Ahead of his seminar at this year’s The Business Show, we sit down with Ben Stern to find out more about his role as LDF Product Manager.
How did you become a Product Manager?
From a combination of hard work, LDF putting a lot of faith in me to change role, my unconventional thinking and my tendency to ask challenging questions.
What is a finance ‘product’?
Describe a day in the life of a ‘Product Manager’
In any given day, I can meet with a number of different departments, to speak to a variety of players within the business. From meeting with Sales to understand what the customer wants, to the software developers to discuss how we can best use technology to deliver that solution. Every department is involved at some stage of developing a new project, which is nice.
What’s your favourite part of Product development?
I loved my time working in learning and development, but something that I always found frustrating was that wherever you worked, you were always the last step in delivering a change to your business. The communication of any change is essential, but when you think things could be done differently or maybe certain things haven’t been considered in the delivery of a change – it is invariably too late to do anything about it, which I always found frustrating.
Being a Product Manager allows me to influence these changes throughout the development process.
I also love the range of disciplines I have had to quickly try to become adept in, such as; being part of the decision-making process with Underwriting, dealing with complicated financial arrangements with Legal and Compliance, to the IT and technology required to help facilitate new products (sometimes the new products are the new technology).
All of this helps keep my millennial attention span focused and engaged!
What do you find is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Often, when we are discussing new products, they can end up becoming quite complicated. Additional work may be required to turn what can be a complex final contract into a simple product that the customer can understand; which takes a lot of work!
It can also be difficult to acquire insight from senior managers within the business. Obviously, in a fast-paced industry everyone is incredibly busy, and so it can become a balancing act of co-ordinating the extra work on top of daily duties.
How does technology play a factor in Product development?
I work closely with the in-house developers to try to find the best solution for our customers. With technology evolving every day, and FinTech becoming a prominent player in the industry, we always want to stay ahead of the game. Our new online asset finance platform, lendinghive is testament to that. As the first 24/7 application platform of its kind, lendinghive puts the control fully in the customer’s hands.
What’s your proudest moment?
Definitely the birth of my daughter Phoebe this June.
Ben will be attending The Business Show on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th November at London Olympia, where he will talk about the importance of customer feedback and how customer reviews can develop service. To find out more about Ben’s seminar click here.