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  • Helen Lord, Chief Executive Officer, Vulnerability Registration Service

Helen Lord, Chief Executive Officer, Vulnerability Registration Service

What has been your path to power?

I started my career at Experian straight from University and from data input and typing up credit reports, I left when I was director of consumers affairs, fraud and data protection. I headed up the consumer support team and was heavily involved in developing credit monitoring through CreditExpert and was involved in identify authentication, fraud prevention and investigation. During the advent of GDPR, I was a data protection consultant working with a wide range of organisations to meet their data protection obligations.

 

I am currently the CEO of the Vulnerability Registration Service (VRS) which was founded in 2016 with a view to enabling companies, from any sector, to identify their vulnerable customers and provide them with the appropriate level of support. The success of the model is dependent on the appropriate acquisition of data, distribution and use. Data about vulnerability has never been easily available and the aim of VRS is to use its data sharing model to allow both consumers and companies to benefit socially and commercially.

What impact has the pandemic had on your role?

In some ways, the pandemic has had a positive impact on my role in that the use of virtual communication methods has increased productively significantly in relation to meetings and the ability to reach multiple organisations. However, the detrimental impact of the pandemic on many people’s lives, their mental health and financial stability has reinforced, in my mind, the need for VRS. It has also underlined the need to be able to identify who is vulnerable.

How do you bring your strategic views into discussions about data either in organisations or across industry?

Any data sharing model is difficult to begin from scratch, but it is essential to draw on other examples of data sharing successes. The most important point to articulate in discussions about data is what the end goal is – it is easy to be diverted by the regulatory and resource challenges. These are obstacles to be overcome and not barriers to moving forward. 

 

What are your key areas of focus for the business in 2022?

Key areas of focus for 2022 are to communicate effectively the value of data sharing about vulnerability. All sectors recognise the need to act, but that now needs transitioning into action. Integrating our data sharing model into as many platforms and distributors as possible to allow companies to consume data to meet their needs is my primary objective

 

How do you apply your leadership skills a) within your own business and b) externally?

Chiefly through trying to avoid being swayed from the core belief that data sharing of vulnerability data is the right thing to do while engaging as many stakeholders as possible and harnessing views and opinions from a wide audience. My experience has taught me that having the courage of my own conviction is essential, but not at the expense of listening and taking on board external business needs or the views of others. Effective communication of our aims and objectives is paramount and to do so means constantly identifying new ways of expressing them.

 

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

Determination, real persistence and an authentic belief that our ultimate goal should and needs to be achieved. The success achieved thus far has been a result of retaining the same aims but deploying flexibility in the route to achieving them.

 

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

I believe these attributes have been developed through the experience of working in a diverse corporate environment and learning from others. A willingness to take on any task, however basic, early in my career has given me the groundwork to understand grass-root challenges. I’ve developed a willingness to do things that are entirely out of my natural comfort zone.

How do you ensure that you are keeping pace with the goals and requirements around data to avoid lagging behind?

Keeping abreast of regulatory developments, understanding market challenges and priorities and putting real effort into networking. Social media must be embraced now. Regular client and stakeholder contact must be maintained.

Helen Lord
has been included in:
  • 100 Influencers 2022 (EMEA)