‘Resilience… lots of it!’ says Kartikeya Rai, when asked how to survive and thrive in the world of private banking in Africa. Rai covers the West African market for Barclays Private Bank, acting for entrepreneurs who have created their wealth in a range of industries, from oil and gas to fintech. ‘My clients are looking for assistance in protecting and growing their overseas wealth through services such as wealth and investment advisory, banking and credit solutions,’ says Rai. Having spent just over a decade doing private banking in West Africa, he has travelled extensively in the region. ‘I have witnessed the growth in our clients’ businesses and wealth, seeing them move from being locally to globally focused. Most importantly, I have witnessed the change in demand for products and services from these clients. We as a bank and as an industry need to be in step with our clients. They are becoming global players and demanding more, which makes me excited to be part of this journey.’ West African wealth creation is certainly growing, with a range of industries such as technology, telecoms, agriculture and fintech, in addition to oil and gas. Rai says this diversification has made Barclays’ business there more consistent and better diversified than ever. ‘We have also seen an increase in the number of female entrepreneurs, who are now a sizeable part of our client base,’ he says.