Senior Risk Analyst Xiaoyuan Li identifies financial risks for a living – what is the team’s way of working like?

Xiaoyuan Li enjoys her team’s open and encouraging work culture where personal goals are openly discussed. “Some of my favorite moments are when we learn something together as a team.”

Xiaoyuan works as a senior risk analyst in OP’s credit risk unit. “Everything related to credit risk modelling is my daily work,” Xiaoyuan describes her job. She joined OP four years ago. “My academic background is in statistics, economics and finance. Having worked at another bank for a while, I was quite familiar with the financial industry already”, Xiaoyuan explains.

Xiaoyuan’s unit’s work can be best described as identifying financial risks. “Our job is to assess certain types of risks that the bank might face through statistical models. For example, with the help of our probability of default models, we get rating grades of each loan”, Xiaoyuan describes. Being able to solve different kinds of problems with the help of data and statistics is a big part of Xiaoyuan’s job. Currently her daily work consists of model development and creating statistical models for credit risks. In addition to that, Xiaoyuan also works with the modelling methodologies and creates frameworks for the modelling procedures. “Starting next year, we will also focus more on the end-to-end process -- from creating the model to the actual use of the model”, she mentions.

Learning culture drives the team forward

Certain qualities and skills are needed when developing and dealing with different types of credit risk models. ”For a risk analyst, it is certainly very useful to have some background in programming and statistics. But I think that communication skills and being willing to have open discussions with your teammates are also very important aspects of our job”, Xiaoyuan describes. “This job is the right fit for someone who has a problem-solving mind and who enjoys analytical work but also communicating with different stakeholders”, she sums it up.

Learning is a crucial part of the unit’s work culture. “With the 70/20/10 model that we have here at OP, 10 % of our working time is used for studying. We are offered various online classes that we can take at our own pace. Sometimes we also study in smaller reading groups where we read articles about modelling techniques, discuss the topics together and teach one another”, Xiaoyuan mentions. “70 % of our work time goes to daily work and the leftover 20 % is reserved for each team’s inner improvement tasks. This year we’re concentrating on stakeholder engagement improvement and my job is to create templates and guidelines for that”, she describes.

Personal goals are openly discussed

Xiaoyuan finds the 70/20/10 model very useful. “Having that kind of a culture makes it a lot easier to find time for learning new things in addition to our daily work.”, she says. Xiaoyuan enjoys the risk modelling unit’s open atmosphere. She is particularly happy with everyone being able to have an influence in the decision-making process. “Our ways of working are agile and our whole team is quite self-organized”, she describes.

In Xiaoyuan’s team there are various career opportunities for professionals with different interests and backgrounds. “We’re all encouraged to think about our career paths. The personal goals every team member has are respected and openly discussed in our team, and I consider that a big advantage.” Solving difficult problems and challenges makes Xiaoyuan job feel meaningful. “So do all the good discussions I get to have with my colleagues,” she adds. “Some of my favorite moments are when we learn something together as a team.”