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Hany Choueiri, Chief Data Officer, Aldermore Group and Vice-Chair, Global Legal Entity Foundation (GLEIF)

What has been your path to power?

 

Since the financial crisis, data has received unprecedented focus. As data professionals, we all already knew of its importance. Being able to solve difficult problems has been my main motivation and success. The financial crisis, legal entity identification to protect financial markets, complex data privacy regulation such as GDPR and most recently ESG continue to present new and exciting challenges for all data professionals. Those that are successful will rise to these challenges.

What impact has the pandemic had on the role of data in your company/organisation?

 

We have seen a significant emphasis and increased demand for data. Unexpected events such as mortgage holidays and the need to protect customers has been at the cornerstone of the demand. However, there has also been the increased need to provide analytics to support colleagues working from home and adapting to a new way of working during the pandemic. It is no coincidence that data has played a big part in every crisis; be it the financial crisis, the pandemic or the climate challenge the world now faces.

Does data now have a seat at the table during strategic discussions? If not, what will it take to get it there?

 

It absolutely does – we see data as a core enabler to support our customers and develop new business strategies including market insights, risk reporting and competitive analysis.

 

What are your key areas of focus for data and analytics in 2022?

 

Within Aldermore, contributing to the development of our refreshed business strategy is a key focus in 2022.

 

At the GLEIF, the LEI (legal entity identifier) growth is a key focus. The team has a number of ground-breaking initiatives in digital trust such as the verifiable LEIs, so called vLEIs, where unique identification can be used to create digital certificates that entitle the holder to perform certain duties in the context of an entity, such as signing a specific document or contract.

 

Tell us what leadership means to you in the context of your role as a senior data leader.

 

Being seen as the go-to person, re-inventing and thought leadership in the data domain.

Attracting talent and using data for societal good will differentiate leaders in the data space. As data leaders, we have the privilege and responsibility to improve the world we live in through the power of data. There is no doubt that there will never be a better opportunity to truly promote the use of data through its contribution to all aspects of ESG, from climate to diversity and to a fairer society.

What key skills or attributes do you consider have contributed to your success in this role?

 

Curiosity, the desire to learn new skills and the satisfaction from developing talent have been at the cornerstone of my success more broadly. I have been fortunate to develop a career in an area that I feel so passionate about. My key career advice is for passionate data professionals to make the necessary sacrifices – it is worth it. It is all too easy to follow career paths that lead to greater financial benefits, but in the longer term, if you follow your passion success will follow right behind you.

 

How did you develop – and continue to develop – these skills or attributes?

 

During my career, I have found that a few key contributors have helped me develop my skills. The first is natural curiosity – I love to learn new skills, techniques, tools and approaches. Industry engagement and maintaining a wide professional network have been a tremendous support in this regard. There is nothing more effective than being able to call on your network and get an instant and honest opinion on a difficult data topic. Public speaking and attending selected conferences and roundtables are also critical in both imparting and learning new industry trends and opinions.

Is the data tech you have keeping pace with your goals and requirements? Are your providers leading or lagging behind your demands?

 

Data technology is most definitely leading, however we frequently find that the benefits of new technology are over-emphasised in lieu of trusted data. The value of governed and trusted data cannot be replaced or solved by technology alone; it is and always will be down to robust operational processes and data discipline. My motto is “if the data is right, the technology is easy.”

 

Hany Choueiri
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2020 (EMEA)
  • 100 Brands 2022 (EMEA)