Interview

Greg Burns interview

query_builder 5 min read


31 Oct, 2018

Interview with Challenger Head of IT, Funds Management, Life and Data Management, Greg Burns.

Q. Tell us about your current role?

A. As Head of IT – Funds Management, Life and Data Management my role covers a broad range of responsibilities, including the investment systems which support our trading and settlement, the systems which support the core annuities processes for the life company, as well as the data management capability including our corporate data warehouses.

Q. How long have you been with the business? Tell us how your career has grown at Challenger?

A. I have been at Challenger for just over 3 years. For the first part of my career I was the Head of IT for Distribution, Product and Marketing, and recently progressed into my current role of Head of IT for Funds Management, Life and Data Management.

One of the benefits about working at Challenger is the size and scale of the business which creates breadth, both in role scope and in visibility across the business. There is a lot of opportunity in Technology to move around different parts of the organisation and be exposed to a large diversity of projects.

This has increased my knowledge of the business and enabled me to work with a very different set of stakeholder and business outcomes.

Q. What excites you about the technical side of your role?

A. Challenger’s culture is innovative and fast paced, willing to take calculated risks whilst acknowledging that not everything will succeed. This means that we have an opportunity to drive the direction of technology in the organisation and are supported by the business in doing that. 

The other aspect is that Challenger is in a growth phase in its maturity which brings a lot of technical challenges and opportunity to contribute and drive change in the business’s evolution.

Q. How are we evolving out technology to support Challenger’s growth?

A. Challenger is growing in multiple dimensions and facets, geographically (Europe & Japan), from a product diversity point of view (actively managing Exchange Traded Funds) and is growing in scale (funds have increased by three-fold over the last 7 years). This presents opportunities and challenges where technology is positioned as a key lever to solve these problems.

Q. What technical skills are we looking to attract to support Challenger’s growth?

A. We are looking for a broad range of technology skills:

  • Technical skills in investment systems
  • Web based .NET development skills
  • Quant based software development
  • Experts in developing using SQL Server databases

Critically what we look for is people who love solving problems in a highly collaborative environment and are brave enough to try new innovative solutions even at the risk of failure.