Finalta has physical presence in Budapest since 2016. What is the story behind Finalta office in Budapest and why did you decide to relocate there?
Finalta has always been very strong and completely committed to Central Europe, as a really diverse and innovative set of countries. Being closer to the client made total sense, the real problem was which of the myriad exciting cities to choose as Finalta’s first new home in the region. Well, Budapest was selected and since then no one has looked back. Personally, I decided to move to Budapest for just 6 months, to help the new team get set up, but 6 months turned into 6 more, and I’ve been here 4 years and counting!
Does Budapest have any particular cultural and project differences to other offices?
Finalta’s Budapest office is a centre-of-excellence for Finalta’s big data studies. Our region has some of the biggest banks in the world in terms of customers, meaning millions and millions of rows of client, product and transaction data. The stuff of dreams for data scientists or anyone with a curious streak. Hence, our Budapest colleagues are particularly comfortable in processing all that data into insights and unlocking the stories within. There’s a whole range of tools and software people choose to use, and the sky is the limit in terms of curiosity.
What excites you most in your work at Finalta?
The core of my job is of course working with our clients to deliver benchmarks and best-practice advisory. This takes the majority of my time, so I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy that part, but it’s the ‘side-of-desk’ activities that often bring me the most pleasure. Managing and mentoring more junior colleagues and growing team skills, diversity and experience is immensely rewarding. The firm has a strong culture of strengths-based development, regular feedback and reviews, and it’s always exciting to see the new challenges people have overcome and new skills they have developed in doing so.
Are there any particular projects or workstreams that you are particularly excited about?
Innovation! The company I joined isn’t so easily recognisable because we’re always innovating. Underneath it all the fundamentals remain the same: great people, great attitudes, but these mean we’re always coming up with new products and ways of working. I’ve been involved in designing two studies at Finalta, from day 0. It can seem quite daunting when you’ve got blank whiteboards, excel and powerpoint files, but harnessing the great ideas from across a big international firm those quickly fill up, and the main challenge becomes what to not include to keep the study to a reasonable size. Designing the first iteration of a project is great, but I particularly enjoy closing the loop: getting our work in front of clients, interacting with them, hearing the feedback and developing the subsequent versions.