Discover how collaboration can make you a leader

Read how Lisa Ryer’s team ethic has brought her global responsibilities

Lisa Ryer

Global Head of Investment Banking Know Your Client (KYC) Operations

20 years in the industry

12 years at Barclays

What was your first job out of college?

Fixed Income Operations Analyst at Goldman Sachs. I was recruited into their graduate program and spent two years rotating through various departments within the division. Then I took up an offer to join their Middle Office team on the trading floor. I stayed in the Middle Office for the next seven years, progressively taking on more responsibility.    

Is there any one thing that transformed your career?

For me, there was honestly no single transformational point in my career. I continue to learn something new every day. It’s important to always self-reflect on what can be improved and what you can do better. This includes how you perform your specific job tasks, but it also includes how you interact with stakeholders, how you engage with your team, how you learn from mistakes, etc. I’ve learned the most from some of the roles I’ve liked the least! It’s also important to make sure you understand how things fit together and why decisions may be made one way or the other. I’ve had the same mentor for over 10 years now – and he has always been laser focused on having me put things into perspective and making sure I understand the bigger picture of all the influences that impact various situations.   

What skills have you found most valuable in your workplace?

Teamwork and collaboration. The best-performing teams at Barclays are those that combine people with different strengths, experiences and ideas. This is especially true when members of the team are each recognized for, and trusted to apply, their individual skills. In my team, I have people who are experts in managing regulatory requirements and compliance policies; others who are great at building processes; and still others who know just how to establish and manage relationships across the business. It’s okay that not everyone is an expert at everything, and it’s okay to ask a colleague for help and to learn from them. It’s important to celebrate diversity – of background, thought, experience and style. The skills you bring to the team can come from anywhere. In fact, the skills you gain through work, internships and even sports are every bit as important as your academic performance.

What do you love about Barclays?

My team. It’s made up of the smartest, most hard-working, loyal, fun people. I truly enjoy working with them every day. I can be a demanding manager at times, but it’s because I believe in our group and the work that we do. We have a purpose – and it’s important. We help protect Barclays from the regulatory, reputational and financial risk associated with financial crime.   

How do you overcome work challenges?

By diving into the detail and seeking out the decision-makers who can drive change. There’s a solution to every problem if you look closely enough and get the right people involved.

And the best advice you’ve received?

To just say ‘yes’ to new opportunities that come your way. Accept new projects, assignments and additional responsibility without hesitation. You will prove yourself very quickly.