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Head of Finance Change and Stress Testing


Study Related Questions


What did you study?

I studied a Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) at Waikato University

Why did you choose this course?

I choose the BMS because it was the best management degree in the country.

What did you enjoy about your course?

The course was challenging, good mix of papers and well respected by employers.

What helped you to successfully complete your course?

Keeping the balance between enjoying my time at University and doing the time when it counts.

What advice do you have for future students?

Give yourself options – ideally have an idea what you want to do at the end - if you get knocked back, find another way to get what you want – don’t be scared to try something new, push the boundaries and experiment.


Occupation Related Questions


Describe your job

My role is currently Head of Finance Change and Stress Testing at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) based in the City of London.

What do you do on an average day?

My normal day is:

  • Leave home at 7am and into the office by 8am - pick up a coffee and catch-up on emails and the latest news from FT, Bloomberg.
  • Normally have a management team call at 9am to discuss key activities for the day ahead and any people related issues - I may have a meeting with our Risk team re latest impairment forecasts - then a call with one of our Economists to discuss latest position on the Eurozone as I am responsible for modelling what will happen under stress.
  • Lunch is generally at my desk and then I may review an agenda for a weekly meeting I chair, head over the road to meet with my boss to talk about a project I am running and get her input and then chair a working group governance meeting.
  • will catch-up with my team in India before they leave for the day - spend sometime with my London team and have a 121 with one of my direct reports.
  • I try and leave the office to be home by 7pm to see my son before he heads to bed and then think about what we will have for dinner.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

My role is challenging, high pressure and the people I work with are really great. I am working on projects that are very profile in the media so that makes it both exciting and rewarding.

What opportunities does your job offer?

I believe opportunities are what you make for yourself – some people say its luck, I think its just good timing and if you undertake a role where your are “visible” then its stands you in good stead to take advance of the many opportunities that working for a global organisation can bring.

What skills, training, education or past experience helped to secure your job?

I think having a good solid degree is important and for my industry being professional qualified is also key e.g. Chartered Accountant - having worked for a global multinational such as Deloitte opens doors esp. when you work in offshore financial centres. I then think it’s about your CV telling a good story, consistency and stability is good, aka not moving around too often, demonstrating progression and high performance. You also need to have life outside work – maybe sport, voluntary work - it all helps. I guess I wasn’t made out to be a tax accountant and knew that pretty early on but the skills I learnt at Deloitte especially in respect of “attention to detail” are really important. One of my first bosses at the IRD said to me “be a sponge” and suck up as much as you can from your future roles …and you will do well, he also said… always go for the role that’s paying the most $$ ..if you do that you’ll do ok – I guess they both have their place.

Where do you see yourself heading in the future within this industry?

I am in my early 30s now and unlike our parents some of us are having their “mid life” crisis much earlier e.g. late 20s and early 30s – I guess as your life moves on and you settle down - other things become more important and I am at that stage where I need to decide what I want to do for the next 10+ years that will allow me to enjoy my life and spend plenty of time with my family – whatever I do, it will be something that is challenging, enjoyable and working with great people – what’s the point otherwise.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to join the Banking industry?

Get a good degree, get a good first job, be willing to travel and live outside NZ to gain international experience, take risks and enjoy what you do. Lastly keep in touch with people and ensure you have a good base of contacts as one day you may need them or they may need you.