Over the past three years, I worked on several projects at two major clients within the Belgian financial sector. During my first two years after graduating, I gained my first experiences within the field of credits and mortgage loans at a large Retail Bank. Next, I got the opportunity to put my product risk management knowledge into practice at a Belgian Asset Manager.
Both clients share a profound relationship with TriFinance for many years now. TriFinance supports both financial players by offering business expertise and a pragmatic approach on multiple levels. Combining this extended knowledge of for example the in-house loan life cycle, its related processes and risk management together with a strong understanding of the financial institutions’ company culture enables TriFinance to deliver value-adding solutions.
Never stop learning. Never stop growing.Wouter Spitaels
During my first assignments, the main challenges were mastering the loan life cycle and the continuous development of tailor-made management reporting. As a result, the experience gained at the Mortgage Loan Acceptance-, Precontentieux- and Project & Process Management Loan departments enabled me to perform risk analysis for the bank’s Credit Risk Management Department. Consequently, delivering qualitative credit risk analyses, reports, and presentations - tailored to the needs of both internal, external and regulatory stakeholders - were the main needs which had to be covered.
At the Product Risk department of the asset management company, I mainly provided general quantitative support and performed risk management - including the reporting of the results to the accredited committee - of diverse types of funds (e.g. money market-, fixed income-, equity, mixed and alternative funds). Thanks to the gathered product specific knowledge, I got the opportunity to work as a Business Analyst to support the Data Migration Project towards a new platform.
Overall, my extended knowledge of the in-house credit cycle/product risk rules, internal systems & processes, and company culture, which I gathered during the assignments, enabled me to develop myself at the client. Furthermore, the excellent support of my mentor and business manager enabled me to raise the bar at every assignment.
The main deliverables of my missions for TriFinance can be categorized into three main groups which are ‘Reporting & Analysis’, ‘Process Improvement & Advisory’ & ‘Business Analysis’.
Reporting & Analysis: At my first client, the focus was placed on creating and embedding tailor-made management reporting tools accompanied by the provision of profound analysis. At the credit risk department, I analyzed the client’s credit risk by monitoring the evolutions of several KPIs & Dashboards (e.g. Exposures, Delinquencies, Defaults, Loan Loss Provisions, IBNR, Concentration Risk) for the different portfolios. Consequently, the results were reported to internal (i.e. Accounting, Operations, etc.), external (i.e. Auditors, etc.) and regulatory (i.e. NBB, ECB, EBA, etc.) stakeholders. At the Asset Manager, the main reporting related results consist of Risk Framework checks (Equity-, Fixed Income-, Money Market, Hedge- & Real Estate Funds), Liquidity Monitoring & Scenario Analysis.
Process Improvement & Advisory: By bringing a pair of fresh eyes at each mission, I could discover quick wins, work them out, improve processes and stimulate change. Next, I also raised awareness on the importance of data quality & data-driven management decisions. Additionally, I set up the capacity planning within the Credit Risk Management Department at my first client. This includes the drafting, follow up and review of the team’s planning & tasks. Furthermore, several initiatives were undertaken to improve communication and awareness within the credit risk management department.
Business Analysis: At the asset management company, I had the opportunity to assist in the data migration project as a Business Analyst. Here, I helped in implementing the internal risk frames & related rules into the new fund database & platform.
Wouter finishing the Eindhoven Marathon with his TriFinance colleagues
Apart from the extended loan credit cycle knowledge, asset management experience, risk management & compliance expertise gathered over the past three years I also developed my potential on other levels.
As a member of TriFinance Financial Institution’s Data Governance Radar Team, I helped to raise awareness on the importance of data quality & data governance within the company. As part of my personal development plan, I recently switched to the Risk Management & Compliance Practice, where I aim – together with my colleagues - to grow within this field.
To broaden my perspective, I joined the TriFinance Book Club. As an active member, I read among others ‘Misbehaving’, written by Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler. Apart from presenting my findings to colleagues, I was also able to apply some of my behavioral economic insights at the Precontentieux Department of my first client. By ‘nudging’ clients, we fastened their mortgage loan repayments, which was a big win.
Given my passion for stock markets & financial products, I founded ‘TriFinance Invest’. This community allows members to gain access to updated financial knowledge, macroeconomic trends impacting the financial landscape and investing insights; all collected and shared by colleagues.
Finally, I also had the opportunity to realize my sporting ambitions. Together with other TriFinance colleagues, I finished the Eindhoven Marathon. By raising money for the Bednet initiative through Music For Life we made a real difference. This year I pushed my limits even further by finishing the epic ‘La Bouillonnante’, one of Belgium’s hardest trails.
The practice ‘Risk Management and Compliance’ practice focuses on supporting banks and insurance undertakings in anticipating and addressing the tighter regulatory standards relating to risk management, compliance and internal control by monitoring the different European and local regulatory and supervisory bodies.
For more information on the Risk & Compliance Practice, please check out the following page.
For more info, you can always contact Wouter Spitaels.
(firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 2 712 08 90).