Mark Learner – Optimisation: Automation, Design and Build, Wholesale Lending

I’m Mark Learner and I work in Optimisation – and, well, I suppose the first question to address is, what is Optimisation? The answer to that is, broadly, that we work closely with both Technology and the rest of the Wholesale Lending Operations team, to understand where there are  inefficiencies within the business – either based on our own experience or on client feedback. Then, we’ll try to use a mixture of techniques, including optimisation, robotics and artificial intelligence, to try to improve that process.

It’s exciting because it’s not just internal Tech partners that we work with. If anyone’s got existing technology that we can leverage  across other parts of Barclays, then we can work with those teams, or, we might  go out    to the market and talk to Fintech's and identify if somebody has a solution that’s already available. You get a really good mixture of delivering operational change  as well as discovering new technology based solutions and delivering technological change.

It’s quite buzzy here: people are generally always talking and supporting each other in delivering their work. In morning meetings, you can spot all the teams around whiteboards discussing their day’s work; what needs to be achieved. It feels like a team player atmosphere.

The culture is brilliant. There are so many good opportunities open to colleagues from all backgrounds. As an example, I was in New York last week because I was funded to go and represent Barclays at the OutNEXT Global Conference, where finance, law and marketing firms get together to discuss LGBT+ issues. It’s all been great for me in terms of development, and in bringing my true self to work.