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Tina Dela Cruz: Delivering career goals and tech projects in Macquarie’s Manila Office

Tina Dela Cruz’s 20-year career has taken her from hands-on programming roles in software development to the delivery-based side of tech. She is currently an Associate Director in the Manila office, leading the Specialised Asset Finance Tech Energy team. Tina says she is motivated by the continuous growth and seizing opportunities with Macquarie.


When Tina Dela Cruz joined Macquarie’s Manila office in 2013, she had already accumulated over a decade of experience as an expert software engineer and Java technical lead for a UK software financial technology firm.

“I had reached a point in my career where I wanted to grow in a different direction and pursue something else within tech,” she explains.

“My friend joined Macquarie and spoke highly of the organisation and encouraged me to apply for a role.”

Tina says that, while her background was in software development, Macquarie gave her the opportunity to take a sidestep into becoming a technical project manager for the Banking and Financial Services Technology team.

The organisation saw potential in my transferable skills and was willing to invest in me to learn on the job."

Establishing Manila’s reputation

Tina says her tech development background has benefited her, allowing her to close the gap between stakeholders and her team in her project management role.

“I could understand the technicalities and what the developers were doing,” she says.

Her first project was working with the newly established Manila offshore Banking and Financial Services Technology team to implement a system refresh that had encountered problems.

“The project was complex,” Tina says. “We were able to deliver despite the intricacies, and in the process, were able to establish Manila’s reputation as a capable resource centre for the group -which resulted in more end-to-end projects opportunities.”

In 2015, Tina was appointed delivery lead and took on people management responsibilities for the Tech Trading Team in Manila. Under her leadership, a team of 14 developers delivered a large-scale portfolio management project. She was also given the opportunity to manage the Counter Party Services Tech Manila Team within Finance Operations and Risk.


Returning to Macquarie

In 2016, Tina decided to leave Macquarie to pursue a project management role she’d been offered at a startup.

“My role at Macquarie had gradually become more people management focused than delivery-focused,” she explains. “I wanted to realign my career goals and work-life balance.”

“I could see great potential at the startup,” Tina says. “But after a while I realised I was a better fit for the environment of a larger organisation, because I thrive environment with more structure, growth and people.”

After two years away, Tina knew Macquarie was the right match from a learning and culture perspective and in 2017 jumped at the chance to rejoin. The Manila office had also grown in her absence, and she returned as Scrum Master and technology delivery lead for the energy metering business in the UK. The business known as Specialised Asset Finance operates under Commodities and Global Markets Tech.

“This role offered the perfect combination of hands-on delivery and people management.” Tina says.


Growth mindset

As a delivery lead, Tina’s responsibilities continued to expand with the opportunity to work in the Guragram office. Then, in 2019, she was given the chance to lead the entire Manila Specialised Asset Finance team before being promoted to Associate Director in 2021.

“I am an account manager in Specialised Asset Finance Energy, so I still project manage as well as look after resourcing, team management and governance for transformation projects in energy,” she explains.

“I am also the local manager for the Manila team, mentoring around 30 people and building up the skills and resource capability of a new team.”

Tina focuses on the bigger picture: from process improvement to problem solving, automation and making platforms more scalable.

“How can we add value and become less reactive or transactional?” she explains. “I enjoy thinking strategically about the platforms we support and the growth of the team.”

“As a leader, I quickly learnt that it's not just about doing things, it’s important to invest in, mentor and develop people along that journey.”


Change and evolution

Tina was responsible for changing the team’s operating model, so they could work more efficiently to create effective, secure and scalable systems.

She says Specialised Asset Finance is moving into the cloud - providing opportunities for developers to cross-skill and learn - whether that’s on the job or through formal certification.

“Change is embedded in Macquarie’s culture, so the organisation continually evolves,” Tina explains. “We are always seeking to reinvent or change the current platforms.”

Tina has recently worked on a transformation modernisation project.

“We work in partnership with the business. So, it’s important we can articulate the ‘why’ and the goals of what we are trying to do to achieve buy-in on transformation projects.”

I enjoy that what we do adds value to the business, I like the problem solving and continuous growth that comes with that."

Tina believes Macquarie offers a diverse, bottom-up culture and an inclusive environment where people can speak up.

“Macquarie does not have a culture of micro-management,” Tina says. “It’s results-focused and built on trust.”

“I enjoy the positivity and support at Macquarie, flexibility and a healthy work/life balance are encouraged.”


Supporting women in tech

Tina says her own career journey is testament to the way Macquarie encourages and facilitates talent to progress in tech roles.

“I’ve been mentored and inspired by my managers and leaders at Macquarie,” she explains.

“Macquarie gave me a chance, but I also wouldn’t be here if I didn't have the courage to try a new role. You need to go out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.”

“I’m really proud of the work my whole team does, and I hope other women in tech will be inspired to join Macquarie because there are so many opportunities here,” she says.

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