Season 2

S2E18: Stories that Prove Data is Not Boring

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S2E18: Stories that Prove Data is Not Boring
August 16, 2022

S2E18: Stories that Prove Data is Not Boring

This episode features Ray O'Brien, Chief Operation Officer at Quantexa.

Ray O'Brien

Ray O'Brien

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Episode Transcript

Episode Summary:

Ray O'Brien is Chief Operation Officer at Quantexa. He is an international business leader, board member, independent director, and advisor with a unique mix of expertise in Data, Analytics, Technology, Risk and Finance. Ray chatted with us about what is behind what he calls the “third industrial revolution.” He delves into how machine learning has changed the capacity for projects to do things that historically many couldn’t afford before. Ray provides his thoughts on how data and analytics are growing every day and affecting relationships among businesses and consumers.


3 Takeaways:

  • AI is not new, but Cloud based Machine Learning has been the game changer through providing seemingly unlimited capacity to do different kinds of projects, stand up more analytical environments, and to do trials and explore innovation, all in a way we couldn’t afford historically.
  • Learn both technology and the business sides. If you have both of those, you are the junction point. You are the person, enabler, and the go to between business and technology that can be an asset for financial services.  
  • Cloud providers are going to get regulated, similar to how utilities such as electricity and water are treated. As the cloud, AI, and ML become much more integrated and migrated into the cloud, oversight will be required to regulate what happens and how systems are operated.


Key Quotes:

I really can't state [enough] how important it is to try and get a global view, to get out of your home country, and to work in different countries around the world to experience cultures and experience different peoples of different backgrounds, because it's so much value to you in your career to understand different viewpoints and not just be monoculture.

Some of my proudest moments [have been] watching people who I've managed, grow and become self-sufficient and basically overtake me, and become incredible valuable assets to whatever organization they're working for. I really do love watching people grow and become their best.

In very simple terms, if you imagine you're a water company in the UK. If you go bankrupt on a Friday, the water still flows on a Monday, because you're regulated to make sure that there is a company with enough capital in it to keep the water flowing and to make sure that that water has an operational process, no matter what happens to that company.  The same will happen to cloud providers. They're becoming too critically important for national and countries. They will become utilitized and they will have to be regulated like a utility.


Best Career Advice:

Get a global view outside of where you live. Gaining experiences from different people, cultures, and backgrounds can provide you a lot of value in your career. This will allow you to have a lot of different perspectives that can help you throughout business interactions.



Ray O'Brien

Chief Operation Officer at Quantexa

Ray is Chief Operation Officer at Quantexa. He is known to inspire business growth through innovative thinking, strategy and a global perspective. Ray is an international business leader, board member, independent director, and advisor with a unique mix of expertise in Data, Analytics, Technology, Risk and Finance. Ray is a proven influencer who makes an impactful difference operating with Boards and C-Level decision makers.

Ray graduated from University College Dublin in 1989 with a degree in mathematics and computer science. He joined Kleinwort Benson as an equities trading systems developer and in 1991 moved to Nomura, within futures and options trading. Two years later, he joined risk at Banque Paribas, before moving to the risk area at Deutsche Bank in 1997.

In 2001 Ray left Deutsche Bank to form a risk management consultancy based in London and Germany that included among its customers: Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and HSBC.

In 2004 Ray joined HSBC as a member of the executive committee for HTS Global Banking & Markets (HTS GB&M). Ray has managed a number of business areas within HTS GB&M, including Global Transaction Banking, Global Banking, Operations, Risk and Finance software and change delivery. Ray moved to the Global Risk function in 2012 and became the Global Risk COO and Global Head of Risk Analytics. In June 2021 Ray left HSBC and started the life of a Pluralist.


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