Vanquish Bank

PROUD SILVER PARTNER OF WOMEN IN DATA UK 2018

Why we’ve partnered with WiD UK 2018?

At Vanquis, our analytics teams are where we make some of the most important decisions in our business.  We are aware that, traditionally, women are often under-represented in these areas, so we are working hard to recruit and retain a world class, diverse team of experts.  We’re passionate about having diverse teams as this reflects who our customers are.  By partnering with Women in Data UK we want to help drive diversity in the industry and encourage women to shine and progress in their careers.  We truly believe that generating a move diverse workforce within the analyst space will give us access to a market of previously untapped talent.

Spotlight on Juliana Shimote

Name: Juliana Shimote
Job Title: Lead Analyst – Decision Science, Vanquis Bank
Expertise: Delivering the best models and strategies by combining business knowledge and advanced analytics
Education: BSc in Statistics and MSc in Economics and Finance

Juliana Shimote - Lead Analyst – Decision Science

After getting my degree in Statistics, I started my career in Brazil, working for Itaú Unibanco, the biggest financial conglomerate in the Southern Hemisphere. During my time there, I completed a master’s degree in Economics and Finance whilst learning how a large, multi-national organisation operates. This gave me the opportunity to work across different areas of the bank, eventually becoming a SME in Risk Return Modelling working with a range of banking products across Latin America.

I moved to London four years ago and was looking for an opportunity to work at a smaller organisation in which I could widen my knowledge and see things from a holistic point of view, and so I joined Vanquis Bank as a Credit Analyst. Because it was a smaller organisation, it meant I had exposure to all areas of the business from the start. Being a Credit Analyst at Vanquis does not mean you work just on credit policies. I was able to get involved in projects that covered everything from analysing customer level complaints to mining big data; from strategy development to implementation. Working at Vanquis offered me a steep learning curve in a fast-paced environment and, with the guidance and support from the leaders around me, has pushed me to further develop myself. I felt that there was more focus on me as an individual, and I could see the impact of my work adding real value to our customers and the Bank.

I have found these challenges really motivating and exciting, and I am always looking forward to what the next project will bring. For example, I recently started working on a project with one of Vanquis’ sister companies, Moneybarn. I am leading the development of a bespoke scorecard using innovative techniques and data. The success of a project like this relies on good teamwork, demanding a high level of collaboration not just with the departments around you, but at a Group level. I am looking forward to working with the different teams, seeing each day as an opportunity to learn and better myself.

Spotlight on Natasha Hegde

Name: Natasha Hegde
Job Title: Senior Manager – Commercial Analytics, Vanquis Bank
Expertise: Devising and delivering strategies that influence the P&L using data analytics, Building and leading analytical teams
Education: MBA in Finance

As a child I loved math, solving puzzles and challenging my teachers. I also found great joy in taking a subject that was seemingly complex and breaking it down into smaller simpler components. I’d tutor my juniors and feel elated when I’d see an Aha! moment on someone’s face. I thought teaching math was my calling. However as life would have it after graduating from an MBA in Finance, I found myself in a data analytics team in a big bank.

All this strangely came together for me when I realised that working in analytics means I get to play around with tons of data, join the dots of a puzzle in terms of what the data means from a strategic perspective, and then simplify the message for a wider audience. Challenging the status quo was looked upon positively where ideas on new ways to do things was a competitive advantage. I have worked in analytics for 12 years in various roles spanning different lending products and geographies (India, US, UK, Southern Europe) and truly enjoy what I do. At Vanquis, I love the fact that I can actively influence the P&L through the work that I and my team do.

In the early stages of my career, I was very conscious of being one of the few coloured women in the room. It didn’t help that I was an immigrant with a strange accent. I decided very early on that I wasn’t going to focus on blending in. I was going to focus on being excellent at my job. Eventually these things faded out from my radar. I also learnt to embrace my feminine traits and accept that it brings a different perspective to work. Being sensitive allows me to build strong relationships with my stakeholders, be empathetic with my team bringing out the best from them and be a strong networker. Our workplace needs this. The only advice to my younger self would be “Don’t be afraid to be ambitious”. In my late 20’s, I passed on several opportunities to step up because I always put my partner’s career’s first and wanted to be a good housemaker, a good wife, a good daughter in law etc. I am not suggesting we completely ignore our personal lives. But I think as women we need to be more comfortable with challenging the need to be perfect in every area of our life and play to a stereotype. Sometimes it’s OK to not fit into a box that society wants us to. It is ok to want to be independent and successful.

At Vanquis, I am excited that I have a female MD as a role model. But I am equally excited to have senior male managers and leaders who are inclusive, believe in meritocracy and are encouraging and supportive of my career goals. I am glad that we are sponsors of Woman in Data UK and all the work that is being done to address the imbalance of men and women in senior leadership positions. I really look forward to more diversity in our work space!

How Vanquis Bank see the data landscape changing in the UK in the next 5 years

In today’s world the pace of technological, social and customer behavioural change are relentless. The use of buzz phrases such as ‘cloud computing’, ‘machine learning’, ‘augmented reality’, ‘social media mining’, ‘chat bots’, ‘sentiment analysis’  and ‘click-stream analysis’ are prevalent in analytical forum discussions. Fundamentally what these ‘buzz words’ have in common are that they all require an individual to engage in some sort of interaction (i.e. shopping, using of social media, engaging with customer services) that results into the generation of data as an input. This data, accessed and analysed, is valuable to banks and drives marketing and assists in risk management. At Vanquis Bank we recognise that over the next 5 years (and beyond) organisational access to more customer data sources will become more common and should be handled with utmost responsibility and accountability.

About Vanquis Bank

Vanquis Bank is part of the Provident Financial Group, a lender established in 1880 with a history of operating predominantly in the home credit market. We were established as the credit card issuing arm of the Provident Financial Group in 2002 operating from 3 sites across the UK. Vanquis is a full member of UK Finance, the trade association for the UK’s financial services industry.

Vanquis is a special place, with a unique culture. We’re an ambitious and exciting business that’s challenging years of tired and traditional thinking to serve our customers: a diverse range of people, from all walks of life, who have long been ignored and excluded by the bigger banks.

Our customers may have challenging credit history and need a chance to re-build. They may have little history at all or need to take their first steps. We aim to give them all the opportunity to succeed

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