Tim Wren, St Anne’s 1987

Director, TMW Technical Services Ltd

What do you do now?
Director, TMW Technical Services Ltd, owner and principal consultant.

What are the highlights of your current role?
I run a small boutique consultancy firm providing technical expertise to deliver enterprise-wide risk management systems for banks and insurance companies.
Most of the calculations for the above systems are based on models simulated tens, to hundreds of thousands of times and requiring substantial hardware to perform acceptably.
The systems require data from various different sources – often with bespoke process required to enhance and transform it.
I help integrate data sources, design and performance tune the simulation processes and problem solve when there are issues.
I have a lot of experience of delivering these kinds of projects, so I help create and sustain momentum in the delivery team.
I also spend quite a lot of time facilitating constructive discussions with 3rd-party vendors so that their deliverables are fit for purpose.

What did you do when you first graduated?
Initially I spent with a year working at a small firm working on geochemical remote sensing surveys for oil exploration – ground based and airborne. I then worked for Schlumberger for 9 years, starting out supporting marine seismic activity by using assorted UNIX based CAD and GIS tools but also writing quite a few tools of my own . Half way through I switched to the GeoQuest software division where I worked as a database developer, consultant and project manager on corporate database implementations for a variety of oil companies (Amerada Hess, BP, Texaco and several others).

How did you get from there to your current role?
After  10 years in the oil industry I took a career break and went travelling around the world. This first trip was around 8 months long, but it didn’t quite satiate my desire for travel – a further two 8-9 month trips followed at 5 year intervals.
After that first trip I joined a software vendor which provided pricing and simulation software used in risk management systems for banks, insurance companies and asset managers.
I was able to reuse the UNIX, Oracle, development & project management skills that I had learnt in the oil industry over the previous 10 years in my new role in the financial sector.
I spent around 10 years with the software vendor (since bought by IBM) and during that time I gained a lot of experience of various high performance computing solutions in addition to the business side of the calculations.
I also learned a lot about the peculiarities of delivering solutions for regulatory reporting with multiple vendors contributing to the implementations.

What has been the most useful experience in your career?
After 10  working for the financial software vendor I decided to start my own company to provide clients with independent advice. Starting the company and building up a client list was undoubtedly the most satisfying experience of my career.

We interviewed Tim in late summer 2015, as part of the “Class of 1990 – Where are they now?” Project