Ross Nicholls | VP of Commercial Relationships at BBVA Compass
This month, Boulder 2140 is excited to give Ross Nicholls of BBVA Compass a warm welcome to the community. Upon the offer of a job promotion, Nicholls – moved from Flagstaff, Arizona to Colorful Colorado and has just counted his sixth month living at the foot of the Flatirons. We extended an invitation to discuss chapters of his fascinating life.
Nicholls has rich experiences in the banking industry. Just after graduating with a master’s degree in business administration and finance, – he was granted the opportunity to join BBVA Compass, a prominent global financial services group, as an Assistant Relationship Manager. He recalls how this initial exposure captured his ambition; it was intriguing to learn about the financial challenges his clients were facing and rewarding to provide solutions for them. Nicholls’ lively enthusiasm drove his success and he quickly became more deeply involved in serving commercial clients of BBVA. His expertise in cultivating rapport and knowledge of advanced financial technology also recently led to his promotion to Vice President of Commercial Relationships. Nicholls himself can’t help but feel that this career was made for him.
When we met, I instantly noticed Nicholls’ unique accent and, as we talked, the details of his extraordinary upbringing unfolded. He was born in Bulawayo, in a country called Rhodesia (which we now know as Zimbabwe). However, due to President Robert Mugabe’s politics and the intense civil unrest in his homeland, Nicholls’ family decided to pursue safer havens. They eventually arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was brought up. He asserted:
I don’t feel a connection with Zimbabwe, neither emotionally nor culturally. My identity is much more South African; I’m very patriotic about it and passionate about the culture, the sports, and its people.
His deep love of rugby, the miniature South African flag raised high on his desk, and the fact that his sixteen-month old son, Blake, shares the same nationality made it obvious to me that his heritage is a prized possession.
Building client relations is the essence of Nicholls’ role, and that requires continuous networking. He said that he respects the value that an organization like Boulder 2140 brings to its community. “Boulder 2140 has been an excellent way to meet like-minded people in the community. There’s a diverse set of industries and people that attend 2140 events. They all happen in a relaxed setting that makes it easy to meet people” Nicholls explains. At Boulder 2140 we like to ask our members to take ownership of this community and help us create value for others. In response to our tagline inspiring young professionals Nicholls’ advised,
Plan for a rewarding career by being honest about who you are and your abilities.Have faith in yourself. Most importantly, realize that you can’t be on your own. You need people, those who support and believe in you. They’re vital towards fulfilling your dreams!
With just over a year’s experience as a first-time dad, Nicholls feels he’s been on an adventure. He looks at things from a different perspective now and is grateful to his wife Debbi and baby Blake, for inspiring him to become a great father.
Furthermore, Nicholls recent promotion has called upon him to become an even better banker for his commercial clients. He noted that, to become a champion in this role, he will have to be even more astute in understanding the troubles and desires of local business owners, deploy BBVA’s leading technology to more of Boulder’s entrepreneurs, and continue conscious networking all while managing a team of other dedicated bankers.