How I Became a Finance Professional – Yoga & Meditation Teacher

How I Became a Finance Professional - Yoga & Meditation Teacher

My name is Scott Robinson, and I’m originally from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. I’m qualified finance professional as well as a yoga & mindfulness meditation teacher. I’m also the founder of Yogibanker, which inspires other finance professionals to practice yoga & meditation.

My story started when I finished high school in 2005. I was exceptionally gifted at business studies and came 4th in the State in that subject. I then went on to study Commerce & Law at the University of Sydney, which was over 5 years. I enjoyed studying law, especially those subjects centered around corporate and financial markets law. While studying law, I worked at a large Australian law firm (now ‘Allens’) as a paralegal. There, I got to experience first-hand what it was like to work at an extensive legal practice. I also got to socialize and get to know fellow students and colleagues, which was important for me. They are still some of my closest friends today.

After I finished my studies, I went to the United Kingdom for a career break. Initially intended for around 12 months, I worked as a paralegal at an international law firm Allen & Overy. I enjoyed my time so much in London; I ended up taking up an offer to work permanently for Citigroup in their documentation group, focusing on sales & trading master agreements. I took a particular interest in funds and was allowed to become counsel for the prime brokerage business at Citigroup.

I realized that I needed to spend some time as a junior lawyer in a law firm with my experience to date. I was lucky to be accepted into Linklaters in their derivatives & structured products group. I spent 3 years there, including a secondment to New York, which I loved, just as the great financial crisis was about to commence. Spending time in the world’s financial center was exhilarating and a real highlight of my career so far.

After my secondment finished, I ended up returning to London and moved back in-house in the legal department at HSBC in their Global Banking & Markets division. I always enjoyed working with the business in a more commercial environment. While spending time in a law firm taught me valuable skills in legal drafting and knowledge about the law, it was time to return in-house.

I spent 4 years at HSBC, covering the rates and equity derivative trading desks. One day I took a call from a headhunter who asked me if I was willing to try something different at Deutsche Bank. It was in the area of regulatory capital policy & advisory, sitting in the Finance division. My initial reaction was of hesitation. It was high pressure, a front office-facing role with management responsibilities. I had never done this before, and I had got used to being in my current role as a sales and trading desk lawyer. I was in my comfort zone. I initially said no. However, the recruiter contacted me later, and she asked me how I was doing? I decided at that point to meet the hiring manager, and he explained to me the role. It sounded exciting, and in the end, I decided to apply.

I’m glad I took that decision since not only have I developed a new career, but I have also grown and learned a lot of soft skills along the way. It was a lesson that is sometimes taking that first step can be scary, and you may question that decision along the way, but there is some truth to be said for stepping out of your comfort zone.

Just before I started my role at Deutsche Bank, I developed an interest in yoga. Yoga quickly became part of my life, so much so that I took a short sabbatical in 2017 and completed my yoga teacher training in Bali. I came back to the UK and started teaching yoga to my colleagues. Another yoga teacher and I then rolled out yoga for the rest of the UK bank, including offering several yoga for beginners courses. We called it ‘dbYoga.’

Also, in June 2019, I completed teacher training in mindfulness meditation. Upon return, I started offering sessions in mindfulness meditation under ‘Mindfulness Mondays.’ What turned out to be a grassroots local initiative quickly turned into a regional event for the whole of the United Kingdom. During the pandemic, another colleague offered mindfulness sessions twice a week to colleagues, which helped people find inner peace during the crisis.

So what have I learnt from this? I have the learnt the following key things:

  • Identify what you need to do in your career and focus on that. For me, there were two defining moments. The first being the switch back into working in a law firm at Linklaters. I realized I needed to spend some time developing the vocational skills that would help me with my career in the future, which proved to be exactly the case – the job at Linklaters helped me get the job at HSBC role Deutsche Bank. The second was in the area of yoga & mindfulness. I knew that by completing my teacher training in these areas, I could offer classes to colleagues. This has now become a big part of my life and has brought me a lot of personal satisfaction, and helped me grow my brand.
  • Be persistent in your efforts. There will be times when things are tough or rigid work. However, persistence breeds result in the long term.
  • Give your time. I have learned that volunteering your time, showing initiative, being generous and helpful is rewarded in the long run.

If anyone is interested in learning how yoga and meditation could help them in their personal life or professional career, please feel free to contact me at or email me at [email protected].

How I Became a Finance Professional – Yoga & Meditation Teacher

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