CEO Monthly Sept

14 CEO MONTHLY / AUGUST 2017 , Ria Financial is a recognized financial service leader and leading specialist in international transfers. Having recently received the title, Most OutstandingWomen in Business, we invited recipient, Marcela Gonzalez, Managing Director of Ria Financial Services UK and Ireland, to talk us through her role and how she works to drive the firm towards continued success. Making Your Money Move Since its inception in 1987, Ria has provided fast, reliable and secure money transfer services using state-of-the-art technology, and today the firm is the third largest money transfer company in the world and a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide Inc. Marcela, who has worked with the company since 2005, discusses the firm’s service offering in greater detail. “Traditionally, at Ria our primary offering has been money transfer services, but we are also seeing strong growth in our currency exchange services in the UK, especially. The person-to-person money transfers that Ria makes on behalf of its clients are called remittances and are largely cash- based. Each year, more than $575 billion dollars moves around the world through companies like ours, primarily destined for developing countries and economies. “Our customers are predominantly people that have migrated abroad and need to send money back home to their loved ones. In the UK, it is primarily the Asian, Eastern European and Latin American communities that patronize our services, although there are plenty of European expats living abroad that also use our services to send money. Remittances go toward basic living costs, as well as things like education, medical expenses, savings and investment. They are facilitated through our network of more than 324,000 locations in 144 countries and territories. So far, Ria has been helping people send money to their loved ones in a fast, secure and economical way for 30 years.” Operating in such a diverse, competitive market, means that companies have to differentiate themselves and mark themselves out as the best possible option for their clients. What sets Ria apart, according to Marcela, is its dedication to supporting its clients and providing them with the very highest standard of support and service. “Fundamentally, Ria exists thanks to the dreams of those that left their home in search of something more for themselves and their families. Many of those people are women that come to the UK to work – and we work for them, providing a service that’s fast, secure and affordable every time. It’s humbling to be a part of their journey and it’s a pleasure to see a smile on the faces of those that trust us to deliver their hard-earned money to their loved ones.” To ensure that she supports this dynamic and innovative company, Marcela draws on her vast experience in the money transfer market. She details her previous roles and how the impact they have on her current position. “Before Ria, I also worked in the money transfer industry in Colombia, which is where I am originally from. My background has been focused mostly toward business administration, operations, financial analysis and new business. I have witnessed the evolution of this industry from manual journal entries and settlements, to the sophisticated digital systems in place today. As a leader, I’m constantly learning and evolving, most recently completing a Diploma in Company Direction through the Institute of Directors (IOD) – which has been useful for my duties as a board member for both Euronet Payment Services as well as HIFX. “In my current role as Managing Director of Ria in the UK and Ireland, I oversee the whole business in both countries and, along with finance, a very important part of my role is ensuring we are enforcing our high compliance standards. This includes maintaining an open dialogue with the regulator and our business partners.” As a woman working in a male dominated market, Marcela has overcome many challenges on her road to success. Having recently 1709CE08 been successfully selected as part CEO Monthly’s, Most Outstanding Women in Business, Marcela offers advice to anyone looking to emulate her achievements and make a name for themselves in this vibrant and ever evolving industry. “My advice to anyone looking to make a difference in the money transfer market is to never stop learning. Keep educating yourself in both a formal and informal capacity. The world is changing and it’s important to remain curious by refreshing skills and learning new ones. Staying up-to-date with current news and trends is also important. Finally, do not be discouraged or lose confidence in the face of male dominance. You are more powerful than you realise. “Knowledge is not gender-based, so it is important for women to raise their voices and use assertiveness to gain the respect of fellow colleagues. My advice is that women study and hone their skills of persuasion and negotiation in order to get what they need. These skills have helped me to overcome various challenges. “Overall, I firmly believe that a certain level of respect comes with experience and the actions and decisions you make. Unfortunately, there are some environments where women and not encouraged to raise their voices. For both