The Group Corporate Services (GCS) division at UBS plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving services at the bank. To find out more about it we sat down with Diane Lillis, Director in Business Risk within the department.
Tell us about your day-to-day role
I run the Business Risk management team within Group Corporate Services. We are responsible for assessing risk in the bank's outsourcing and offshoring activities and we also cover risk in our real estate, security, construction management and data centres.
What makes your role and your department distinct?
UBS has gone through a significant transformation in the last five or so years, and a big part of that has been cost reduction. GCS plays a significant role in managing the firm's real estate footprint and directing offshoring and outsourcing activities to make sure the bank is running as leanly and efficiently as possible.
GCS is more diverse than some other functions in terms of the types of opportunities available. One reason is that GCS is managed globally where a lot of other functions are managed regionally, so so it's possible to work as part of a global team, with colleagues in New York or Asia. There are opportunities for relocation that come up sometimes, as I did from the US to the UK.
What do you enjoy most in your role?
Every day is different – in risk we cover a huge range of functions across the whole bank. This means one day I might be dealing with a new property or a data centre, on another I am looking at outsourcing activity. It’s always varied and challenging.
What skills would you say are important to work in this area?
A lot of what we do in GCS is based around relationship management, whether that is with colleagues or with the third parties we oversee, such as suppliers or contactors.
Financial knowledge is useful, though not essential, and in a different sense to the investment banking roles. We’re responsible for managing the bank's cost side instead of the revenue side.
As we manage the firm's real estate portfolio, it is important to be forward thinking on workplace strategies. We’re responsible for driving and developing the office format and the way people work together. So for example, in our new offices we’re building in a lot more open space for a more collaborative work environment.
What tips would you offer for people applying?
To do well in GCS you need to be interested in a role that supports the company and be ready to get to grips with the nuts and bolts of how UBS operates.
You can learn more about what UBS can offer you here.