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Meeting with Brigitte, senior project manager

Brigitte Gouarin, "Change & Optimization" Practice Leader, answers our questions.

Could you introduce your career path?

I am a senior project manager with over 15 years of consulting experience. At Talan, I am the “Change & Optimization” Practice Leader in New York. Prior to joining Talan, I worked at top-tier firms including Deloitte and BearingPoint where I specialized in IT/Business Transformation Programs and Change Management. I have acquired a strong expertise working for very large global organizations and demonstrated my ability to manage staff remotely and deliver complex programs to deadlines and budgetary targets, while achieving substantial business benefits. Before moving to New York in 2014, I spent 9 years working in Dublin, Luxembourg, London and Jersey (British Channel Islands).

What are your current missions?

Working 4 days a week on various assignments for a major Client in New York allows me to free up one full day at Talan to develop the “Change & Optimization” practice that I am in charge of.

During the past year working for the CIO Advisory department gave me the opportunity to work on very exciting business consulting assignments, to name a few: 

  • Target System Selection & IT/Business Activities Outsourcing

Project background: Since Custody business is getting under increasing pressure, coming from clients, regulations and markets evolutions, it becomes necessary to transform current Custody Information System to achieve key strategic objectives such as:

- enable business development on institutional side and increase revenue generation opportunities - reduce time to market

- set up efficient operational process to enhance risk, compliance and financial controls while increasing staff capacity

- reduce Total Cost of Ownership [TCO]

- implement strategic plans with the outsourcing of business/IT activities in India and increase potential for off-shoring in mid/long term perspective

  • Permanent Control Review & Deployment

Project background: Permanent Control is fundamental to manage the risks the Bank faces and to prevent risks from occurring through the effective implementation of a dedicated action plan on an ongoing basis. Permanent Control differs from Periodic Controls which are performed during ad-hoc audits.

As part of my assignment, I gathered and reviewed all permanent controls across IT Americas before implementation in the standard tool used across the Group to monitor Permanent Control activities and reporting. Along with the tool roll out, I designed the training materials, performed training and lead the change across the organization.

  • Business Process Design & Improvement

Project background: The project key objectives were to review the appropriateness/suitability of current system versus available competitor systems and issue a business case to invest in a new, flexible and scalable software to improve efficiency of core client administration business processes.

  • Licenses Review & Savings Optimization

Project objectives are twofold:

- compliance: ensure that the client complied with software providers policy to avoid any breach in case of any audit performed by third-party software vendors

- maintenance cost optimization: review & challenge the current usage of licenses to investigate any opportunity of savings & optimization

Thanks to Talan’s international footprint, the Financial Services practice is strategically located in all major financial hubs and our integrated model allows teams from different countries to easily work together. I have already been given the opportunity to work with Talan co-workers in Paris and Montreal, there is so much that we can share and learn from each other. I can’t wait to meet my other colleagues from all around the world!

3 words to introduce Talan?

Passion & commitment: we bring passion & dedication to everything we do. We see our client’s business as our own and put all our energy into helping them achieving lasting success.

Curiosity: we are always asking questions & challenging ourselves to do things better & differently.

Self-starters: we are self-starters that do what it takes to make things happen. 

At Talan, what is your playfield? How do you manage to explore it?

Change is what drives me. Whether it is helping customers to overcome new challenges through implementation of strategic IT/business transformation projects or traveling abroad to experience another culture, I'm passionate about learning from new experiences and sharing. This passion is why I've been working as a consultant in the Financial Services industry over the last 15 years.

Could you describe a strong memory since you have joined Talan?

In 2018, during our Talan Americas Company Retreat in Punta Cana whereby Talan staff volunteers to devote 3 hours to painting the walls of a public school. It was a pretty hard work, but it was also fun since we were spilt in different teams and competing with each other. At the end, the schoolchildren ended up with bright colorful walls and a totally refurbished school! Talan staff had a great time and was proud to successfully achieve such assignment while making a positive impact on the local community.

Which person inspires you the most? Who would you like to work with ?

Here is a thought from a famous Steve (i.e. Steve Jobs) that shapes what I am doing everyday: “Do more of what makes you happy!”