“Mentoring Is an Opportunity to Give Something Back”

Our London-based mentor Marina Antoniou, encourages us to keep going despite the odds and never be shaken by adversity. It is important that we remain focused on our objectives and always maintain our integrity.

Q: What part of the world do you live in and what is the thing that you love the most about it – and the thing that you would correct if you could?

A: I live in London. I love many things in London. Most of all, I love its ‘international’ appeal. There are so many nationalities who live in London. I enjoy interacting with people from around the world, learning about different cultures and respecting different perspectives.

If I could, I would get the road-works done as soon as possible. There are many road-works currently and as a consequence, lots of traffic!

Q: What industry are you in, and why did you pick to do what you do?

A: I work in Financial Services. When I was 21, I did my MSc in ‘Economics and Finance’ at the Warwick Business School. I really enjoyed learning about Finance and decided to work in Financial Services.

I am a photographer as well, published photography books, exhibited in a few countries and earned awards. Photography helps me relax, create. It’s also a good ‘excuse’ to travel to wonderful, culturally diverse destinations. 

I am also a member of the ‘Hellenic Bankers Association’ committees; I am currently driving the 2020 ‘HBA Student Award’. This award aims at recognizing the outstanding work of Greek and Cypriot students.

Q: How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?

A: I am not afraid of taking risks. Since I was very young, if I was afraid to do something, if I was contemplating ‘taking the risk’, then I would put it high on my agenda to ensure I would get it done. I would go for it. I still have this approach. 

I am not suggesting that we should take unreasonable, unnecessarily big risks in life in order to ‘prove’ ourselves. However, we need to push ourselves to meet our potential. By taking the risk, stretching ourselves, we evolve, we learn and we move forward.

"We need to push ourselves to meet our potential. By taking the risk, stretching ourselves, we evolve, we learn and we move forward"

Marina Antoniou Head of Audit

Q: What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?

A: Leadership decisions need to be ethical and supersede any monetary business interest. As leaders, when we make decisions, we may well impact people’s lives. Therefore, integrity is paramount. I do believe that ethics and integrity in leadership will help leaders survive challenges and adversity.

Q: What have you gained from your mentoring journey?

A: Both my mentees work in different sectors and live in different countries than I. Therefore, I gained exposure to different cultures and sectors.

Mentoring is also an opportunity for me to ‘give something back’. I tried to be as supportive as I could and encouraged my mentees to reach for their dreams and fulfil their potential. Through the mentoring journey, I got to know two remarkable individuals with who I wish to remain in contact for years to come. 

Q: What is the one thing that impressed you in your mentee?

A: I had two brilliant mentees, Carol and Waala. I was impressed by Waala’s hard work and determination. I am sure she will make an excellent manager. Carol is a high achiever who always strives for excellence.

Q: What is your motto in life?

A: ‘Never give up’.

Keep going despite the odds, don’t be shaken by adversity. Remain focused on your objectives, be flexible and always maintain your integrity.

Marina Antoniou

Banking Consultant

Marina is the global head of global markets risk & control assessment at a leading Banking group.

She specializes in global capital markets non - financial risks with a focus on conduct risk, rogue trading, financial crime and trade surveillance. She also has experience in risks and controls relating to Artificial Intelligence, Large Language Models and Data Privacy. Marina is an executive committee and board member at various institutions and participates in Global Capital Market forums.

Marina has extensive experience working with regulators globally. In the past, she acted as lead validator, at Top Tier banks, on regulatory conduct risk programmes sanctioned by the US Federal Reserve Bank and the US Department of Justice. Marina also acted as head of Audit for Citigroup where she received the Global recognition award for her performance and served as the Chair of the London Citigroup 'Charity of The Year Fundraising' Committee. Previously, she worked on due diligence projects during M&A banking transactions.

Marina is a qualified chartered accountant and member of the ICAEW. She completed a Technology Entrepreneurship course at Harvard and an ESG course at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania. She also studied FinTech at the University of Oxford Said Business School during which she developed a FinTech innovation idea aiming at fundraising for people impacted by natural disasters. Marina studied Investment Management at the London Business School and has an MSc in Economics & Finance from Warwick Business School.

Marina is very interested in technology. She is a founding member of the Hellenic Tech Network, participated in studies around the implementation of digital currencies, and reviewed the AI Governance of a leading FinTech academic centre in the UK.

She is a Warwick University Ambassador and an Executive Committee Member of the Warwick Finance Professional Network. Marina acts as guest lecturer at Executive MBA courses and speaker at conferences globally covering conduct risk, digital transformation, digital assets, Artificial Intelligence, FinTech and ESG.

In the past, Marina acted as a mentor and a member of the 'Audit & Risk' Committee at the University of Warwick. She also acted as a 'Hellenic Bankers Association' ambassador and drove the 'HBA – UK Student Award' for students who wish to pursue a finance career in the UK. She was the Operating Committee Deputy Chair of the ‘Olive Branch Aid’, a foodbank providing food and daily essentials across London communities and schools.

Marina speaks four languages and enjoys travelling around the world. She is a multiple award-winning photographer and exhibited globally in London, New York, France, Holland and Spain.  In 2018, her work was included in the Biennale of 'Fine Art & Photography' in Barcelona. Marina published five photography books and proceeds were donated to children hospices in London. She held solo photo exhibitions on climate risk at the London Hellenic Centre and at the Cyprus High Commission in central London and collaborated with the 'Institute of Natural Resources in Greenland' to support their research through her photography work on whales. 

Published: 26/12/2019