I started work in the City in the London Branch of a large Spanish Retail bank back in the 1980’s. Back then, although rare, you could still see the occasional City Gent walking about in a bowler hat. From there I setup technology in the newly formed London Branch of a Finnish bank. The technology being used was IBM mid-range kit – AS400s running banking packages prevalent at the time such as IBIS, Kapiti, MIDAS. I learned to programme in RPG400 and wrote many bolt-ons to these packages, including a retail charging module.
I got into Investment Banking in the mid-1990’s after being headhunted to set up the Technology function in the first ever Chinese IB in the UK. I left after a couple of years, turning my focus to project management for a Consultancy where I was working at Banks such as Credit Suisse, HSBC and Merrill Lynch, where I ended up taking a permanent role. At Merrill, I was responsible for a number of functions with Cash Equity and Equity Derivatives technology, including all electronic market connectivity (at a time this was starting up in earnest) and Production Management for many trading systems such as Fidessa, ORC and GL Trade. I travelled to New York at least once a month during my time there which I greatly enjoyed and consequently have many Americans I am proud to call friends.
After seven years at Merrill, I joined another Consultancy where I moved into Project Oversight. This meant ensuring that all project managers on site were on track to meet deliverables against the relevant Statement of Work. In 2012 I was effectively made Head of “Front of House“ for the firm. This meant that I was responsible for Business Development, Client Relationships and all Fixed Price projects which involved manging both consultants and my business development team. Projects included Regulatory, Market Data Cost Reduction and Production Systems Automation. I was additionally made Account Director for three of the firm’s largest clients – Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bloomberg. My role eventually expanded to become Head of Consulting EMEA, which involved plenty of travel again, this time to the Middle East every four to six weeks, visiting our Dubai offices in DIFC and also clients in Abu Dhabi and Oman. This was on top of twice monthly visits to New York City.
Then I came across DTSQUARED, who I knew of from a long-standing relationship with one of the founders. I originally joined DTSQUARED on a part-time basis in 2019 and am now their Business Development Manager. This means that my primary role is managing and growing our client relationships alongside driving new business. Ultimately, I am responsible for helping the firm to meet their ambitious growth targets, both through their current relationships as well as utilising contacts that I have built up over the many years of my career. I am greatly enjoying my role and am proud to be able to bring my expertise across client relationship building and financial services in particular to such an exciting company.
For anyone considering a career in business development, my advice would be to really research and understand the marketplace you are trying to sell into. This will help you to carve out a niche for yourself and set you apart from others within that particular market. Being recognised for a specialism like this will help you to build strong relationships in that area, which is ultimately the aim of the game for business development.
In my spare time I am often found at my partner’s stables where I assist her in mucking out her two horse’s stables and removing certain substances from the fields they graze in!