Working at Arbuthnot Latham -

Star to make Commonwealth Games debut

Paris 2024 fencing hope, Ben Andrews is a Business Support Executive based in Exeter. He has just become the Senior British Fencing Champion and makes his Commonwealth Games debut this summer in London.


5th July 2022


Ben Andrews


Ben Andrews shot


I started fencing at the age of nine in Plymouth, where I live currently.

My school allowed us to try sports we had never previously taken part in; fencing, archery, and judo to name a few.

From early on, I was hooked on fencing with archery and judo taking a backseat.

Fencing is a combat sport which has been part of the Olympic Games since they began in 1896.

Competing in three, three-minute rounds (similar to boxing), you could have up to eight knockout rounds from a tableau of 264 athletes to get to the finals. Each fight is up to 15 hits with any part of the body being a target.

It is an elegant, but physical sport. The sword we use is called an epee and they are dangerous; a clean contact can break a rib and competitors have been knocked unconscious by clashing heads.

Thankfully, we wear custom made protective kit made from Kevlar to reduce injuries (this can get particularly warm when competing in the likes of Turkey or Egypt!)

You must be a good all-rounder in fencing: there is the physical element: cardio, plyometric training, strength, and conditioning, but your reactions are also crucial. Training up to 17 hours a week includes sparring, lessons, gym work, and video analysis of your opponents.

I was fortunate enough to be accepted into Plymouth College on a fencing scholarship, and it was in my teens that I realised I had the ambition to create a path to future success. Balancing my fencing and school was easier than expected, with schoolmates such as Tom Daley and Ben Proud offering advice of how they coped.

On the path to Commonwealth success

While studying for my A-Levels, I held both the U20 and U23 British Champion Titles simultaneously.

During the summer of 2018, I was looking to pursue my passion for Economics by going straight into the industry rather than university and I was given the opportunity to undertake work experience with Arbuthnot Latham in the Exeter office. In my final year of A-Levels, I won the U17 European and Commonwealth medals.

With encouragement and guidance from Chris Reah, Head of Regional Offices, I started working for Arbuthnot Latham in September 2019. The bank is incredibly supportive, helping me with my CISI exams and allowing me to pursue my career in fencing. At this level, all athletes are self-funded so having such an understanding employer is a huge advantage.

As Business Support Executive, my role is extremely varied – from conducting First Line of Defence testing for client relationship teams in London and the regions, to business management improvement projects. It has given me great exposure to the banking sector.

I have just become the Senior British Champion which is a huge milestone in any athlete’s career. Being the 3rd youngest person to win this title since 1904 – this is very special. Juggling my sport and full-time job has complemented each other well, with the results speaking for themselves!

I am currently on the Team GB Ambition programme for Paris 2024, which means my progress is being monitored. If it is sufficient, then funding opportunities may be available as we approach the 2024 Olympics.

Fencing is not necessarily a young person’s game, with rivals competing in their mid-thirties, international experience certainly helps. Given some of them have been on the senior circuit since before I was born, I will have to catch up quickly.

Ben Andrews at Commonwealth GamesBen Andrews at Commonwealth Games

The thrill of competition

At the end of July I will fly out to Cairo to represent Great Britain at the Senior World Championships before preparing for the Commonwealths in August.

I am really excited about the Commonwealth Games this summer. Representing Team England at a home games will be extremely special. With friends, family, and colleagues watching in London and on TV, it will be great to showcase my fencing on a world stage.

I will be competing against people I grew up idolising on TV. You just have to shut off in that moment, focus on your own game and not put them on a pedestal.

As with any sporting competition, you regularly run into familiar faces. Some people I have known from an early age and have grown close to. There are others I would not exactly go for a drink with afterwards – it is a competitive and brutal sport, but everyone shakes hands at the end of the fight (well most do).

Looking to the summer, I know I will have a target on my back after becoming the Senior British Champion, however it would be amazing to bring back some silverware, be that from the individual or team event at the Commonwealth Games.

You never know what the knockout draw is going to throw at you, you have just got to prepare, stay focused and remember why you deserve to be in the room competing against Olympic, World or even British Champions.


Further reading

Coffee meeting

How mentoring can help develop your career

Changing disciplines can be one of the biggest career challenges. Kerry Prior, Senior Platform Lead at Arbuthnot Latham explains how mentoring helped her, and how she is sharing her experiences with others.

Business meeting

Picking the right mentor

Having a mentor can really help with your career progression. Just as important is picking the right person to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.

Becoming a client

Take control of your finances today by getting in touch through our contact page. Alternatively, you can call us on the number below and one of our team will be more than happy to talk about your future.

+44 (0)20 7012 2500


Brochures & email subscriptions

Request a brochure, or subscribe to our email updates.


Author -

Ben Andrews

Ben Andrews

Business Support Executive (Private & Commercial Banking)

Joining Arbuthnot Latham in 2019, Ben is responsible for first-line-of-defence testing and reporting for the bank and implementing new regulation changes into the bank’s processes and procedures.