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Gladwin Mendez

Data and Information Security Officer, Fisher Funds

Biography

Gladwin Mendez is passionate about making a difference to New Zealand through data and relishes the opportunity to expand that to the wider global stage. He is Fisher Funds’ Data and Information Security Officer and helps the company balance data innovation with security to provide their customers with ‘epic futures’.
Mendez has more than 15 years’ experience in technology, data and analytics. He has worked across New Zealand’s large financial services and insurance organizations, as well as numerous organizations in Australasia, North America and Europe.
His background includes leadership of analytics teams at Deloitte and KPMG. He successfully developed these companies’ capabilities and led their analytics service lines across a portfolio of IT advisory, risk, tax and management consulting services.
Mendez believes a leader creates new leaders. He plays an active role in contributing to the next generation of data leaders by writing thought leadership pieces and speaking at university lectures, conferences and events.

Getting to know...

You want to see the data and analytics community move away from following buzzwords. Why is that?

Buzzwords set up unrealistic expectations. We have all had that one enthusiastic CEO run downstairs to our teams after they’ve just attended the latest technology conference from vendor A, asking why we haven’t yet implemented X, Y or Z technology yet.

That vendor says, as a company, we won’t exist in a couple of years unless we implement said new technology.

We in data and analytics do a disservice propagating buzzwords and not investing in educating those around us on reality (current state) versus the art of what’s possible (future state). We mustn’t shy away from having the hard discussions and taking the time to educate everyone on what it could take to get there together.

Don’t get me wrong, we should all be aiming high and utilizing the best technologies to get the best outcomes for our stakeholders. But knowledge, people and pragmatism beat out bells and whistles any day.

What are the biggest information security challenges that you’ll be facing in 2021?

Maintaining the trust and confidence that our customers have placed in us.

We have all seen daily data breaches, if not breaches more than several times a day. With the significant uptick in threats in this space, staying vigilant, protecting our customers’ data and privacy and staying ahead of the game is going to be the biggest challenge for all companies for a while.