Blog post
July 18, 2023

‘Doing the simple things really well, all of the time’: Meet our new Director of Operations and Head of Scotland – Daniel O’Connor

Our new Director of Operations talks about his career, joining LendInvest and what role technology will play in delivering differentiated customer experiences. See all of our mortgage products on our intermediaries page. 

Where did you join LendInvest from? 

I joined LendInvest from Virgin Money (formerly Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank Group). Here I spent just under seven years in a range of roles from building Risk & Assurance teams, to integrating Operations functions and latterly leading the Operations and Payments business areas for the bank.

How long have you worked in financial services?

I’ve worked in Financial Services for over 16 years, predominantly in Retail & Business Banking in the UK & Ireland.

Where are you based? 

I spend most of my time in our Glasgow office where we have been scaling the team and I also spend some time in London with part of the team there.

Tell us a bit about your career to date; what got you into mortgages? 

After starting out in RBS in Customer Service as a youngster, I went on to specialise in Risk Management in the first half of my career across different risk disciplines at RBS, within Internal Audit at MUFG and then establishing the first line enterprise assurance function at Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank Group. 

At a relatively young age, I had a brilliant opportunity to take on my first leadership challenge moving out to Ulster Bank to lead the Operations support function there. Given my background up to that point I really didn’t feel like I had many of the skills needed to succeed, so I said yes! 

This proved to be a really pivotal moment for me, even if it felt career limiting at the time!

Since then, I’ve developed different skills leading the integration of Operations bringing together teams across CYBG and Virgin Money, before moving into Operations leadership roles firstly leading Fraud Operations and Financial Care, then finally as Head of Operations & Payments, leading a team of around 1200 colleagues across the UK. 

This included responsibility for Retail Banking Operations, Mortgage Operations, Payments & Reconciliations and Cash & ATM Services.

Mortgages and Lending more broadly has been a constant in the vast majority of roles I’ve had, leading up to my last role at Virgin Money which included accountability for Operations from new mortgage lending, underwriting and through to servicing.

So quite a varied career so far, and I’ve been very lucky to have had some amazing mentors who have guided and challenged me along the way and who I continue to learn from today.

What attracted you to joining LendInvest?

I’m passionate about delivering truly differentiated customer experiences, whether that is completely rethinking a journey or outcome or just doing the simple things really well, all of the time. 

When the opportunity came up to join LendInvest, I met a talented team of people who are equally as obsessive with a disruptive mindset, deep expertise and a powerful proprietary tech stack to match. 

I quickly became excited to be part of an ambitious team at the forefront of the long awaited transformation of the UK mortgage market.

Your role is Director of Operations; what does that look like exactly? 

It means I get to lead our Operations and Underwriting areas across our long-term lending products. 

To me that means creating an environment where our teams can deliver the best possible service and outcomes for our brokers, borrowers and for LendInvest, while growing individually and together as a team along the way. 

Day-to-day that can vary from supporting the team to remove anything getting in the way, to working in cross-functional teams to iterate our technology and processes, to launching exciting new products and propositions alongside our Commercial team. 

I also wear an additional hat as our Head of Scotland where we are a growing member of the FinTech Scotland community.

What are your short and medium-term goals for our operations, where do you see the opportunity for our brokers and their customers? 

This month we launched our new Buy-to-Let product range so we’ve been working hard to ensure we are operationally ready across all parts of the team to continue to deliver the high levels of service that brokers and borrowers rightly expect, but we won’t be stopping there… 

We have an exciting roadmap already in place that will see our technology platform go from strength to strength, such as enhanced functionality for our brokers to manage their pipeline of applications and actions, and much more to come. 

From an Operations perspective we also have a full backlog of improvements aimed at further improving transparency and speed of execution throughout the end to end customer journey.

We really are at the beginning of the digital transformation of the home-buying experience. 

Even some of the most ‘digital’ experiences in the property industry today are underpinned by complex analogue processes, legacy tech and inherent fragmentation between stakeholders involved in a transaction. 

At LendInvest, we’ll be continuing to combine our mortgage expertise with our competitive edge, our technology, and collaborating with industry partners to make mortgages simple and fast.

Outside of work, how do you enjoy to spend your time? 

Like many others, my partner Nicole and I decided during the pandemic to make the move out of the City to a small village called Cove on the west coast of Scotland, so we spend more time nowadays outdoors exploring the area or in the nearby loch when the weather allows! 

Besides that, I generally enjoy learning so you’d probably find me reading a book or article most likely about something I don’t know anything about!

See all of our mortgage products on our intermediaries page.