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Home Insights People Spotlight: Introducing Rajeev Achari, our Technical Manager in London who's been busily evolving Composer for 16 years
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People Spotlight: Introducing Rajeev Achari, our Technical Manager in London who's been busily evolving Composer for 16 years

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Posted in: Wealth Management Administration
Published: 24/10/2022

Photo of Rajeev Achari

Rajeev Achari has been working at GBST for 16 years. He’s the Technical Manager for EMEA Retail Wealth based in London and shares not just his invaluable expertise with his team that helps to build GBST’s Composer solution, but his rich culture and appreciation for diversity as well. We’re pleased to shine a spotlight on Rajeev, his favourite Indian festival, Diwali – the festival of lights, and how yoga and meditation keep him energised and calm.

You started working at GBST many years ago – what did you do before that?
I was working as a Technical Architect for Infocomp who was acquired by GBST many years ago. Before that, I worked for General Electric in insurance.

What attracted you to work at GBST?
I previously worked in the insurance sector, so wealth management gave me a natural opportunity to extend my knowledge in the financial domain. I liked the proactive, and incredibly energised group who worked together as a team with an enviable client focus. Larger companies, by nature, are sometimes slow moving and bureaucratic. At GBST, I saw the opportunity to work in a smaller highly skilled and empowered team, where innovation is inbuilt, and things move quickly.

What do you enjoy most about your role at GBST?
Managing people, exceeding their expectations, and harnessing their incredible technical skills to deliver for GBST’s clients is something I really enjoy about my role. A key part of my day-to-day activity is technical guidance for my team who work on Composer, our digital-first wealth management administration platform. I’m here to ensure the team are on the right track and help them wherever possible. I consider myself fortunate to have a very culturally diverse team – we have six different nationalities and several religions. Everyone is so different in their way of thinking, their work style, and what motivates them. We manage challenges and problem solving together.

Most of us have worked in this team for almost eight years now, so we have evolved together and seen Composer develop over the years which has been exciting.

What does culture mean to you?

Culture is important to me, not just my own, I’m also deeply interested in other cultures. I work closely with the team in Vietnam, who celebrated Independence Day in September. At our team stand up, we took the opportunity to hear about how our colleagues celebrated this particular day of significance, and what it meant to them. It’s important that we truly understand one another.

Culturally, I’m from an Indian background and I am Hindu. I moved to London from Mumbai almost 20 years ago. We have a very rich and vibrant culture, with several festivals all throughout the year. I don’t think there is a single month where there isn’t something we’re celebrating.

Which is your favourite festival and why?

Without a doubt it has to be Diwali. The festival of lights is my favourite festival, and it’s celebrated in either October or November each year. It signifies victory and the rise of good over evil. It inspires us to lead to light from darkness, and to knowledge from ignorance. Before Diwali, its customary to do a spring clean in every corner of the house to ensure there is no dirt anywhere. This is our preparation for the worship of Ma Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. So, it’s important to keep the house clean and welcoming so she will visit our home. We decorate our houses with light and we share gifts and sweets with one another. We typically have dinner with friends and family and there are usually fireworks, which of course, the kids love.

We also have a Puja which is a worship ritual that involves offering light, incense, flowers, and other foods to the gods. This can be done either at home, or in the mandir (temple).

I also like Holi, which is a festival of colours and is normally around March or April. It’s a community celebration where people put colour on one another. If they have any differences throughout the year, Holi is the day to meet and let go of the past, move forward on a positive note and head in the right direction together in the future.

What is the main product that you work on at GBST?

I mostly work on the core Composer platform, and on Composer’s web front end, Catalyst, which delivers flexible and customisable online experiences, and is processed straight through to the back office. What’s impressive about it is that through a single portal, you can deliver different experiences across a wide user base supporting advisers, paraplanners, discretionary fund managers (DFMs) and direct investors.

It also delivers a real-time single view of customer data for all users and helps our clients to lower operational costs, remove the need for re-keying and automate the back office for improved efficiency.

I’ve been quite deeply involved in the client side and the deployment of our solutions to ensure that the ‘go-live’ process is seamless, and that we provide the right level of support our clients need. I have really enjoyed coordinating with my Australian colleagues for the benefit of our expanding client base.

I’ve also been very involved in GBST’s Illustration engine, Illustrate, which is an API enabled engine for sub-second illustrations. It automates the production of branded, FCA compliant illustrations that help investors visualise the growth of their investments and deliver highly accurate projections. It’s pre-integrated with Composer and Catalyst so our clients benefit from maximum efficiency and accuracy.

What advice would you give to graduates who want to join a tech company like GBST?

As a graduate, the key thing to look for is an opportunity to learn and GBST is very open to that. So, graduates must embrace this. They need to learn so much more in the initial days, and I think that GBST is the best place to work because we don’t have any restrictions on learning. We have a culture that drives and encourages it, no matter how long you’ve been in the workforce.

We are using state-of-the-art technology as a direct result of the transformation of Composer to a modern underlying technology architecture. Working at GBST gives you the potential to work with the latest and most innovative technology. If you work hard, you can learn a lot in a small amount of time here.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

My mother tongue is Hindi and when I moved to England, I realised not many kids know the language. So, I volunteer every Saturday for an hour to teach local kids Hindi. I love teaching the little ones who don’t know anything about the language, starting from alphabet and building them up to a level where they can read and write comfortably. It’s very rewarding. I also enjoy getting involved in all our community events and cultural festivals.

How do you maintain your mental health and well-being?

I am a big fan of yoga and meditation and I do it every single day. It keeps me grounded and relaxed at work – you’ll hardly ever find me agitated. It helps me to look at things positively, see problems calmly, take a step-by-step approach to managing things and stay energised.

 

Read more about GBST’s wealth management administration platform, Composer

 

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