"I have a reputation of being able to resolve a case when others cannot, brokers have in the past reported that I achieve the quickest turnaround they have ever known."
Welcome to our latest How I Got Here interview - a series of pieces with women in financial services designed to shed light on a variety of career paths and experiences.
To celebrate the voting period of our 2020 Women's Recognition Awards, we spoke to Cristina Villen about her history in financial services.
FR: What’s your current role and how long have you been in it?
My role at Fiduciam is business development manager with the Spanish team. I’ve been with the company for almost two years, and I did a six-month internship with Fiduciam in 2016.
FR: How did you first get into the financial services industry and why?
I was born and raised in Madrid. I have a double degree in law and economics from IE University. When I came to London as a graduate, I completed a six-month exchange program at City University.
It was during those six months that I worked for Fiduciam as an intern case manager. Once my internship ended, I went back to Spain to finish my studies. When Fiduciam later decided to enter the Spanish market, I was the first person who received a call from them. I took the decision to leave friends and family behind to move to a foreign country to develop Fiduciam’s Spanish lending business from London.
It was quite a step for me to leave my native Spain and all my family and friends, to build a new life in London, but I am incredibly glad I did it because it has been the most enriching experience in my life.
FR: What achievement are you proudest of in your career to date?
I am most proud of my work with Fiduciam on developing the bridging loan market in Spain and helping to build a dedicated Spanish team of seven in London. Bridging loans are not really well known in Spain, although the market has a very real need for them. I helped transform this underlying demand into a new business, effectively turning UK bridging expertise into an export product.
I have a reputation of being able to resolve a case when others cannot, brokers have in the past reported that I achieve the quickest turnaround they have ever known.
FR: Who’s had the biggest impact on your career to date?
Definitely my father; he is always there for me and he sets an example I’d like to live up to.
FR: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
Believe in yourself.
FR: If you had to sum up working in financial services in three words, what would it be?
Opportunity, innovation, relationships.
To nominate yourself or a woman in financial services for a Women’s Recognition Award before today's deadline, please visit www.frwra.co.uk.