Meet Anne Vu, CFTE’s alumna, who is a multicultural professional with 14 years of experience in the financial industry gained in the corporate and banking sectors across 3 different countries. As part of her most recent role in the newly created eSales team at Lloyds Banking Commercial Banking Markets, she is involved with defining the derivatives strategy for eSales including the marketing, Fintech partnerships and technological investment requirements for the Markets division of Lloyds Banking Group. Outside of her role, Anne is passionate about coaching and mentoring young talents and is an active advocate for gender and ethnic diversity in the Banking industry.
- What is your background?
After having spent most of my life in Paris, I came to London almost 15 years ago to study my Master in Finance at the London School of Economics. I landed a job in finance straight after school in what was meant to be initially a one-year stint in the UK. Fifteen years later and I am still here!
My professional background has always been related to Financial Markets. I have started my career at BNP Paribas London on the sales and structuring desk and was then hired by BNP Paribas Vietnam to set up the corporate derivatives desk in the country. Upon my return to London, I have joined Lloyds Banking Group, the first retail bank in the UK. In my last 9 years in the group, I have evolved in various positions in Financial Markets: initially in derivatives sales covering large British and French corporate, then managing the talent strategy for the division and more recently joining the newly created “eSales” team as a director. The group aims at supporting our clients’ journey in accessing more digital products and solutions for their needs which translates into a broad and ambitious mandate for our team: we cover all fixed income products and all client segments covered by the Commercial Bank.
- How has your career evolved throughout the years?
Every 3 to 4 years, I like to check-in on where I am with my career according to my professional aspiration at the time but also my personal needs, mostly since I have a family of my own. I am very lucky to have a strong network of supporters and mentors who knows me very well and have followed my career over the years so I ask them about opportunities and guidance as well.
My recent change of role is a result of this reflection; after having successfully established the new talent programme for Markets, I was actively looking for the next opportunity which would allow me to leverage my existing experience while gaining new knowledge. My new role as a Director in the “eSales” team is in perfect alignment with what I was looking for: a role where I can maximise my expertise in derivatives and strategy but where I can also grow new skillsets in exciting fields such as Transformation, Fintech, Data Science or eCommerce. In this team which looks very much like a start-up, every day is a learning day!
- What did you learn most during your job transition in terms of skills and knowledge?
In addition to my role, I happen to co-chair the Learning and Development initiatives for the Markets division at Lloyds; so keeping abreast of the latest learning initiatives available in the industry and ensuring our colleagues develop and grow relevant skillets for the business is crucial.
On a personal side, with the new role in mind, I have started upskilling myself over the last years learning from the industry, taking on courses such as the Fintech Foundation course from CFTE and the Data Science course from HarvardX. Having had the ability to undertake distance learning has been a saviour in helping me balance my busy family life with the demands of my new role. I am really impressed by the quality of the distance learning courses these days. Courses such as CFTE’s are well structured, interactive and have top-notch speakers taking part. An additional bonus is that these courses generally qualify for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) hours, which is key for my regulatory role.
- What surprised you the most about Fintech?
It’s only after having taken the CFTE course “Fintech Foundation” that I realized how broad the impact of Fintech is. When the word “Fintech” is mentioned, people usually tend to immediately think of payment apps such as Apple Pay or Paypal simply because they impact a large B2C audience. The reality of Fintech is however much broader than that, any financial product or service which requires a low touch of human intervention such as data processing, record keeping, standard trade execution or even standard legal contracts are in scope, as long as they make the customer journey quicker, cheaper and more reliable. The world of Fintech opportunities seems really infinite with the right technology in place but the path to success for entrepreneurs is not easy!
- What is the best advice you would give to someone who wants to shift or develop their careers?
Having not done the transition myself yet, I can only say that changing role requires careful planning and personal investment. Each one’s approach will depend heavily on the stage of the professional career they are in and the personal path they are on. The ability to work very long hours, travel extensively or decide to take on more financial risks will all depend on personal preferences and personal circumstances at a given point in time of one’s life. Having a strong understanding of what one’s enjoy in their role and what they excel in and combine these with their personal priorities will help them define the right role(s). I’d always recommend running your thoughts with a trusted circle of sponsors and mentors: they know you well, they test and stretch you and they think of opportunities you have not thought of yourself. Most of all, they have your best interest in mind and can help unlock your full potential. For some who are not sure of where to start, having a personal career coach could also be a good solution.
For more information, you can get in touch with Anne through her LinkedIn.
The interview was originally published in French in the Finance Mag.
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