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Paul Anonuevo: A journey in tech – from Manila to Sydney

Paul Anonuevo’s seven-year career in technology at Macquarie has taken him from Manila to Sydney, and from Commodities and Global Markets to Macquarie Asset Management. During this time, he has seen enormous change in technology alongside increased partnership between the business and tech teams.

 

Paul joined Macquarie in his home country of the Philippines when he was fresh out of university and rose through the ranks to become an Executive in one of Commodities and Global Markets tech teams. After four years, he decided to explore global career options, so when a former manager approached him about an exciting position at Macquarie Asset Management in Australia he didn’t hesitate.

“It was a big opportunity for me, so I decided to take the leap and move to Australia,” Paul explains.

 

Exploring tech in financial services

Paul’s interest in pursuing a tech role in the finance industry was first sparked in 2014, when he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. During a university visit from Macquarie, Paul and his peers were impressed with the organisation, which seemed to offer something quite different compared to other employers and ultimately prompted him to apply.

“After seeing the office and meeting the interviewers, Macquarie became my first choice, and I never applied to other companies,” Paul recalls. “I was impressed by the open-plan office, the fact that I was surrounded by senior leaders and that I had my manager sitting alongside me. It reflected a flat structure, where opportunities are not bounded by hierarchy or tradition. I wanted to be part of that type of culture.”

 

Global mobility

Paul’s initial role was as an Analyst Programmer in Macquarie’s Manila office, undertaking development for the Integration Services team aligned with Commodities and Global Markets.

“The team managed integration from one system to another in the Commodities and Global Markets space,” Paul says.

He was promoted to Senior Associate then Executive, and went on to spend more than four years with the team. Along the way, he gained valuable skills in system integration focused on the movement of data.

Meanwhile, one of Paul’s former managers was leading a new team in Sydney that required his expertise. The manager proposed Paul’s transfer to Sydney to work on a project with the tech team aligned to Macquarie Asset Management. That was when Paul decided to make Australia his home.

 

Adding value

Paul joined the tech team that supports the Public Investments Middle and Back Office systems for Macquarie Asset Management. His role involves responsibilities like pricing, reconciliations, benchmarks and settlements. “We maintain and look after the systems that the business depends on, day-in and day-out,” Paul explains.

Paul has seen progress as the business increasingly looks to the tech teams for their expertise, and has seen a real partnership develop to capitalise on the significant leaps we’re seeing in technology to create new solutions.

“The aim is to make the processes easier and more efficient – through automation, for example – so the business can focus on providing value to its clients.”

“Having access to reliable data is a crucial part of being able to automate workflows and processes, so I work a lot with data, but also in developing strategy,” Paul explains. “This includes building data pipelines where we consume data from various sources as well as performing transformation and data quality checks before loading the data into our platform to ensure we’re providing clean and trusted data to the business.”

Paul was recently promoted to Manager, and has also had the chance to try his hand as an interim development lead.

“I get to step beyond the technical tasks and coding, sharing my knowledge by teaching and mentoring other staff.”

 

New technologies and new skills

Now seven years into his career, Paul says he enjoys the constant learning curve.

“Technology is constantly changing, and we continually have to adapt,” he says.

In a relatively short span of time, Paul has seen tech shift to cloud solutions and the organisation transition to leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) instead of traditional servers.

“Part of that shift is driven by regular changes in the tech we are using, from 4GL tools to Python and Java. We’ve also been decommissioning and migrating old legacy systems.”

Paul highlights that new technology allows him and his team to become more engineering-led when building their designs and data pipelines.

“By leveraging serverless and cloud-native technologies, we can design resilient data pipelines and applications while also integrating a lot of automation within our development lifecycle,” Paul explains.

However, Paul also notes, “Programming is programming, irrespective of the tech you use. It requires the same logic formulation and problem-solving to bring benefit to the business.”

The team places a huge emphasis on continuous learning with training and certifications, and Paul has recently undertaken courses in Python and AWS.

“We have a buddy system, as well as weekly global knowledge sharing sessions within the team, taking it in turn to present the latest learnings around projects, changes and trends,” he explains.

 

Thinking beyond tech

Paul says that throughout his career with Macquarie he has been given many opportunities to step up.

“I may have been an Associate when I first started, but I was still encouraged to voice my opinions on analysis or development work. This emphasis on openness and collaboration is motivating, and there’s a true sense of connection even when we’re working from home.”

Paul says it’s vital for him to see the bigger picture of Macquarie Asset Management’s work to gain a better understanding of how he can help the business uncover untapped opportunities.

“There’s always a danger of getting stuck focusing purely on the tech side of things, but we need to think about the wider scope and continually building out benefits for the business,” he says.

“It’s not just about developing tech systems, but also about making sure they function well and bring as much value as possible,” he says. “If I deepen my knowledge of what the business does, I can improve the way we do it. I am excited for the challenges in the future, and feel there is a lot more real growth ahead for me.”

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