What’s your role at OSB Group and what does it entail?
I am the Group Valuation Panel Manager, working within the in-house Real Estate department at OSB Group. I am the relationship owner with all of our valuation partners across residential, BTL and commercial property types which requires me to effectively manage the end to end valuation procurement and valuation services across the Group. From selecting valuer firms, panel managers, requesting quotes to instructing and receiving valuation reports, this is all part of what I am responsible for on an ongoing operational basis. My role also requires me to produce thousands of valuation reports each month to help support the Bank’s lending strategy. I also manage data for management information (MI) and service level agreements (SLA) with all our valuation services providers to ensure high levels of broker satisfaction and handle any possible issues that may arise.
How long have you been with OSB Group and in the finance industry?
My journey into the finance industry and with OSB Group started in December 2016. Previously I worked within Local Authority environment so working in the financial services sector was an exciting new challenge!
I am a Chartered Surveyor and I joined OSB Group with a background in commercial valuation and management. I started with the group as a Senior Surveyor before moving to manage the valuation procurement team in 2018.
How have you found being a woman in the finance industry?
The surveying industry has always been perceived to be a male dominated world, although this point of view is finally changing, and by choosing to follow a pathway into the finance industry, I feel that I have been more valued for my experience and expertise than I had before especially since our Real Estate department is embracing and championing diversity and inclusion. In fact, our department is a 50/50 mixture of male and female surveyors.
Previously, the consensus is that women in any industry had struggled to either make themselves heard or achieve promotion comparable to those of their male colleagues. I have not experienced or felt this was the case when I joined OSB Group. In fact, one of the reason for accepting the role was because the department was such a diverse environment where male and female surveyors worked together, irrespective of ages or nationalities. I was born in Paris so I have always relished having a more cosmopolitan and varied background!
What do you feel is most important about being a manager/leader?
I believe in supporting my team in their professional development, involving them in discussions to support any improvements to processes and business decisions. Communication and trust are key to any working relationships. This ensures that we work together to meet our customers’ and colleagues’ expectations, provide the support they need to achieve their goals and being a part of the wider business’s purpose, vision and values. I understand that all of my team members all have individual strengths and I truly value them.
OSB Group have always supported my career growth and provide opportunities to develop and progress. This is something I encourage in my own team for my colleagues to achieve their individual ambitions.
How do you feel people can work together to support each other ambitions?
As a manager, I want to know what each of the members of my team want to achieve, I appreciate them being totally open and honest. Understanding their goals means that I can support them and we can work together to achieve them. It sounds a little cliché, but our department is an important cog in a well-oiled machine and understanding how we fit in the wider process, means that we can work with all our stakeholders to ensure we are supporting our customers’ journey with OSB Group and the lending brands; Precise Mortgages, Kent Reliance for Intermediaries and InterBay.