Funds Industry Profile 4: Karen Campbell, Vice President - Change Management, State Street26 November 2018
This is the fourth profile in a series of 12 profiles we will be publishing over the next three months to highlight professionals, their career paths and their experiences working in the funds industry. We interviewed professionals in a variety of firms, areas and roles in order to give a broad view of their experiences and the opportunities in the industry.
Karen Campbell, Vice President - Change Management at State Street Ireland talks about her current role and career, taking time out, working remotely, her proudest achievements, and what she’d say to someone considering a career in the funds industry.
Tell us about your background and role at State Street Ireland?
My name is Karen Campbell and I currently work as a Vice President in the Change Management department within State Street Ireland.
Describe your current role in a nutshell.
I manage change projects for key State Street clients. This can range from launching new products within their fund range to managing technology builds.
Tell us about your career so far at State Street.
I have worked in the funds industry for nearly 20 years in a number of roles – starting as a Fund Accountant and eventually managing the New Business Integration unit within State Street. I took 2 years out after having my children and came back to State Street in a Change Management role on a work from home basis in a bid to gain a better work life balance. I have been working in this way for over 2 years now and it has proved to be successful.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy the variety of projects – I am working with key State Street clients who are always at the forefront of new industry initiatives so I get to work on really interesting projects.
Which achievement / project are you the most proud of?
Last year I worked on the onboarding of a significant client in terms of the number of funds and breadth of the product range. The project involved teams from multiple locations and had a significant amount of senior focus. At times it was challenging but it was ultimately rewarding to see the project complete successfully.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Working with my manager and the Change team to continue to develop and improve our offering both internally and to our clients.
What's the next goal?
Become a better networker.
Can we talk about the way your career has developed and the various roles that you have held along the way?
I started my career in Financial Services straight from college as a Fund Accountant. I was then promoted to Team Leader within the Fund Accounting department and enjoyed managing a team for a specific client for a number of years – overseeing net asset value (NAV) production, client service and monthly reporting. I then decided that I wanted to try something new and applied to work in the New Business Integration (NBI) unit – managing the onboarding of new clients to State Street Ireland. The role was varied – I was able to work across the various functional areas and get a good understanding of how they fit together. I eventually ended up managing the NBI team. The role was interesting – working with clients as they brought new products to market and I enjoyed managing my team and helping them to develop their own careers.
What is the best lesson you have learned during your career in Funds?
To always keep learning – the industry is constantly changing and it is important to keep up to date with new developments.
What would you say to someone who is considering a career in financial services?
I would definitely encourage people to consider a career in financial services. There are a lot of opportunities. The roles on offer are diverse and the industry in Ireland is dynamic so it’s definitely an industry where you can develop in the long term.
Tell us about your work-life balance.
I think I’ve achieved a really good work-life balance with the help of State Street. I have been able to move closer to my family which has provided a significant support for me to continue with my career. I get to drop my kids to school in the mornings and then start working in a job that is challenging and interesting. I relish the fact that I am able to do something that I enjoy – that uses the skills I have built up over the years. I travel to the Dublin office once or twice a month and I enjoy catching up for coffee with the people I am working with on a daily basis. The technology that allows me to work from home is fantastic – and in the most part it is not visible to the clients that I work with, where I am located to do my job. I have been able to take on relatively significant projects and execute these well while working from home. I work with people from many different State Street offices – so not being at a desk in Dublin has not impacted on my ability. My manager is very supportive of my working arrangement and I have never felt that I have been restricted in what I can do because I am a work-from-home employee.
Describe your role or career in 3 words…
Interesting, Challenging, Varied.
If I wasn't working in Funds, I would be...
I did my degree in economics – so something like an Economic Researcher would also be an interesting role.