We asked Tim Valmas, Head of Technology & Operations, to give his view on how Technology plays a vital role in our everyday working lives, the vision for the future of Technology at Numis and what it is like to work in Technology at Numis.
Technology innovation is disrupting the Capital Markets industry and redefining what banking will look like in the future. Technology is one of the most powerful levers investment banks have to address disruption, deal with inefficiencies and deliver future opportunities not even dreamed of a few years ago. The speed that we can now distribute smart and relevant data to people to make key decisions is truly amazing. Just like the creation of ‘in play’ sports betting which grew out of the fast distribution of data to mobile devices so too data is forming a key part of a banks future innovation strategy and is expected to drive benefits across all functions. In the future advanced technologies, such as Cloud computing and AI, will allow banks to process vast quantities of data in near real time and to integrate external and internal unstructured and structured data creating valuable and actionable insights to employees and external clients.
To do that we need to focus on innovation as we become increasingly automated, data-led, open and agile. Digital transformation is not optional. We are investing heavily in our core data fabric and integration layer so that we can integrate systems and be part of the bigger ecosystem that is now building across the financial services industry.
"At Numis we are focused on building the Investment Bank of a Generation".
Only a few years ago companies used to talk about a Technology team aligning to the business strategy. This implied that the business always set direction and Technology swept along afterwards trying to help where they could. This concept has fundamentally flipped and Technology, rather than being an afterthought, are now the enabler and not the passenger on this journey. In fact the Technology Department at Numis are increasingly first to the table when a new business opportunity is considered or an existing team or process needs to be optimised.
It’s not just shiny new projects that get the attention of the Technology team. A lot of what Numis put in place only a few years ago is being challenged and changing beyond recognition. Technology and regulation are the main external drivers changing the game and moving the goal posts to a completely different pitch. The Technology team are driving innovation and helping teams see what the ‘art of the possible’ looks like by trialling new software and showing how technology can drive increased revenue opportunities, improve key processes, save money and optimise energy consumption. As some of the core functions of an investment bank become increasingly commoditised we need to make sure we are focusing on the right things to add value to the Numis business model. What will we develop in house? What will we outsource? What technology solution is right for the job? How can we leverage technology to work more collaboratively across the organisation for ourselves and ultimately our clients? How can we improve operational resilience so that we are more robust.
Customer experience is now key to the success or failure of organisations. Projects that focus on improving customer experience get a higher priority at Numis together with regulatory and Information Security projects which are key as well. We add real value by working with the different business areas to prioritise investment spent across mandatory and discretionary projects and ensure we track the business case and realise the benefits.
Roles are really varied across Technology ranging from desktop support to managing our core infrastructure through to maintaining and developing the key applications the business use across trading and non-trading functions. All roles work closely with the business to develop practical solutions to real life problems and deliver the Technology strategy. We recruit people who want to help others understand how new technologies can be applied to Numis and the impact it can have. Without experimentation and innovation we will fall behind our competitors and be less relevant to our clients in this increasingly fast paced environment.
Above all we recruit and develop smart people who are inquisitive, quite like taking things apart…and hopefully putting them back together again!
Expect to be working on real live projects from the start, meeting different people within Technology and the rest of the business along the way. You will help provide excellent and timely support for colleagues and you will develop subject matter knowledge through on the job training, formal training and shadowing. You will participate in projects that touch on all areas of the business and you will be given time to showcase innovation and creativity around the tasks you are given.