In a series of interviews, we will introduce you to the consultants from the Simplify Consulting team. Today we meet one of our wealth consultants to find out more about them, their background and the work they are fulfilling at our busy consultancy.

Today’s spotlight is on Nina Cherry Wealth Consultant at Simplify Consulting. Nina has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry across a range of roles who originally worked with us an Associate and joined Simplify’s permanent team in 2020.

What’s your past experience and how has that helped in this role?

I started out as a pensions administrator for Barclays Staff Pensions, and progressed into a role as a senior systems and test analyst. During my 12 years, I worked on a variety of continuous improvement changes, annual statements, data cleansing projects and large scale-programmes of work, including a project to outsource to a subsidiary company and finally a project to outsource to a TPA. I amassed experience in a range of areas and became the SME on the interfaces between the pensions system and the HR & Payroll system (SAP) – I’m generally at my happiest when tinkering around with systems and data!

I spent several years working as a solutions design analyst for Barclays Africa. A very different role that allowed me to learn lots about payments and core banking from a retail and corporate perspective and gave me the opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of APIs.

My experience as a test practitioner is being put to good use on my current client engagement where I’m leading one of the verification teams, testing the correspondence outputs of a new Transfer Agency system. As part of this, I’ve led the development of a test suite of over 850 test cases, to ensure that we have comprehensive coverage of all the correspondence outputs. I have also identified and raised countless defects, helping to ensure the quality of the final build before it goes live.

What’s it’s been like working at Simplify?

Coming from a big corporate to a small business is a big culture leap. It’s great to be a part of something where you feel so collectively responsible for the success of the business and to be part of a team which has so much combined expertise across the wealth sector.

The different engagements we get to work on keep things varied and interesting and allow me to assimilate knowledge along the way. As a consultant we are always learning and looking to further our skills and knowledge. In between engagements I’ve been able to focus on some internal pieces of work aimed at realising our business strategy.

Additionally, we have a fantastic culture in terms of corporate responsibility. We support a different charity each year and take part in many and varied events and projects to raise funds throughout the year.

What has been a big win for you/most proud of since working at Simplify?

Leading an engagement to write correspondence specifications to cover all of the correspondence outputs (including letters, statements, forms etc) to be produced across the full suite of operational processes on a new Transfer Agency system. The engagement lasted approximately 6 months and was conducted almost 100% remotely using a team of our Business Analysis associates. Engagement with key Ops SMEs, compliance, and development stakeholders was primarily via regular documentation walkthroughs and was key to the success of the project.

The end deliverable was almost 80 specifications covering over 150 ‘packs’ of template outputs which were both regulatory compliant and conformed to the required branding and tone of voice for the client. They were extremely happy with the output, so much so that we are now involved in the programme of work for the testing phase for the new system. I find this particularly rewarding as I now get to see the output specifications ‘bought to life’ during the testing phase.

And finally, what do you enjoy outside of work?

Outside of work I’m a busy mum of two young boys, so enjoy spending time with them, as well as my friends and family. I’m lucky to live near the beach, so try and get down there as often as possible. To try and keep fit, I love Zumba and running. I love reading (real books only, I’m not an e-book convert) and also gardening, particularly trying to grow plants from seeds and cuttings. I’m currently slightly obsessed with my new tropical aquarium.

Stay tuned for more insight to the Simplify team.

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