Ana-Maria Broscatan, senior governance analyst at Close Brothers, on how she came upon a career in asset finance and leasing.
The UK asset finance and leasing industry was completely new to me when I started at Close Brothers in 2020, but I am very fortunate to have had a strong support network to who I am extremely grateful. They played a key role in helping me settle into my role really quickly and begin making a positive impact.
After completing my undergraduate degree in Law with European Legal Studies, I started my career as a paralegal, working at various financial services firms. I seized every opportunity presented to me, whether trying out equity research or helping to develop a risk strategy during the pandemic at one of the world’s largest banks. My roles took me all over the world, including the Netherlands, China, and America, but I was always drawn to home.
During the height of lockdown, I decided that I wanted to develop more in the GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) space, where I could make a difference and where my advice would genuinely help people – be it internal or external stakeholders. I was fortunate enough to come across my role at Close Brothers, and I felt like Goldilocks – it was just right in every way. My role allows me to support the UK SME community and has helped me find a career I love.
In January 2022, I was admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in New York State because I wanted to keep helping people outside of work. Drawing on this legal background, I have been able to expand my role beyond my original responsibilities, and have been given opportunities to learn, grow and succeed in my role – most recently by being asked to coordinate the Consumer Duty project within our asset finance division. I have consistently been supported in my development and career plans (including being sponsored to complete the ICA Diploma in GRC), and have been encouraged to grow into my ambitions.
Having attended an all-girls school until the age of 18, I am a strong proponent of having more female representation in male-dominated fields, including asset finance and leasing. There is still a long way to go to change the stats in the industry – 43% of asset finance providers’ boards have no female members, according to a recent survey. But I’m hopeful that with the hybrid-working era, and with an increasing focus on gender diversity across the industry, we can shift the dial.
I found it encouraging to see increasingly diverse panels at various conferences I attended in 2022, and I do see a shift in the wider industry. I think that having a more diverse workforce and less ‘group thinking’ helps us gain different perspectives, expertise, and experiences, which can not only help shift the culture in a more positive way, but it can also help us as a sector overall – after all, our client-base is diverse, so we should be too.
Networking with my peers at various events, I have seen the drive to increase diversity, and I hope it continues through attracting and retaining talent – no matter their background. Every insight, and every unique skillset, can help us improve and make our industry the ideal place to work.
My role as a Senior Governance Analyst touches numerous business areas and I work closely with all three lines of defence within Close Brothers. I can already see a change in the types of vehicles being funded by the first line, particularly due to ULEZs (Ultra Low Emission Zones), and am curious to see if the current trend of car manufacturers looking to monetise connectivity will continue, and what this will look like for our industry.
I am confident there will be further changes to the macro regulatory and operational environments in which we operate in the coming years (as has already been shown in 2022, for example with Consumer Duty), and I am interested to see if there will be a change in the types of products launched into the market, and if there will be a change in the type of customer using our funding services. I have faith in our industry’s ability to adapt in hard times, and to deliver the right outcomes for our customers when they need it most. No two days in my role are the same, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next few years have in store.
Read More: My road to Close Brothers and SME advocacy – a profile of Lauren Rhodes