Juliette French heads the Group Transformation Engineering Core Platform Team in Lloyds Banking Group and has taken it to new heights, setting the bar higher every day, in a confluence of two industries which have largely been dominated by men - Banking and IT. She has not just led the team, but built a team of equally dynamic women who have achieved several milestones in a short span of time.
Juliette French
Juliette French
Lloyds Banking Group

As the Lead for Group Transformation Engineering – Core Platforms, Juliette manages four major platforms and technologies. She has worked extensively with the strategic partner, and implemented ‘outcome based project delivery’ and ‘continuous improvement’ models, saving the organisation substantial percentages on costs.

Juliette has been shortlisted for the Tech Star Award,

How does it feel to be nominated for our Tech Star Award?

I am proud and humbled to have been nominated – It’s a nice surprise as I think that I am just doing my job.

Can you share your career journey that lead you to your current role?

As a mathematician, I started to work in Insurance as a trainee actuary – the grasp of numbers have served me well over the years in this business. I have spent the whole of my career in the City working with Financial Institutions.

One of my early roles was with American Express where I used my numbers skills to do statistical measurement and implement a Continuous Improvement culture in Operations – this was hugely successful and achieved a quadrupling of capacity in the Back Office; additionally we saw great improvement in Quality and Client Responsiveness.

This was also the first time I started to get involved with IT – my first foray was to work with Fair Isaacs in San Francisco to deliver the first ever fledgling piece of AI around Credit Scoring and propensity for client behaviours. These concepts were very new then and we didn’t have a lot of computing power but we did it anyway…
I also managed the Onboarding teams at the same time.

This job was quite formative and taught me many things about what is possible with the combination of these management techniques.

This is what my profile covers for the remainder of my career:

Experienced Business Change Manager, Technical Platform & Program Leader with deep expertise in Project development and a strong track record of delivery of global, multi million, multi stream projects in the Financial Services industry, within top tier Institutions, Investment Banks, the Stock Exchange and the Bank of England.

Gained substantial experience of Securities and Banking Business Operations and Products, working extensively on Process Re-engineering projects and the introduction of transforming technologies and techniques such as Lean Six Sigma Process design, Agile developments, championing Dev.Ops and Continuous Improvement strategies.

Skilled in negotiating multi-million contracts with vendors and partners, managing budgets in the millions and particularly adept at building delivery-focused teams in multi-cultural and technical environments.

Recognised for expertise of the dynamics and Business Operating Models for Global Client Relationship Management (CRM), Management Information (MI) and Data Analystics topics and successful at designing and delivering appropriate IT solutions in support of those processes.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career?

When I returned from maternity leave, my job had not been kept open by the Stock Exchange – so I negotiated an exit and started to work for myself as a consultant – as a result of the relationships I had built up in the City, I had a very successful 9 years doing that work but was eventually lured back to full time employment.

My main achievement has been my tenacity in what is one of the toughest arenas for women to work in.

I am also extremely proud of my current job:
Responsible for the group wide management (both Run the Bank and Change the Bank aspects) for all Intelligent Automation, Workflow, Strategic Client Relationship Management (CRM), Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platforms and technologies; including Service Support, Supplier Contract negotiations, Developments, Risk management, Compliance and Architectural/Strategic Direction for each technology.

The estate comprises in the region of 30 technologies, 130 applications, over 220 development projects at any one time and a team of around 700 based across locations in the UK and India.

Most important to me is that the platform has gone from strength to strength under my tutelage achieving substantial efficiencies year in year out. My team has an exemplary record across the Bank and we are routinely adopting transformational techniques to accelerate speed and quality of delivery to the business.

Who has been the most influential person in your career and why?

My dad – he gave me three pieces of advice over the years about values (all of which he embodied thoroughly in his life) :
• Always be generous and kind in your business dealings – it always comes back!
• Work harder than you think you can and harder than you expect others to work for you
• never cheat on your expenses :)

What has been your most memorable lesson in terms of diversity and inclusion?

A small kindness extended by one of my bosses in the City (it was my first consultancy role and I was very young)….I was at a client meeting; as ever there were about a dozen men in the room and me. I was there as the person that would run a global conference on the future of financial services on behalf of the Stock Exchange. Before the meeting started, Rod (my boss) got up and asked me if I would like a cup of coffee and went to fetch it for me. This established the level of respect he expected to be extended to me – he was a kind and thoughtful man and this helped me feel comfortable and confident to deal with all as an equal.

If you were stuck in a lift with three people, who would you want them to be and why?

My dad – I still miss him (he passed away 5 years ago) and would like to ask him more about his business life – he worked in a foreign country with a difficult political regime but he was known for extending amazing kindness and respect to the local workers. When we left I remember grown men crying as they said goodbye to him.

The Queen – I have a great admiration for this lady and her total commitment to this country – I would love to hear what she really thinks about Brexit! 

Cleopatra – to talk about what Egypt was really like all those centuries ago and how she managed it. I was born in Cairo and the idea of a great Egyptian queen running that amazing land still fascinates.