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Desmond McNamara

Chief Risk Officer, Barclaycard

What attracted you to Barclaycard?

Barclaycard is at the forefront of product development in retail unsecured lending and has phenomenal businesses in both UK, US and in Europe - so the opportunity to work with and lead the risk function is a fantastic opportunity and a real chance for me to get into the detail of retail credit and fraud risk management.

What inspires you?

Making a difference. From seeing staff develop from the opportunities I can provide for them, to seeing the improvements in our risk management capabilities which deliver excellent customer journeys.

Tell us something that would surprise people?

For the past 6 years, I have run a local Cubs group – and this year we took over 50 Scouts and Cub camping for a weekend of abseiling, raft building, crate stacking etc – but certainly not enough sleep.

Previous roles

Group Head of Financial Risk


Interim Chief Risk Officer

Investment Bank Barclays

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

My first job leaving University was as an interest rates trader for a UK Merchant Bank during the time UK exited from the EMU – and interest rates rose 5% and then dropped 5% within 24 hours. I learnt the need to be able to adapt – and quickly.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

Enthusiasm and drive – we can provide people with the skills and experience to grow them – but its just great to have staff who are motivated to learn and develop themselves to deliver great results.

What’s been the highlight of your career?

It has to be the great colleagues I have worked with – whatever the situation, each line manager I have worked for, or colleagues I have worked with or led. I think its really important to enjoy what you do – and colleagues are a huge part in making that happen.

Desmond McNamara