Here at Mizuho in EMEA we encourage a culture of innovation, openness and feedback. We believe a motivated workforce is a productive workforce and this is why our people are central to everything we do. We pride ourselves on making sure that our people feel integrated and welcomed, whether they have just recently started at Mizuho, are returning to work after a long break or have been here for many years.

Lisa Woodward

Lisa Woodward
Managing Director
Head of Operations

Years in the industry: 31 years

Areas of focus: Operations and Change Management

What do you do at Mizuho?

My role at Mizuho is head of Operations for the London based securities business covering trade support, client onboarding, reference data, collateral management, settlements, cash management, asset servicing, agency lending services, control, network management and projects.

What are Mizuho’s culture and people like?

Mizuho has a very collaborative and creative culture, people and teams working closely together to solve issues quickly and effectively.

I have seen this in action in my first three months of working here, and it’s very tangible.

How is Mizuho different from other places?

Mizuho has a honest and open approach about it, where senior management is very approachable and hands-on, giving access to the decision makers at all levels which is very encouraging for the up and coming talent in the teams.

What is one thing you have learned while at Mizuho or in the industry?

Change is the only constant in Operations - nothing stands still for long.

Being able to challenge the status quo, always looking for opportunities for scale, bringing efficiency or enhancing control and evolving your own or your teams approach is critical in our ability to deliver to our internal and external clients.

What do you do for fun?

I love to travel with my family and enjoy visiting different countries – I have a seven year old daughter so this is a great age to experience different places, cultures and food with her.

What motivates you, what inspires you?

At the most basic level I enjoy fixing broken things.

That statement can be applied to teams, processes and / or systems and is often what an Operations manager finds themselves solving for.

The pulling apart, understanding and putting back together in a more efficient, controlled and scalable manner is what excites me in my day-to-day work.

Gary Goldberg

Gary Goldberg
Executive Director
Chief Data Officer

Years in the industry: 24 years

Areas of focus: Data Management, Data Governance and Data Science

Tell us a bit about your background

I started in Investment Banking 24 years ago as an equities sales trader. I found myself developing their IT systems in my spare time and eventually moved full time to IT. I progressed from developer to analyst to project manager and to departmental manager until I joined the London securities business of Mizuho International in 2014 as the Head of Risk IT. In early 2015, as data was becoming a more strategic focus for the securities business, I was asked to transition to my role as Chief Data Officer.

What do you do at Mizuho?

Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses. Without good data our systems don’t function, business decisions are hindered and costs increase. As the Chief Data Officer, I run the Data Office to govern the securities business use of data and to help use our data assets for increased profitability. Increasingly this means using our data infrastructure to drive innovation and data science.

How is Mizuho different to other places you have worked?

Mizuho offers a fantastic hybrid of entrepreneurism, strong values and a long term vision that’s uncommon in our peers. Mizuho International, in particular, reminds me more of a large hedge fund than a slow moving investment bank. I think this is down to the lack of bureaucracy and lack of politics set out by the management team.

What motivates you?

I love solving problems and creating value. For me that means helping to find innovative ways to doing things better, faster and for the greater good.

What has been your most rewarding and proudest experience at Mizuho?

I have just been included in the DataIQ 100 – the list of the most influential people in data-driven business in 2018. That was a great honour and it recognises the great work we’ve done. 

Seeing the cultural change take hold at Mizuho regarding the value of data has been incredibly gratifying. It’s not often that you get an opportunity to build a new department from the ground up. Seeing how this has been received by our business and the positive impact that it’s made is the real highlight. As an example, our GDPR and MIFID2 regulatory programmes have been delivered for a fraction of the cost compared to our peers. A significant reason for this is the investment we’ve made in our data architecture.

What changes do you foresee in the future of the data industry?

The pace of change will continue to accelerate and the increased use of data science techniques such as machine learning and artificial intelligence will become more important to maintain a competitive advantage. Companies like Mizuho that have made strategic investments in data should be at the forefront of this change. We should be aiming to automate regulatory change as much as possible so that we are in a position to focus further on investing in revenue-enhancing projects.

More widely, the amount of data available is growing exponentially. A growing pool of data and data scientists at universities plus a commoditisation of data science tools will lead to a step-change in the ability to build and deploy data analytics. But we still need to ensure we have the right people to ask the right questions of the data. The Data Office has established partnerships with a number of leading UK University Data Science programmes to support Mizuho’s future needs. These are starting to bear fruit now with three to four university data science projects scheduled this year.

Zahra Peerbhoy 

Zahra Peerbhoy
Senior Managing Director
Head of Fixed Income

Tell us a bit about your background

I started in banking in New York 24 years ago in Fixed Income Research. After a couple of years in research, I moved to Investor Marketing and then on to Credit Trading. I traded Corporate Floating Rate Notes and then in 1999 I moved to London where I ran the Short Term Products Group. For the majority of my career, I have been on the Credit Sales and Trading side of the Fixed Income business.

What prompted you to join Mizuho?

Mizuho seems to have an ambition to grow from its current base. The systems are newer and because of that there are innovative ways that the business can be relevant to Fixed Income clients in a post MIFID-world. There are no legacy issues here so the firm is well-positioned to take a lead as market dislocations continue. Additionally, the connectivity with Japan and non-Japan Asia is a competitive advantage that differentiates us from our competitors.

What motivates and inspires you?

A challenge definitely motivates and inspires me. I am interested in finding solutions that help our industry move forward as the market place continues to evolve.

What are your first impressions of Mizuho?

Great infrastructure and a group of people who want to use our strengths to build out the business.

What do you think poses one of the largest challenges within the financial services at the moment?

Brexit, the on-going implementation of MIFID and further regulation.