The power of technology 3
Liz Watson – Director for Technology and Operations at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Liz was born and schooled in the town of Kendal in the Lake District where she was head girl of her secondary school and was awarded all three of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
She has two older brothers and was the first girl in the family for 100 years. She went to University in Newcastle Upon Tyne and studied Government and Public Policy. The course was particularly interesting and relevant as they were predicting the fall of Communism which happened within two years.
Liz came to London in 1990 as she needed a job and her father knew somebody who worked in the finance industry which paid a lot more than anything else she could have dreamed of. Her first job paid £5 an hour and she worked on an IT helpdesk and learned about technology on the job. The job covered everything from cabling to networks and printers. The firm was impacted by one of the London bombings in 1992 and she helped with their relocation.
In 1993 Liz joined one of the last remaining British Investment Banks, S.G Warburg. She remained with them through numerous mergers and had a wide variety of roles in technology, from business analyst, to systems analyst to business management and Chief of Staff.
Liz left UBS in 2011 when an old colleague invited her to ‘come and have a chat’. She is now at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she is the Director of Operations and Technology, which she describes as "an amazing job working with technologists focusing on improving the gender balance in technology as well as working alongside senior leaders to help them run large teams (upwards of 250 people)."
Liz took on a new challenge in her late 30s and decided to learn to swim, two years later she had become a dedicated triathlete and twice competed for Team GB in the ITU (Australia and Budapest). Through her passion for sport she met her husband and they have a young family (two boys). She ensures that she has a work / life balance by managing her career alongside family life and her passion for swimming.