A Whirlwind of a Decade: My Journey to a Director Level Position

John Smith

Paul Wise, Head of Risk Issue Management and Information Security Consultancy at NatWest Markets has had a whirlwind of a decade. He has risen through the ranks at RBS and now manages and develops his own team. Paul takes us through how he got to where he is today, all with a little support from FDM.

I joined FDM in 2006, where I completed my training in the Project Support stream. I was soon placed at ABN AMRO in London where my first challenge was adapting to the city environment. I started my position as a support analyst looking after macro exotics trading desks (complex interest rate derivatives). As I didn’t have a background in finance this was a challenging experience, however I embraced this opportunity to learn and develop.

The FDM training and support helped me during the first couple of years, I then progressed to a FDM Senior Consultant and remained with ABN AMRO. My on-site experience helped me to shape FDM’s Support Analyst stream, ensuring it was current and relevant to the financial industry.

When ABN AMRO was taken over by RBS, I was offered a permanent role as a Team Lead on the fixed income support desk. Over the following five years at RBS, my responsibilities grew, taking over global derivatives trading support. During this period, I made sure FDM remained a close partner as I knew I could hire highly motivated and intelligent individuals quickly.

My role changed slightly in 2013, where, instead of working on the day-to-day support of the trading desks, I moved to providing oversight, best practices and maintaining governance of all production applications. From there, I was promoted to run global operations for information security staff and most recently, have also taken over risk and control management. My responsibilities include ensuring that the technology area of the investment bank has adequate and effective controls in place, that they understand their risk position and that the company has an overall proactive risk culture.

A major highlight from my early career was in 2008, when I was shortlisted for the “Young IT Practitioner of the Year” award. Although I didn’t win, it was great to be formally recognised in the industry for the work I was doing. The best moment of my career came off the back of achieving a formal acknowledgement for improving the control rating for the NatWest Markets Technology. This was a significant objective for the bank and led to my promotion to Director Level.

I consider myself very fortunate to be in the position I am today. Although it has been difficult at times, hard work pays off. I have no doubt at all that I would not have achieved what I have today without the early support of FDM. Their training programme presented opportunities and opened doors for me that simply wouldn’t have been available to me otherwise.

To put FDM in three words: Empowering. Supportive. Dependable.

Turn your dream careers into a reality by applying to join the FDM Careers Programme today!