Meet Reena Sachdev, Senior Lawyer

Behind Perenna is a great bunch of people. Meet them here. 18 August 2021 by Casper Arboll

Meet Reena, our bubbly Senior Lawyer. She was born in Australia with a European heart. Reena’s fascination with Europe started during a backpacking trip where she fell in love with London’s endless excitement and, in a moment of youthful optimism (and much to her parent’s surprise), almost started a career as a Pub Manager in Earls Court. The impulse ended just as quickly after reconsidering the realities of what that choice would entail. But the dream of Europe was intact, and she returned a few years later to start her career as a finance lawyer at Clifford Chance in the City of London.

Looking back, that was an excellent choice. Leading to a prominent career in banking with roles such as Director of Structured Bonds Infrastructure at HSBC and Vice President of Asset-Backed Securities Structuring at Merrill Lynch.

Now Reena’s applying her wealth of experience and knowledge as part of Perenna’s team, creating the building blocks that will enable Perenna to change the UK mortgage market for the better.

Quick Questions

Favourite place to eat out?
Living near Portobello Road in Notting Hill, I’m spoiled for excellent Italian food choices. My personal favourite is the alfresco dining at Gold (which isn’t actually Italian). Great food and ambience!

If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would you choose?
New York or Sao Paulo. New York because the bigger the city, the better for me. I love the excitement. San Paulo because I love the Latino way of living, culture and this city allegedly has more square restaurants per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world!

If you could live in one fictional setting for a day, where would you pick?
Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz, if I could wear Dorothy’s red shoes and they were Gucci!

Describe your dream home?
A designer ski-in/ski-out chalet in Verbier.

Favourite travel destination?
Italy, Greece & Brazil. Puglia in Italy was a rich experience.

Why did you join Perenna?

I’ve known Arjan for a long time. He told me about Perenna and its objectives right from its inception. I believe Perenna’s mission to change the UK mortgage market is refreshing and long overdue. I’m especially looking forward to helping young people on to the property ladder.

In addition, I was excited to return to a legal role after over a decade as a banker. I’m also motivated to build a fintech from the ground up that can challenge the behemoth banks.

How was it starting a new job in London from Australia?

It was a challenge, especially the time difference. I chose to sit out the winter lockdown in Australia so managed to spend some time with my family and friends, enjoying unrestricted freedoms in Sydney while working and doing Zoom meetings at night (with very little sleep). It’s challenging starting a new job like that, but our remote-first policy helped me manage everything and getting to know colleagues.

The whole company is embracing a remote-first working culture with colleagues all over the country. I have enjoyed socials and coffee roulettes where we get to meet colleagues on a one-to-one basis. I used to have a “no video rule” on Zoom calls. But I’ve left it behind and see the importance of using technology to establish a strong working relationship with my colleagues. That said, I’m looking forward to visiting the office soon and meeting colleagues in person.

How do you find it working in a startup?

One of my favourite aspects of working at Perenna is the diversity of challenges. I enjoy tackling new legal and structural areas such as outsourcing and utilising my experience in structured finance. I had become quite sub-specialised in my career, so I find it refreshing to work in a startup organisation where cross-functionality is encouraged. As organisations grow, specialisation is necessary, and people are often reduced to a function, the job they do.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I’m a huge armchair cricket fan and have a membership at the Sydney Cricket Group. I also enjoy fine arts, design, and most of all, fashion! Embarrassingly, I’m on a first-name basis with the shop assistants in the Notting Hill boutiques.