Dena Al-Nakeeb

Dena wears our Battersea jacket in Green, £175 (above)
In a nutshell, what does your job involve?

My role is to maintain good relationships with clients so that the business can maximise the value of those relationships. Central to this is identifying key contacts at potential client companies in order to establish and then foster relationships.

What inspired you to become involved in the Financial Sector?

I worked for many years as a child and family psychologist in young offenders’ institutes and last-resort schools in Norfolk and London before switching to the financial sector. I had always been interested in finance and how it worked and when I started to feel that being a psychologist was not fulfilling me any longer, I decided to change direction completely.

Run me through your typical working day.

I get into the office pretty early every day to maximise the time difference for the jurisdictions I look after, so a typical working day will start around 7am and finish at 6pm.

Can you tell me about any exciting projects on the horizon?

I am currently working with some big brands to make beautiful corporate gifts for our special clients. One of the brands happens to be the manufacturer of my favourite British home scent and I look forward to creating a personalised candle with a unique aroma that our clients can enjoy at home.

Dena wears our Connaught jacket in Black Boucle, £198, and Suzy skirt in Black Boucle, £140 (right)

What is your biggest weakness and how do you overcome it?

Being blunt. I have absolutely no filter when it comes to speaking my mind – it just comes out. I have never overcome it and I don’t intend to! Honesty is the best policy, in my opinion.

What is the worst piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Being told to accept the role that pays you the biggest salary. This is such bad advice on every level. Money really doesn’t buy you happiness, whereas a good work-life balance or a great boss can bring a great deal of job satisfaction, I have found.

What’s the one piece of career advice you would give your 20-year-old self?

Be patient and kind to those around you and loyal to those who employ you. Loyalty is a quality that is not usually associated with the finance industry and, as such, is something to be valued. Success is not generated overnight, so it pays to be patient and kind to those around you and you should always champion your colleagues.

Dena wears our Connaught jacket in Black Boucle, £198 (left)

Who do you look to for professional guidance?

My Mum. She’s always given me solid advice personally and professionally. Without her, I wouldn’t have achieved everything I have so far. I am deeply grateful for all the life lessons she has taught me and I take her advice absolutely.

What is your go-to workwear style?

Palazzo trousers and a cropped blazer, with pointed ballerinas on my feet. Working with Middle Eastern clients, I feel this is a chic and classic look. 

What is your favourite Libby outfit at the moment?

I just love the Battersea jacket and the Brunswick trousers in green. It is the perfect combination – classy and stylish yet so easy to wear.

Tell me about your worst office fashion faux pas.

I recently wore a high-necked top with some black palazzo pants into the office, which someone thought made me look like a massage therapist. They then proceeded to put an orchid in my hair just to complete the impression. That top is long gone now.

Dena wears our Chartwell top in Terracotta, £155, and Suzy skirt in Terracotta, £140 (right)

What keeps you busy when you’re not in the office?

My family and friends keep me busy at all times, even when I am in the office. But I am also very involved in charity work, primarily as co-founder of the Refugees Welcome Campaign, a coalition of organisations that came together in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. I am a bone marrow donor and continue to be involved in rehabilitating young offenders into society. My contribution to society was recognised in 2012 when I was nominated to carry the Olympic flame on part of its journey around Britain.

Have you mastered a good work-life balance?

I spent a great many years not having a healthy work-life balance and my social life really suffered. These days I switch off my work phone at weekends and treasure my time out of the office doing the things I enjoy with the people I most want to spend time with.

What is your favourite (not so) secret place to spend time in London?

The Chelsea Arts Club and Juice Baby on the King’s Road.

Dena wears our Mayfair coat in Navy wool, £365, and Brunswick trousers in Green, £140 (left)

 

 

 

 

Interview: Lilli Brant

Photographer: Bekky Lonsdale

Location: At Dena's home in Chelsea, London

Accessories: Dena's own

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