When he joined Macquarie over eight years ago, Ioannis Themelidis didn’t expect working in financial services would bring out his creative side. Today, having done everything from high-profile acquisitions to developing cutting-edge technology systems, he says it’s the interesting work that keeps him here.
“I had an image of what working in financial services would be like,” says Ioannis, who now works in Macquarie’s technology team within the trading division. “But it really isn’t how I had imagined it at all. I hadn’t heard of Macquarie, but I was looking for a change in my career. I went to the interview and got a really good sense of the culture and innovative projects, which convinced me to join.”
Ioannis finds the big difference with Macquarie is that its people are connected with senior leaders and can “own” projects.
“Where I have worked previously, and at lots of other technology companies, you’re often quite disconnected from the requirements of the business - you get a job that’s a small piece of the project and you do it. You don’t get the whole picture,” he says.
“At Macquarie, you get to work closely with the business and you’re an integral part of the strategy. You can see your impact and how important you and your team are to the success of the organisation.”
Ioannis did a degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering in Athens, then moved from Greece to London to do a Masters in Computer Science. He worked at a telecommunications company before joining Macquarie.
Although he has been in the same role for some time, Ioannis says that his projects change every six months.
“The environment is very dynamic. You get lots of challenges and opportunities, and you get to be more of a consultant to the business, as well as being hands-on. The nature of what we do is really innovative. Sometimes I feel I’m working at a company that includes different start-ups under the same roof.
“There are a number of things that keep me here more than eight years later – the size of the company is big enough that we do really interesting projects, but not so big that you don’t get to be involved in making decisions. And there’s a lot of investment in technology, in both the teams and the platforms.”
In 2017, Ioannis worked on the acquisition of the petroleum business from Cargill. He describes it as an exciting project.
“We worked with a global team to tight deadlines. We had to understand multiple systems and work through how to integrate them into our environment, and there was lots of energy and enthusiasm from the team. It was personally very rewarding to be part of delivering this successful project.”
These days Ioannis is helping to build a cutting-edge risk-management system for the commodities and cash equities teams. The project, which brings together technology teams from Houston, Hong Kong and London, allows him to work with new people and ideas.
“For this project we will be using the latest open source and cloud technologies, which is exciting,” he says. “One of the great things about working at Macquarie is that you’re always challenged. You get to extend your business and technical knowledge and each project stretches you a bit further. It’s a fast-paced environment, which keeps things interesting.”