Behind the Scenes at Andrew Davidson & Co
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY -- May 14, 2019 -- Andrew Davidson & Co., Inc. (AD&Co) is known for our innovative analytical approaches for mortgage-backed securities. But innovation at AD&Co is not just in loan dynamics and financial engineering; it's also in company dynamics and workplace engineering. Over a year ago, we instituted a flat organizational structure. We created 10 function-centric teams and three oversight councils and eliminated the hierarchical management structures.
What does this mean for you as a client?
A flat organizational structure encourages the free flow of ideas, which means more opportunity for innovation--as great ideas can come from anyone on any team. It also results in better customer experiences, with every team member authorized to make decisions and take actions that help you. Empowered employees are more engaged, and increased employee engagement leads to better products and better customer service.
Employees are divided into functional teams: Administration; Applications and User Interface; Behavioral Models; Business Development; Client Support; Data; Financial Engineering; Marketing; Model Risk Management and Testing, and Talent Coordination. We created three councils to help the teams work together smoothly: Budget, Product and Goals.
To ensure a representation of different points of view, each council is composed of members from different teams. Short and long-term goals are determined by the Goals Council, while the Product Council keeps an eye on whether priority projects are developing as expected, where resources should be allocated and identifies any obstacles to completion. The Product Council stays in touch with each team, so that everyone understands and can comment on the choices made by the councils. The Budget Council ensures that we stay on track with our financial plans.
The result is a company where everyone is aware of the priorities and all are working toward the same goals. This is not only efficient, but also empowers each team member to make the best choices for our clients; in the same way that our products are designed to empower our clients to make educated decisions for their companies.
How does it work?
While each team coordinates the efforts of its team members, the Councils coordinate across the teams, filling roles often delegated to "management." Membership on each council changes over time, to ensure that many employees are involved in the cross-functional discussions. Ultimately, the focus is on leadership rather than authority, teamwork over direction. All ideas are valid, no matter who initiates them. The manager-free structure leads to more freedom to be creative, a free flow of ideas, and cross-functional brainstorming.
The highly experienced and talented employees who were previously managers still provide valuable leadership to the firm through their roles on the Councils and through the expertise and insight they deliver to their functional teams. An important goal of the new structure is to ensure that those employees still have leadership roles, while expanding the number and diversity of employees involved in firm-wide decisions. While Andy Davidson remains unwavering in his role as a thought leader, innovator and adviser to clients and staff, employees have the autonomy to be creative and make independent decisions.
Enhancing Capabilities Across the Teams
Over the years our teams have grown in size and capabilities. We began with three employees in New York City, and we now have more than 40 employees based in offices in New York, Raleigh and California. Recently hired employees have added diversity to our skills sets, backgrounds and experiences, all of which help make our flat organization function smoothly, and enhance our capabilities across the teams.
We are pleased to announce the addition of several employees in both our New York and Raleigh locations.
Tony Babo joined the Applications and User Interface team. Tony brings over 20 years of software development experience from multiple disciplines. Some of his past work includes architecting online marketing platforms, developing analytic tools for modeling venue pricing strategies, and designing intuitive user interfaces that provide a great user experience. In addition to having a proven track record of successful software development, Tony also brings a diverse set of skills, including various programming languages, modern development frameworks and data modeling for web and desktop applications.
Eric Radtke joined the Data and Technology Team as a database developer and administrator. He works alongside our current team members, Herb Ray and Nadya Derrick, in maintaining data transfer processes used by the modeling and analytics team and maintaining and improving the existing database environments.
Shubha Borde joined the Model Risk Management team as Model Validator. She leads application testing and vendor validation efforts. Shuhba brings more than 16 years of experience as a lead software test engineer in telecommunications, systems management and retail point-of-sale domains. Most recently, she led the software testing effort at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions to validate their point-of-sale systems. Prior to that, she was test lead at IBM on their System X Platform.
Chris Widman is the newest member of the Behavioral Modeling team. He works on the development of existing and new credit risk models. Prior to joining AD&Co, he was a product manager at SAS for the SAS Model Implementation Platform for over three years. Before SAS, Chris worked at several large US financial institutions on retail credit risk modeling teams.
Lena Alvarez joins us in Talent Development, playing a pivotal role in a flat organization, improving employee engagement and experience. Her role is to guide recruitment, improve our performance-evaluation process, encourage professional development, and help with conflict resolution. She has 14 years of experience in Human Resources with responsibilities ranging from recruitment and retention, employee relations, compensation analysis, training and development, performance management, policies and procedures, benefits administration, organizational development, and employee engagement.
Feiqi Jiang, our newest hire, joined the Financial Engineering team where he will work on the design and enhancement of our analytical tools through quantitative and computational methods. He began his industry career as a data scientist at Lowe's, where he developed algorithms for sales-forecast using machine learning and statistical methods. Feiqi received his PhD in pure math in 2018 from Columbia University. During his time at Columbia, he worked on research problems in classical algebraic geometry.
Everyone who works at AD&Co plays a role in customer service and client support. Your satisfaction is our highest priority. Feel free to reach out to any of us by phone (212-274-9075) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are interested in learning more about working in a non-hierarchical firm, ask anyone of us; we can give you the pros and cons.
Andrew Davidson & Co. Inc. (AD&Co) was founded in 1992 by Andy Davidson, an international leader in the development of financial research and analytics, mortgage-backed securities product development, valuation and hedging, housing policy and GSE reform and credit-risk transfer transactions.
Since its inception, the company has provided institutional fixed-income investors and risk managers with high quality models, applications, consulting services, research and thought leadership, aimed at yielding advanced, quantitative solutions to asset management issues. AD&Co's clients include some of the world's largest and most successful financial institutions and investment managers.