Irina Melkumyan is a banker at City National Bank’s new branch in Hollywood. Now 25, she’s been in finance for six years and with City National for three.
Life & work philosophy quote: “Nothing will work unless you do” – Maya Angelou
What attracted you to a career in banking? Honestly? A steady paycheck! My family struggled after immigrating to the United States. I worked three jobs during college, then landed a banking job at 19. Money management has al- ways been important to me. Today I am inspired to share everything I have learned about fi- nance.
What were your first experiences with money? We lived in Russia and Armenia before moving to the U.S. when I was 10. I had to step in and help my family financially at the age of 15. It was my responsibility to come up with a savings plan with my little sister to make sure the bills were paid while we were taking care of my par- ents. As long as you can remember that hardships are happening for you and not to you, you will be able to persevere. It was not easy, but one of the most valuable lessons was the im- portance of saving and having a good financial plan.
What drew you to City National Bank? The approach to clients. Every client and every situation is different and I truly get the oppor- tunity to help each client individually. They are never just transactions. I love the new branch— we’re a friendly neighborhood bank backed by enormous expertise and resources.
Who are your clients? Many clients are in fashion or entertainment, but each has a unique set of needs. They know how to make money and I know how to help them manage it. Plus I’m fluent in English, Arme- nian and Russian, so my clients can work with me in their preferred language.
What is the most important lesson you teach your clients? Surround yourself with the right people and choose your banker carefully. The more we know about you, the better we can serve you. Not all banking products are right for all situations, so let me put together the right financial management “menu” for you.
What is the most gratifying part of your work? Taking the stress out of finances. Developing a roadmap for their future makes clients feel more confident and in control.
What is the most important lesson you teach your clients? Surround yourself with the right people, especially your banker. The more we know about you, the better we can serve you. Not all banking products are right for all situations, so let me put together the right financial management “menu” for you.
Why is financial planning so important? Some people have found ways to make a quick buck, but long-term success requires planning. While product plans and marketing plans are necessary, it’s the financial plan that determines how to fund and execute all the other plans.
Irina believes in giving back. She serves as the finance development director for The Trouble- maker Foundation, a nonprofit that helps at-risk youngsters achieve their goals. In addition, she has worked with St. Baldrick’s Foundation since 2014 to help raise money and awareness for children with cancer.