Marion Leslie (SIX) : ‘Data is the lifeblood of all businesses today’
Data is the name of the game, at least for the financial services industry. Marion Leslie, head of financial information and executive board member at Six Group, has been working in the data sciences space long before it attained its dizzyingly glamourous status. Leslie, who had earlier worked at Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters) for 25 years, held several positions. In her last role, she managed Refinitiv’s enterprise business, which included delivering real-time data feeds, analytics, data management, and distribution platforms.
Leslie's entry into the data business was quite by accident. After getting a post-graduate certificate in education in French and German from the University of Cambridge, she wanted to pursue a career in teaching. Instead, she joined Reuters as a linguist, where she eventually took her first steps as a data analyst, collecting data on Swiss, Austrian and German bond markets. Her job took her to Bangalore (now Bengaluru) in India, where she spent four years building Refinitiv’s operational data business from scratch with 5,000 staff.
While data is integral to any business today, it is not enough to collect data. Data quality and application is equally important, especially as regulators and investors are increasingly seeking financial and non-financial information. In this interview, Leslie delves into the need for the expertise to dig out the data that really matters and how data and technology can team up to digitalise and transform the financial services industry.