#ScotsCareersWeek - Meet Nathan Thompson, Head of Service Design at Aegon



What was your favourite subject at school and why?

I really enjoyed music and did go on to study this at university, however equal top was business studies. I enjoyed learning about the wider world in business and in music and enjoyed the creative elements to both.

How did you get into financial services?

I really fell into it. I studied music production but quickly realised that was not for me so whilst completing my degree I began to seek out different opportunities to further explore what I did want to do.

Through my A-Level business teacher, a great guy called John Allis, I met, who would become my first boss, Colin Quinn, who runs a Business Analysis consultancy called Be Positive. Colin gave me my break. 

I am forever grateful for Colin for taking a punt on me, a young guy, from the northeast of England who didn’t know what business analysis was, had just graduated with a music degree but who was keen to learn and succeed, whatever I thought success was at that time!

How has your career developed since working in financial services? 

Beyond anything I could have expected. I have worked in 9 countries, one of them being the US, in which I have worked in 6 states. One of the highlights of the US for me was spending around 6 weeks in New York working for Transamerica Ventures, playing what at the time felt like real life Dragons Den. I learned so much from George (TA Ventures CEO) and Andrew (TA Ventures Investment Director) in those weeks.

I built an understanding of our venture capital business, investment process, and more broadly the US Fintech Market. We met companies looking for investment and my role was to identify where there was business benefit for Aegon/Transamerica beyond financial returns. i.e If we were to invest in a software company, could we use the technology at Aegon? The office location was an added perk, as from the boardroom we could see Grand Central Station.

I am proud of the last 8 years and can’t wait to see what the next 8 bring. I turned 30 just a week ago and Aegon was a huge part of my twenties. I learned so much and worked with so many great people. I’ve seen more of the world than I ever thought I could through work and hopefully have made a positive difference to my colleagues, customers, and shareholders.

What would you tell your school aged self now looking back? 

I think that my stance of saying yes to things, will take you places you never thought were possible. 

I’ve said yes to most things, worked hard, and asked a billion questions. I’ve never been afraid to seek help and guidance from colleagues and market influencers/experts alike. I’d encourage everyone to be curious, work hard and never be ashamed to ask for help.