Seeing two sides of the financial services coin
We asked Danielle Ward, our new Business Development Manager, about her career path.
Tell us a little bit about your career so far.
I started working at Yorkshire Bank at the age of 19 as a cashier. I was there for 8 years and in the last 3 years I was promoted to the deputy bank manager. This involved running the team of ten people, managing targets set for us and keeping strict anti-money laundering and fraud regulations. After 8 years, I felt that I needed a change from such a regimented environment.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I always wanted to be a vet when I was little because I loved animals and cuddling them. When I realised it involved a lot of blood and needles I went off the idea!
What were your initial thoughts when you started at TAEFL?
I found that the team were really friendly and easy to get on with. I soon discovered that there was a lot more to trade finance than I originally thought! Whilst it was a challenge to start learning all about this new area, it was nice not to have to wear a uniform for a change and I really like the relaxed atmosphere in the office.
Can you explain a little more about your role as the new Business Development Manager?
As Business Development Manager, I am the first point of contact for all new business that comes to TAEFL. I was initially surprised about the large variety of businesses that I see on a day to day basis. As each company is different, it means that I have a lot of diversity in my role and learn about new industries every day. Hearing the stories from individuals about how they have developed their company has to be my favourite part of the job.
How do you compare working in a bank to TAEFL?
Banking is very rigid and strict, working towards targets with little flexibility. Sometimes team work isn’t very easy in that kind of environment and it could get stressful. At TAEFL I have found it a completely different environment where working as a team is essential but where individuality is also encouraged.
Why is it that you want to help SMEs?
My opinion is that the SME sector is essential to the UK and more should be done to help these smaller businesses. By providing funding to these smaller companies, they are able to complete larger orders and ultimately grow their business to a place where they no longer need our services. TAEFL’s passion is that no company should ever turn down an order because they don’t have the capital and I’m excited to be a part of that vision.
If you could take one thing to a desert island what would it be?
I’d want a TV with all the channels so I wouldn’t get bored!
If you could meet anyone in the world who would it be?
It would have to be the Queen as I have a lot of questions to ask her, especially about her grandson Prince Harry!
How has working with UK EXIM helped you in your new role?
It has given me a better foundation to work as the business development manager because I have an understanding of how EXIM functions and the different facilities that we offer. This will benefit new clients as I will be able to choose a facility that will best suit their needs. I am also working on improving the transition from making an inquiry to becoming our client in EXIM.