Our podcast series: The Banker’s Plumber – Lessons Learned.

The series is all about the how it works of banking life, how it sometimes doesn’t and what’s changing

Your host is Olaf Ransome who draws on 30 years building stuff and fixing complicated problems for banks and ensuring the problems don’t spring up again. This is a career that has taken him from London to New York, Zurich, Johannesburg, Moscow, Stockholm, the Middle East and back.

“Lessons Learned” is a term from days past at Goldman Sachs, where long before the term Operational Risk or OpRisk was coined, we set up a process to help us examine the things that went wrong, or were near misses and to get the whole organisation to learn something so we didn’t get the same thing wrong again.

In this podcast series, you’ll hear stories that tap into issues past and present. Both lessons to learn and a few good tales, which we hope will brighten your day, whether you are in banking or not. Olaf will be talking to folks from his network and getting their views on key things about processes new and old in banking. And, he’ll be giving you my views on key issues for folks in banking. In an early episode, he’ll be taking a look at the collapse of Wirecard, the German payments processor.

#11 Gautam Gujral – Enabling & Connecting Digital Assets

Digital assets are a whole new world. The team at Vertalo is working hard to enable & connect that space by delivering innovative technology solutions to support the digital asset lifecycle. I am joined by Vertalo General Counsel and co-founder, Gautam Gujral, a US-based company focused on digital assets. Before Vertalo, Gautam worked in various […]
Read More July 5, 2021

#10 – Islamic Finance – the same or different?

Islamic finance. A different world? To help give us a perspective on this, I am joined by David Potter, who has spent the most recent part of his career in the Islamic finance space. Now he is working on a project to make the whole asset & liability lifecycle much simpler. David shares his observations […]
Read More June 20, 2021

#9 – The Consortium Conundrum Pt 4 – Cash is king and standards matter

Cash is king. In this podcast, my guest is industry veteran Colin Parry, the CEO of ISSA, the International Securities Services Association. We might describe ISSA’s members as the caretakers, custodians and standard setters of the world’s securities business. Before ISSA, Colin was an MD in Operations at UBS. Colin shares his insights on where we are […]
Read More May 9, 2021

#8 – The Consortium Conundrum Pt 3 – Things DeFi and other stories

Today, my guest is firmly from the world of today and matters FinTech. Tim Swanson is Head of Market Intelligence at Clearmatics in London and a long-time commentator on the world of digital assets, cryptocurrencies and new forms of finance. Three highlights from what Tim has to say: Institutional movement into Crypto is happening week-in-week-out, […]
Read More April 13, 2021

#7 – The Consortium Conundrum Pt 2 – How banks change things

My guest for this episode is the wonderful Keith Bear. Keith is an industry veteran who has seen and helped banks and their infrastructure evolve over a number of economic cycles. Keith Bear is an IBM alum and is now a Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the Cambridge Judge Business School. With his many years of experience […]
Read More March 21, 2021

#6 – The Consortium Conundrum Pt 1 – How banks change things

Welcome to the latest edition of the podcast series: The Banker’s Plumber – Lessons Learned.  What’s up in banking? What’s changing? What has gone wrong? What is going right? Today, the focus on something I am calling the “consortium conundrum”. Banks want to and need to become more efficient; produce the same for less or more for […]
Read More March 7, 2021

#5 More Operational Risk

Welcome to the latest episode. We’ll talk about a recent blow-up that was anything but cosmetic. Revlon, Citibank, payments in the hundreds of millions of dollars made in error. Those are the classic ingredients of an operational error. In days long passed, this type of thing might have been brushed under the carpet. Today, there is a requirement to […]
Read More February 13, 2021

#4 Operational Risk – why it matters

Building on the last episode, in which we focussed on the huge loss at the German payments process Wirecard, today, the focus on OpRisk aka Operational Risk. The risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes, people and systems or from external events. It would not be a stretch to say that in Financial Services this […]
Read More January 24, 2021

#3 Size Matters – Lessons to be learned from Wirecard

Welcome to this latest episode of The Bankers’ Plumber – Lessons Learned. In this episode, we will be talking about size. Size matters; it really does. Inspiration for the thoughts I’ll share today came from the collapse of Wirecard, the German payments processor. A sudden announcement that nearly 3 billion Euro had gone missing and […]
Read More January 9, 2021

#2 Mike Certo / Ed Watts – The origins of the title “Lessons Learned”

It is a great privilege to welcome two guests today both of whom I have worked closely with, in Zurich and New York and both of whom have mentored me over the years. Mike Certo and Eddie Watts served Goldman Sachs in Operations in both London and New York. They were exceptional talents of their day, something Goldman acknowledged when it included them […]
Read More December 20, 2020


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Read More September 30, 2020