‘Always embrace a new challenge’

  • Vittorio Maio
  • 02 June 2020

Vittorio Maio is an alumnus of TU Delft, enthusiastic Mathematical Engineer with a passion for finance. His driving values are teamwork and commitment. Born in Rome he now feels at home in Amsterdam, working as a senior consultant at Deloitte. He claims: “I believe in a working environment governed by enthusiasm, passion and empathy”.

What did you study?

“After I finished High School, I thought I wanted to become a doctor, but then the big passion I have always had for maths prevailed. Eventually I chose to study pure maths, at Sapienza Universitá di Roma. After completing my Bachelor I did my Master of Mathematical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, choosing the track of Quantitative Financial. In retrospect, this is where my passion for finance first became apparent.

In the last year of my master I moved to TU Delft as a participant in an Erasmus+ exchange program. During this period I had the chance to attend a class given by Pasquale Cirillo, Associate Professor of Applied Probability and Coordinator of the Financial Engineering Specialization at TU Delft. I immediately felt something during his lectures, so I approached him for a thesis project and he suggested me to get in touch with Deloitte, with which he has collaboration for an online course. This way, after the standard recruiting process, I joined the team of Financial Risk Management (FRM) at Deloitte Amsterdam. There I wrote my master thesis about credit risk ‘Modelling the Dependence between PD and LGD’ (from which an article was made available at www.ssrn.com).

In the moment I joined FRM I was quite nervous about my first real job. I wanted to prove myself and understand whether that was the correct place for me. But at the same time I was a bit scared that people might not appreciate my ‘excessive passion’ and that I could have felt a bit isolated. Luckily enough, I found a group of extraordinary colleagues (and friends) always ready to help and make me feel home. Thus, after finishing my thesis and before officially graduating, I decided to join the team as a working student, combining the study with the working experience. I really enjoyed all of this, so after I graduated I immediately started as a consultant.”

Tell us about your work?

“I participated in a lot of different projects since joining Deloitte in 2018. I have developed credit risk models for several large banks in the Netherlands. That is directly linked to my studies and enabled the development of practical knowledge in the field. During these projects, I realized that I reached a point when I was not only learning, but also sharing my experience with other colleagues and clients - that is definitely an extra motivation which helped me a lot!

I have also been involved in the development of various Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools, which can be used to enhance the work of a Financial Risk Manager. My favourite one is by far RegMiner: an innovative regulatory tool which makes use of AI to supervise the enormous amount of financial laws and regulations.

Vittorio Maio
‘At the beginning I was ‘just a math student’, now I became a credit risk expert’

In all these occasions, I first really understood the difference between just ‘playing with numbers’ (as I like to say) and effectively applying the methodology I studied to real life - a feeling I will probably never forget. That is in a nutshell the path I have been following to really become a credit risk expert.

At the same time I got the opportunity to join the recruitment team within FRM. I am primarily responsible for recruiting events and guest lectures, because I have always loved to have interactions with young brilliant minds and help them in finding their first job they will love. It gives me the opportunity to be some sort of entrepreneur. In this role I have organized the FRM InhouseDay and the KnowlEDGE Masterclass at The Edge, our Amsterdam office. At the moment I am also busy in the organization of a series of Online Financial Risk Masterclass sessions for students, aimed to keep creating a bridge between our work and university, also while staying at home. COVID-19 has been disruptive in many fields and we know that different times require different solutions. We want to show to the public that we are still here, ready to help and motivate them.

Last, but not least, I am also a facilitator for the so called ‘Pre Manager Journey’, in which I facilitate trainings on Project Management and other soft skills. Recently I also became a Business Chemistry facilitator, allowing me to guide professionals in getting an insight about their own and other people’s working styles and attitudes.”

You really like the Netherlands?

“Yes, certainly! I live in De Pijp in Amsterdam, a great and extremely international city, but at the same time as Dutch as can be. The fact that I can easily reach any point by bike or public transport, is something that I really enjoy. My dad used to be a professional cyclist and always tried to make me bike a bit more. But to be honest, in Italy I wasn’t biking as much as I do here. My favourite neighbourhood in Amsterdam is exactly where I live, but I’m always up to discover new local places together with a nice community of friends, also really international. We are a very close group and we like to have dinner together: one night we might have a Spanish dinner, the other night Italian or Dutch. I’m a big fan of the ‘stamppot’!”

How about your work-life balance at Deloitte?

“What I like from my team is that we are extremely efficient. Of course we work hard, but if there is no need to work extra hours we simply do not. In this way people are fully able to combine other important things in life with their career – something that in some fields and in some cultures is often neglected!

  • Vittorio Maio

The reason why I became a consultant is that I like to have flexibility, and not having exactly the same routine every day. This is something that Deloitte definitely offers and I am really enjoying this.

When I started my career as a Financial Risk Manager, I grabbed the opportunity to talk with experts, partners and directors within our team. It was amazing for me that they really made time to sit with me and discuss topics which I felt relevant. Conversations could be about very technical topics (e.g. how to validate a PD model, which was key for my thesis), but also about how to improve my soft skills, which are effectively crucial in delivering outstanding results. Good presentations and reports are part of what clients want, but you also need to be able to communicate the results and socialize with the rest of the team. After all, you’re working with them for a large part of the week!”

How do you focus?

“I’ve always enjoyed being outside, to grab my headphones, a book and go to study for an exam at the park rather than inside. It really helps me to focus and concentrate. I still go outside when possible. For example now I’m studying for the GARP FRM exam and I always try to study in a park (when the weather permits it). I simply love to go outside and enjoy the sun and that is something I do recognise in most of Dutch people as well. Whenever there is a bit of sun, literally everyone goes outside. Back in Italy I was so used to good weather, that I didn’t even notice it. Dutch people really do enjoy the sun.

  • Vittorio Maio

In my spare time I still have the opportunity to do a lot of sports, like Spartan workouts and kick-boxing. I also like to challenge myself with competitions during the weekends, such as Spartan Race, Mud Masters and Strong Viking. The competition and exercise gives me a lot of energy.”

Vittorio Maio
'That’s my ultimate goal, to really become a coach to advance the career of others.'

What are your goals?

“I definitely want to stay here and help my team growing, not only in numbers but also in knowledge. That is why I combine being part of the credit risk learning team with recruitment. On the long term my goal would be to become a facilitator in different fields, which can be more numerical and financial risk management related, but also from a soft skills point of view. Training people in understanding how to make an impact on society, how to make that change. That’s my ultimate goal, to really become a coach to advance the career of others.”

  • Financial
  • Risk
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Engineer

Vittorio Maio

Senior Consultant Financial Risk Management

Vittorio Maio is an alumnus of TU Delft, enthusiastic Mathematical Engineer with a passion for finance. His driving values are teamwork and commitment. Born in Rome he now feels at home in Amsterdam, working as a senior consultant at Deloitte. He claims: “I believe in a working environment governed by enthusiasm, passion and empathy”.

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