Mexia was delighted to capture the Fran Hills Unicorn as we’re sure at least one of her key talents would be in high demand in any organisation – a rare ability to bridge technical and business teams.
Fran’s experience includes several overseas stints with organisations in the global financial sector in locations as diverse as Singapore, India and the US. Add to that a family background encompassing the Netherlands and the UK, and we’re glad that Fran has found a home at Mexia!
Here’s a little more about her background, her role, and Fran herself.
Background: A globe-trotting path and finding a home at Mexia!
Before coming to Australia, Fran had been working as a Senior Project Manager and Global Programme Manager at the cutting edge of the global finance sector in London for Barclays Capital. While highly experienced across the Risk & Compliance space and Retail Banking, something that united all her roles was being a communication bridge between the technical and business teams. A role in Fidelity International underlined Fran’s Financial markets experience and once in Australia, she continued for a while off-shoring for Fidelity before joining Mexia in July 2016.
“One of the things that attracted me to Mexia is their ‘make it happen’ ethos,” says Fran. “It really sums up who we are and how we play in this space. And with Mexia I’ve had the opportunity to pick up new skills and broaden my skill set whilst getting to apply the years of Financial Services experience I built up.”
Fran combines a highly disciplined approach with a passion for making sure customers get what they want. And her extensive background in financial services – across front office, back office and technical teams – means she is a great fit for what we do at Mexia.
At Mexia, Fran is Senior Project Manager focusing on the Financial, Health and Government sectors
With her outstanding communication skills and frank and open approach, Fran is one of the key touch points for our clients. Few things escape her unwavering attention to detail while she talks to clients, ensuring all the dependencies are in place and that we’re delivering what they need.
“A key part of my role is essentially brokering between the technical team at Mexia and the customer, reducing risks and blockages,” says Fran.
Fran plays hard but fair but and is always a joy to have around – one of her soundbites is: “have a laugh, or it’s a long 8 hours!”
With her wide-ranging experience spanning app development, digital transformation, CMS systems, product reviews and selection, Fran can skilfully assess the best solutions in the market and distil that information into client proposals.
Crucially, her ability to ‘cross translate’ technical knowledge and business acumen is invaluable to Mexia’s customers. Fran really knows how to stand in the customer’s shoes and speak their language.
“The last thing that business leaders want – when they’re making major decisions and committing to large budgets – is to hear lots of technical language and jargon,” says Fran. “First, they need their technology partner to understand their business and talk in their language; and second, they want this knowledge turned into holistic technical solutions.”
As well as bridging the technical/business gap, Fran’s background with financial institutions, and also health, is a perfect match for Mexia’s key focus areas. Her in-depth and international experience with financial institutions mean these are her favourite types of business to work with.
“It’s great being a part of that journey, bringing best practice processes and systems to bear on the most forward looking of Australian financial institutions. Not only do they have the mindset and desire to enable real transformation to take place, but they’ve also got the resource to make it happen.”
Fran is also able to lay out the risks of a project in clear, business language, empowering leadership teams with the knowledge they need for more confident decision-making. This would be a daunting task for many individuals but Fran takes on such challenges in her stride.
“Thinking about the companies I’ve worked with around the world, the same key thing always comes to the forefront,” says Fran. “All senior business leaders desperately want to understand the risks involved in any project.”
“They have important strategic decisions to make, and understandably need to have as complete a picture as possible of the risks associated with each of those decisions.”
Fran’s skill set is also invaluable in helping clients tackle the next important step of “How can we minimise that risk?”
Beyond Mexia: A few snippets about Fran’s life
Fran is a mum of 2 boys, aged 4 and 6 years. She comes from a sports mad family and is a keen rugby follower, supporting 2 teams, South Africa and England (in that order), perhaps not surprising given her overseas background. The UK holds a special place in her heart and one of her favourite parts of the world is Cornwall in the south-west of England – it’s where her husband and his family all hail from…but it doesn’t quite beat Brisbane!! Fran also likes to cycle as much as possible and keep fit at the gym when she is not running around after her sons!