The Tampa Bay Business Journal (TBBJ) has recognized DTCC’s Keiron Ramoutar, Executive Director of Financial Operations, as one of their 2022 “40 Under 40” honorees. The award recognizes 40 exceptional business professionals under the age of 40 in Tampa Bay who demonstrate positive impacts in both their organizations and the local community.
TBBJ notes that "young professionals are a vital asset to our region, and it is important to recognize and acknowledge those who have made their mark in the business world while shaping our community's future."
DTCC Connection sat down with Keiron to discuss her role as an executive director and her work in the community.
DC: Can you tell us about your background?
RA: I've always known I wanted to work in financial services. I remember asking my economics teacher, "I want to work on Wall Street. How do I get there?" And he pointed me towards a finance degree.
My college education began during my high school years. As a child of an immigrant family from Trinidad, I knew I'd need to support myself through college. I attended the International Baccalaureate Program at Seminole High School to start earning course credits early.
Before going straight to a university after high school, I took a year off and joined JP Morgan Chase as a part-time teller to get some experience under my belt.
I pursued my undergraduate degree in finance at the University of Central Florida. After graduating from UCF, I virtually attended Florida International University in Miami to get my MBA with a concentration in management.
During nearly all my undergrad and graduate studies, I worked full-time at Chase. While that didn't leave much time for extra-curricular activities, I gained nine years of experience and graduated debt free.
DC: What does your career path look like, and how has it developed over time?
RA: While retail banking was a bit different than my career aspirations in corporate financial services, the experience I gained as a part-time teller at Chase turbo-charged my career.
I quickly became a full-time teller – the fast-paced energy of working with people and cash is still something I look back on with fondness. The role ignited my passion for finance and translated to several promotions over the years. My last role as a private client advisor was my favorite, as I could build deep relationships beyond a surface-level connection. Even with this success, I remained focused on obtaining a corporate-level position.
With no luck in obtaining a corporate position with Chase, my career took a detour. I moved to Minneapolis to work as a business buyer at Target's corporate headquarters. I remained there for two years but longed to return to the warm weather in Florida. Once I returned, the relationships I built at JP Morgan Chase paid off, with a former colleague recommending me for a position at DTCC Tampa.
I started in DTCC's Business Transformation Office, where I quickly learned about many of the firm's functions. The fast-paced start invigorated me, with several promotions over seven years and the most recent occurring earlier in 2022 to Executive Director of Financial Operations. I'm now responsible for DTCC's payables, revenue cycle and general ledger reconciliation processes, all while managing and developing a diverse staff of 36 people in four countries.
DC: You’ve accomplished quite a bit over the past year, can you talk to us about that?
RA: I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished at DTCC. One of my responsibilities involves creating efficiencies in our procure-to-pay process. I recently collaborated with many finance team members to launch an internal tool – called Procurement 360 – designed to streamline our procure-to-pay activities.
When running through the procurement process, employees must work with at least eight different departments to identify vendor needs and solutions, negotiate contracts, issue RFPs, open purchase orders, pay invoices, and more. Procurement 360 seamlessly connects disparate processes into one streamlined, holistic system. The offering has significantly reduced workforce hours by removing redundant internal operations and allowing the firm to contract with vendors faster.
In addition, I collaborated with the DTCC tax team to implement a global tax solution for Accounts Payable. Tax accuracy is crucial with our company conducting business across many countries. With local tax codes constantly changing, this can be a challenging process. The tool my team implemented for payments and receivables has improved the accurate taxability of our vendors and clients. We've taken the guesswork out of the process by automating parts of this process.
DC: In addition to professional accomplishments, the “40 Under 40” award focuses on helping the local community. Are there specific groups or organizations your volunteer with?
RA: I proudly contribute to several community organizations, including Feeding Tampa Bay, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Scottish American Society, and Mort Elementary.
Feeding Tampa Bay holds a special place in my heart. My family didn't have much when we immigrated to America, which made making ends meet difficult. Today, I frequently volunteer at Feeding Tampa Bay. In particular, I enjoy participating in mobile pantries because I get to talk to members of the community and provide comfort during a time of struggle. I hope to one day join the board of the organization.
I also volunteer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society after learning about the organization from my DTCC co-workers – one who beat multiple myeloma twice after being exposed to dust particles during 9/11. His story compelled me to get involved.
My Scottish American Society involvement began when I was at Chase. They host a mock Highland Games event and use the proceeds for scholarship funds every year. I wouldn't have made it through college without these types of scholarships, and that drives me to volunteer for this event.
Finally, I also enjoy partnering with Mort Elementary School. Each year, I lead the school supply drive for the finance organization in Tampa, delivering items like paper, pencils and backpacks to kids in need whose families can't afford to purchase them during back-to-school season.
DC: What is something interesting that people might not know about you?
RA: Like the rest of the world, the pandemic changed many aspects of my life. While we were all stuck at home, I decided to teach myself how to play the keyboard by watching YouTube videos, starting with "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion. It's a hobby I've kept up to this day, and it's a great creative outlet and stress reliever.
I'm also a big fan of travel. I have a personal goal of visiting every country in the world one day and am proud to have visited 57 countries, with an exciting 138 still to go.
DC: Do you have anyone in particular that has been a big inspiration to you?
RA: I have a great sense of pride that I am now in a place where I can help my family. My mother carried all the responsibilities of raising my sister and me for most of my childhood. She has worked two to three jobs her entire life to support her family. Her work ethic and dedication continue to be an example to me, and she's why I'm as driven and career oriented as I am.
DC: Is there anything that you’re participating in now or in the near-future that you’d like to mention?
RA: Next month, I plan to travel to Poland as part of International Medical Relief to volunteer with Ukrainian refugee children. Two friends who are registered nurses will also come to provide medical care. With so many kids displaced and who have lost their parents in the war, I feel compelled to do what I can to provide support and comfort.
Keiron will be attending the highly anticipated 40 under 40 awards dinner and celebration in October, where she will be recognized as an exceptional business professional, leader, and innovator under the age of 40 in the Tampa Bay business community.