Your career can go anywhere when you combine skills and drive with Zühlke’s emphasis on growth.
Take Maurice Roach. Today, he’s thriving as head of the company’s UK Financial Services Market Unit, where no two days are the same. But he started his career in design and media agencies, before joining Zühlke and working across UX and business solutions.
So. How would he describe his current remit?
“I look after Zühlke’s client engagement for the likes of insurance and banking companies. That includes taking on the sort of projects that will grow us as a company, keeping our teams motivated, and expanding Zühlke’s market position.
“The work itself varies hugely. We might be negotiating a major contract with different clauses which could trip us up. There’s lots to consider, but my job’s really about making the hard work that goes into those contracts invisible, so it has a low impact on our amazing teams.
“Sometimes it’s about providing colleagues with processes, planning and strategy…or even just a sounding board for ideas. Often, it’s about getting out of their way and letting them get on with it!”
Building products that make a difference
Maurice’s path to Financial Services Head is far from typical. But his previous roles in design and media were important stepping stones. Not only did they offer him valuable skills, they helped him understand what he really wanted from his career.
“The projects were short—based around having a fast, effective impact and then moving on. We invested a heck of a lot of time and effort building things that lasted for just a few months before jumping straight into the next thing. Everything revolved around turnover and implementation—it was a good lesson in working fast, but I wanted more time and space to make a lasting impact.”
Maurice then moved to Zühlke as a UX lead. He soon found the company shared his beliefs about team dynamics, project delivery, and customer centricity.
“At Zühlke, we invest time in building products that really make a difference. Building a digital product for HSBC is a great example. The longevity is there, and there’s a visible customer impact, too. It’s a great feeling to create permanence while making customers’ lives better.”
A culture that helps you help yourself
Over time, Maurice found an appealing niche to focus on within the requirements of his UX role.
“I noticed my team needed a lot more agile delivery management and support. The company allowed me to lean into this observation, and soon I was doing more of that than the daily UX stuff.
“Gradually, delivery and project management became more of my role. With an elevated view of how digital products are created, I then had the chance to build a UX team based on those insights.”
Maurice seized the chances to take training workshops in areas he wanted to pursue—from project management to leadership theory. Being able to take that learning and apply it improving his team quickly paid dividends.
“Zühlke run an annual product leadership workshop in Switzerland which I loved being part of. It’s where all the group’s project leads come together and talk about what we do and how we can do it better. Being part of this family, and the reinforcement that came from it, was a really cool feeling.”
Contextually specific training
Within five years, Maurice’s experience included financial project management.
“My supervisors pointed out that I was already looking after quite a bit of it, indirectly. They suggested I also look after project finances as well, resulting in a promotion to business solutions manager.”
His new role meant he was now responsible for all of the contracts his team sent out. Time and again, Zühlke’s training stood out to Maurice as being far more contextually specific than at previous companies. It also bolstered his ideas on how to work with and build teams.
As before, Maurice had access to valuable training:
“Not just for the technicalities of financial project management, but how do you look after your mental health on a project? How do you ensure you’re communicating with your line reports properly?
“I have friends at other consultancies who talk about the training they do versus the training I’ve had. Their general response is ‘we can’t believe your company did that for you!’ It might be as simple as evaluating your workshop with fellow stakeholders anecdotally. Or, like the annual product leadership, something dialed into a specific purpose that helps you think differently.”
Maurice points out how these experiences have helped shape his own ideas on diversity of thought. He cites the concept of a “UX safari” as a favorite example.
“When you allow for ‘cross pollination,’ you end up with conversations that stray from the initial focus. It can be super useful. For instance, I made a point of bringing a team of engineers to observe (and question) a customer experience exercise. It led them to make fresh observations they might not have previously considered and a better, more well-considered product out of it at the end.”
“We’re in a really great spot”
Despite an 8-year journey at Zühlke, Maurice is just getting started.
“Imposter syndrome is rife in my brain. But I get to work with people who push me to do better, and that’s a phenomenal gift. I get this constant fervor of ‘we can do it better, we can do more,’ and the folks I work with feel exactly the same.”
Next on his trajectory?
“Growing one of our market units. It’s an amazing time to be in financial services in the UK and Western Europe, so we’re in a really great spot. I’m excited to take the Zühlke brand name further so we’re even more known for the great stuff we produce. Achieving that is the sort of thing that keeps me awake at night — in a good way!”