Tell us about what you do here at Allica
I’m the bank’s Treasurer. But that sadly doesn’t mean I guard a room full of gold and diamonds!
The first part of a Treasurer’s job is tactical – to oversee the day-to-day flow of money in and out of the bank. My team and I analyse data to find answers to important questions like: how much money does Allica need to have available to meet the demand of our borrowers and savers? What’s our exposure to different types of risk? Do we need to change our hedging positions?
The second is more strategic. I look for ways to minimise the cost of the funds we borrow so we can pass these savings to customers.
What led you to a career in treasury?
I began my career in investment banking and asset liability management. As the name suggests, that means working out what kind of risk is associated with any investment and coming up with ways to mitigate it.
But it’s the strategic side I love the most. Bringing a holistic view to risk and then aligning that with the bank’s values and commercial goals. I’ve always enjoyed helping colleagues find new ways of accessing the market and identifying cheaper ways of funding growth.
Treasury really is the art of banking!
What is it you enjoy about working in financial services?
Working in finance is technical, challenging, demanding work. It’s not for everyone. But if, like me, you thrive on complexity, detail and analysis, it’s a wonderful environment. I get to exercise my brain every day – there’s no time to be distracted or bored.
What made you decide to join Allica Bank?
It’s all about opportunity. I found the siloed approach the traditional banks take frustrating – there’s no incentive for teams to talk to each other or collaborate. It means people can’t leverage their knowledge fully, as roles are too tightly defined.
It was immediately clear at Allica that the senior team trust their people to make the right decisions. For example, I was able to drive the implementation of taking a more holistic view of treasury that I’ve long championed.
Tell us more about your team
We’re a small team, currently. But we’re growing!
In fact, I’ve hired someone internally to help build the department. They will take care of daily liquidity management, our relationship with the Bank of England, and other essential day-to-day activities.
We also work closely with Allica’s finance team, exchanging data and analysis, and working together on new methodologies.
How was your experience of joining Allica during lockdown?
I’ve always been a fan of remote working, so there were no challenges on that front. It suits me not to have to spend time on a crowded commute, and I love the flexibility that allows me to better balance family and work life.
That said, I do miss seeing my colleagues in person. There’s nothing better than face-to-face contact for team-building and the socialising.
Any exciting projects coming up?
The biggest challenge in 2021 will be to automate as much treasury activity as possible. It’s important we are proactive, modern and flexible. That means moving separate reports and data sources onto a new system that will provide us with a holistic view of the bank’s funding requirements.
This will allow us to better simulate possible economic scenarios and how they’ll impact our clients.
What’s something you’re most proud of?
I was recently working on a project to identify the right funding strategy for our new Asset Finance product. I proposed an investment structure called ‘match funding’ which, though commonplace in the US, is less well-known here.
After talking the approach through with different stakeholders, the bank decided to go ahead with it. The automation process for match funding was quite a challenge, but I’m thrilled with how it’s been implemented.
In fact, it’s been such a success, we’re now using this approach on another important project that’s in development!
What job did you want to have when you were growing up?
My father is a scientist and I grew up in a household where research and academia were held on the highest pedestal. As a result, I always wanted to find a way to contribute to the education of the next generation if I could, as well.
I’ve been lucky in that I’m able to continue my studies and support others with theirs outside of my work. I recently obtained a PhD, for example, while I am also about to finish writing my second book, and I try to take the opportunity to teach whenever I can.
What would you say to someone considering whether to apply for a job at Allica?
Allica is a new bank, and there’s a fantastic opportunity to make a mark on it. It’s an inspirational environment where people are encouraged to try new things. If you’re fed up with the glacial pace of change at a big corporate, I’d urge you to consider Allica as your next career move.
Fancy joining the Allica Bank team? We'd love to hear from you! Check out our careers page to find out how.