Can you tell us about your background?
I’m originally from a small city called Lahti in the south of Finland. Growing up, I particularly enjoyed languages and maths at school and hoped to become a journalist or a politician, but wanderlust led me to spend a gap year working as an au-pair in North Carolina, USA, before applying to university in Southampton to study journalism.
While I enjoyed my degree, I realised journalism wasn’t the career for me and after graduation, I went to work for Skandia, the financial services business. After a year, my desire to see more of the world took me on an exchange programme to New York, where I interned at Citi – my first experience of the investment banking industry. I was offered a permanent role there after my placement, but adventure was still calling, so I spent a number of months travelling the world before making my way back to London to continue my career, this time in information security and technology at Citi in the UK. I then spent an enjoyable few years contracting and building my skillset in many different banks, meeting some fantastic people along the way.
In 2008, I decided it was time to take a permanent role and moved to Goldman Sachs. This was obviously an interesting year for the investment banking industry (!), but I learnt so much and laid the foundations for what would turn out to be a 14-year stint there across a number of roles.
What brought you to Numis?
I really enjoyed my time at Goldman Sachs, but 14 years is a long time anywhere and I felt the need to throw myself into a new challenge away from the security of my existing networks. The role of Head of Operations at Numis had been newly created and gave me a blank canvas to put all the skills I’d learned over my career into practice. The Numis culture also really appealed – everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I’ve now been here for 18 months and I’m really enjoying it.
What does your role involve?
All trades Numis undertakes on behalf of clients go through my team. The team books and settles transactions, talks to clients to ensure they’re happy with our service, and runs controls to make sure our systems are working optimally.
I love the problem-solving aspect of my role – I really like finding the solutions that make things better for our clients and colleagues. It’s a busy team so juggling competing priorities can be a challenge at times, but we’re focused on giving the best service to everyone, both internally and externally.
I’m really proud of how the operations team has developed over the past 18 months. As a team, as soon as we see a potential issue, we run after it and hold on until we get it resolved. That was exactly the type of culture I was looking to instil when I took the role, and I’m so proud we’ve been able to achieve it together.
As a leader, what are you passionate about?
Two things are really important to me: equal opportunities and encouraging good mental health.
Diversity of thought is crucial for any team – how can you get the best outcome for your clients if you’re all similar people who think in a similar way? I’m absolutely determined that success and progression in my teams should be due to talent and achievement, rather than to fitting in to a mould.
I’m also committed to supporting my team members and colleagues to prioritise their mental health. I’ve trained as a mental health first aider and practice what I preach by taking regular walks in nature to de-stress, often with my three children. Life is so busy for us all with so many external influences and stressors, but I’m passionate about the benefits exercise in the fresh air can bring.