Consultant of the Month – January 2019

Paul Brown
30.01.2019 Published: 30.01.19, Modified: 30.01.2019 14:01:50

Matei-Florin Isofache (HK)

Consultant, Project Management Office at CLSA

Liverpool University: Law

After a brief stint in a law firm, I decided to switch to a career in the enticing financial technology industry. I thought that coming from a background in law and being halfway across the globe would certainly hinder my quest, but FDM proved me wrong. Two years later, here I am. Having started my journey with the Global Market’s Division in HSBC, being at the core of the largest regulatory project across Asia-Pacific, I have now progressed to be part of both the Project Management Office and Strategic Development Office for one of the leading equities brokers in Hong Kong, CITIC’s CLSA. This journey has been incredible so far and has provided me with the opportunity to contribute to the project teams’ effort of navigating through one of the most challenging economic landscapes of our time. A highlight of this new role is the level of responsibility I am given alongside having a satisfying career. The three things which make FDM the perfect employer are; an outstanding list of connections to network with, including some of the biggest and most impactful financial clients in the world, a ground presence in the highly accredited financial centres around the world and the proficient IT training skills which promptly prepares you for your future career, regardless of your educational background.

“Matei has exceeded all of our expectations since he has joined. His contributions are instrumental in making the PMO function work in a very efficient and effective manner. In a very short time he has proved to us that he is able to take on more responsibility and was therefore given multiple tasks such as governing very high-profile projects with almost no oversight. He has generated immense confidence from senior stakeholders who ask for his help on a regular basis on reporting for steering committees. His biggest achievement is bringing discipline in reporting by the PMs. His biggest strengths are his enthusiasm to go above and beyond and his ability to accept feedback to constantly improve his skills. I am very impressed with Matei and hence FDM. I felt the training given by FDM to develop Matei’s skills, abilities and personality played a critical role in his professional achievements. I am very happy to say that I am keen to continue accepting FDM consultants into the company.”

– Head of IT PMO at CLSA

Natalia Walder (DE)

Solution Manager at Erste Group IT International GmbH

University of Konstanz: Bachelor and Master studies in Mathematics

I started at FDM in April 2017. FDM provided me with the crucial knowledge and skills needed to launch my career in IT. The best part about my time at FDM was the consultant training in London and the FDM networking events. I would describe the culture at FDM as open-minded, trustful, caring, friendly, energetic and motivating. I would recommend FDM to graduates who are interested in starting a career in IT or in any of the main business sectors because in my experience, FDM provides a connective network to many market leaders. In my role at Erste Group IT International GmbH, I have the opportunity to progress both personally and technically in a suitable and supporting environment. I would like to say thank you to both FDM and Erste Group IT. I am very thankful for the ongoing feedback I receive from my manager and my colleagues. I am very proud to be part of this community.

“Natalia managed to make a comprehensive overview and documentation of our service expert codes rights. We also had a BCBS239 finding (internal program) which Natalia brought her expertise to analyse and extract the data successfully. Natalia’s performance resulted in excellent feedback from our Business Owner from Operational Risk Erste Group Holding, from our business stakeholders as well as the internal colleagues and team. With her attitude and detailed oriented technical skills, she managed to bring savings to our team through an efficient way of working and bringing added value to the overall operations and adaptations to the bank activities. We are very happy with the service provided by FDM. The attitude and skills of the consultants coming from FDM are great, and the enthusiastic approach is one which Erste Group appreciates very much.”

– Solution Manager at Erste Group IT International GmbH

Hannah Duncan (UK)

Client Developer at HSBC

University of Glasgow: Maths

I have been with FDM for just under two years, and have been on site at HSBC for 19 months. My time at HSBC has been a great learning experience, I have had the opportunity to move around within the team and learn about both API and front-end development as well as some automation testing.  I am part of a very supportive team who are always happy to take the time to help and share their knowledge. It feels great to have my work recognised and I would like to say thanks to all my colleagues at HSBC for their help and support. After university, I wasn’t sure which career path I wanted to pursue. FDM seemed like the ideal company to gain training from in a field that I did not have prior knowledge in. I was also able to obtain professional work experience by working with one of their top-tier clients. The best part about my time with FDM was that they allowed me to switch streams during my training.  I started off in the Business Intelligence stream, but I decided to switch into Development as my trainer suggested, since I particularly enjoyed the Unix aspect of our lessons. It was definitely the right decision for me, as it led to my placement at HSBC which I love, and I am very grateful to the trainers for supporting me and suggesting that move. I would describe the culture at FDM as professional, friendly and supportive. I would recommend FDM to other graduates as it is a great way to become exposed to various opportunities and gain professional experiences.

Prakash Waghela (UK)

RPA Developer at Capgemini

Loughborough University: Computer Science

I started my training in January 2018 and started with Capgemini in March. It’s been a good opportunity to show what I’m capable of while learning about new technologies and picking up new skills. I’m glad my hard work has been recognised and I look forward to continuing to develop personally in 2019. I joined FDM because they offer a good pathway into a career in technical development. The best part about my time at FDM has been getting placed on-site into a team where there is plenty to learn from the existing team members. There’s a great support network at FDM, my account manager has made regular trips to Capgemini to offer support if required. I would recommend FDM because the careers programme offers a great way to gain work experience with companies that are very appreciative of the work you do.

“Prakash grew into this role quickly, he is excellent in delivery and takes on responsibilities above his role. His estimation to finish a task is accurate, he is self-motivated and will not waste time on trivial or non-work related activities. The NICE automation software he works with is extremely difficult to manipulate, and the coding is long and complex. Prakash has been working hard to make the code as robust as possible in an environment where applications and databases are old and complex.  Without Prakash we would not be anywhere near the testing cycle which will start in earnest. Prakash took the initiative to perform the scrum master activities and has been working with an increasing team of 6 developers and led them to successfully mastering the software. Prakash has a natural style of leadership and he is a great ambassador for FDM. He represents the company and our values excellently. This boosts the reputation of the company and shows that the people we employ are of high quality.”

–  Project Manager at Capgemini

Hall Lo (CA

Technical Systems Analyst at RBC

University of Toronto (St. George): Music and Computer Science

My placement with RBC has been a great 21-month experience full of opportunities to explore new technologies and try out new ideas under the leadership of my director and manager. My team consists of cheerful and supportive people, who I can learn from and share my knowledge with. I would like to thank my manager for nominating me for this award and for all of his support throughout my time with RBC. I also want to thank everyone in my application team for supporting me and providing an outstanding environment for me to grow in. Lastly, I want to thank FDM for the training courses, this great RBC job opportunity and for selecting me as a Consultant of the Month. I have been with FDM since November 2016, and my time with them has shown me that FDM is a supportive and great company that promotes diversity, teamwork and has a mind-set that focuses on growth. FDM prepared me well for the dynamic, challenging, and fun industry of IT and software development. I would recommend FDM to others, because they provide training relevant to the current state of the industry and present us with various job opportunities.


Abhinav Walia (CA)

Automation Test Analyst at TD

Carleton University: MSE in Electrical and Computer Engineering

I have been working for FDM for 11 months now, after joining last February. My journey has been exciting and challenging at the same time. At the FDM academy, we are taught useful and transferable skills that match up with expectations of us in our placements. I believe the training schedule and course plan at FDM helped me adjust better at the client site and perform more efficiently.

“Abhinav is an ardent resource who has created an environment in which our team can really thrive and confide in. He has shown proactive approach to the work, stepped in when some projects needed additional support, all while adhering to our organization’s pillars of putting our clients first, and delivering beyond what is expected. When Abhinav joined us, he put all his mind and effort in and learnt the project with the limited help he received from offshore. This approach of his alone is commendable. Abhinav’s work has helped us tremendously in troubleshooting and assessing the automated scripts for the regression suite. He has worked many hours to meet the project’s demands. He is always available during project crises and I can count on him to help us when we are in trouble. Abhinav has proven to be an excellent resource in terms of his efficiency and work ethics, while complying with FDM’s services. The bar set by him and FDM promotes the trust we have in this union. I would definitely recommend FDM to other businesses. In my opinion their services are among the best in the industry, providing smart and conscientious professionals to various businesses.”

– Automation Quality Engineering Lead at TD

Oakga Lwin (US)

Software Developer at BAML

Queens College: Computer Science

I have been with FDM since March of 2018. My experience so far has been positive. When I first joined the Academy, I didn’t have experience in either the finance or IT industry. Fortunately, I was able to rely on a lot of my peers and FDM’s trainers for help—and I had some really great mentors to help me along the way. I am very grateful to those at FDM for bearing with my constant barrage of questions during training! I’m also grateful towards my BAML family for helping me learn the ropes quickly. I found FDM through a close friend, and I miss my time there, especially working on the last agile scrum project with my team. FDM is a close-knit, culturally diverse team. There are ups and downs along the way, like any journey, but you always have a group of friends to go through it with. I’d recommend FDM as a great place for fellow graduates who want to take a step into securing a career in the Fintech industry.


Valeed Waqqas (US)

Application Support Analyst at Fannie Mae

Rutgers University: Engineering and Economics

I started training with FDM in October 2016 and was placed in January of 2017. My two-year placement as an FDM consultant has just ended, and I am starting full time at Fannie Mae this month and am very excited. My experience at Fannie Mae has been very educational—the work environment is great, and people are always very helpful. Within my placement, it has always been interesting to me to see experts working on issues first-hand, as it makes me personally strive to reach that level of expertise in my own space. I am grateful to my managers and team lead as they really paved the way for me to learn everything effectively. I consistently aim to get into the more difficult aspects of my tasks even if I’m somewhat uncomfortable; it’s the best way to learn. I joined FDM for their consulting opportunities. Having the ability to transfer over to the client full time was also a plus for me. I’ve learned that gaining experience at a top financial institution is very helpful for your career. The best part about my time with FDM was the training and opportunities FDM provided, which set me up for roles and responsibilities in any company I might come across in my future. I also enjoyed the friendly, professional culture at FDM as it truly stimulates growth. For anyone looking to get into IT, or anyone who might just need a place to start—FDM provides a solid foundation for any future career opportunities and I highly recommend it.

“Valeed is an extremely fast learner and has grown to become a very solid/core contributor to the Cash Production Support team, who deals with the movement of over 1 trillion dollars per month. He continues to train other resources in this area with his expertise/knowledge of the Cash Space. Valeed was given the role of conducting our most recent test with the FED and received a passing grade. He also has taken a lead in the Wall Street migration for the Cash applications and is one of the first team members the Development reaches out to for these staggered migrations. Valeed is one of the most trusted analysts we have, and he is constantly training the other members of our team in the newer applications. He has stood his ground on several occasions regarding getting the proper approvals/change tickets when other teams have pressured him to take short cuts, which is hard to do. We have had a really good experience with previous and current FDM resources, but I have been impressed with the depth of knowledge that Valeed has attained and his willingness to share his experiences with team members.”

 Production Support Manager at Fannie Mae

Anuj Patel (CA)

Application Support Analyst at RBC

University of Windsor: MSE in Electrical and Computer Engineering

I’ve been with FDM for two years and four months and have been placed with RBC for the past two years. My team is very supportive and provides the required guidance as well as a variety of opportunities to excel in my role. I’d like to thank FDM for providing me with this huge opportunity to work for RBC and launch my career in the IT industry. I’d also like to thank my RBC managers for nominating me for this award and guiding me through my time at RBC. I decided to join FDM because of the opportunity they provided to work for reputable clients and gain valuable experience in a global and diverse working environment. FDM was an ideal place for me to launch my career, as I was fresh out of university. The best part about my time with FDM was the amazing training that we received—FDM’s trainers were really supportive and encouraged us to learn to the best of our ability. FDM also has an encouraging culture, which instils great confidence and allows you to perform at your highest level of success. I would definitely recommend FDM to others because I believe that it is one of the best companies to work for, and it provides individuals with opportunities to launch their career with little to no experience, which is very unique in the current job market.


If you’re ready to jump-start your career as a business or IT consultant, apply to join FDM today.

Read about past Consultant of Month winners below: