With over six years on the Mountain View Risk & Analytics team, Della Zheng is an integral part of our success serving as the leader of our Deposit Modeling and Loan Analytics production teams. Her interest in problem solving made finance a natural fit for her after pursuing an extensive education in various fields, and her zest for her job is evident. Her curiosity is a driving force behind her ability to problem solve, and to explore and study the world both inside and outside of work. She’s traveled extensively, both foreign and domestic, while lately traveling with her family on many local adventures, exploring several of California’s National Parks and continuing her quest for knowledge while instilling it in her young child. In the interview below, we asked Della a wide range of questions to better understand what she does at MVRA and what drives her.
Q: Can you please introduce yourself?
A: My name is Della Zheng and I am a Senior Vice President at MountainView Risk & Analytics. I lead the Core Deposit and Loan Production team. I have been at the firm since 2015 and it’s been a great pleasure to work here.
Q: What led to your trajectory in finance models and research? And MVRA specifically?
A: It has always been interesting to reveal the story implied by the data. It is a fascinating process to extract the story out from the information embedded in the oftentimes noisy data. As we have often heard, data doesn’t lie. However, it can be noisy and often are. We may get confused if we don’t look closely enough, or it could be deceiving if we push it too hard. It might be different from the common thought, there is a fine line between art and science even when we are working with data.
Interest rate risk in the finance world is an attractive field as it bridges both sides of the balance sheet: asset and liability. There are infinitive possibilities/permutations. So far, a great deal of attention has been put primarily on the asset side. However, we have learned along the way, especially during the financial crisis, that the liability side is a critical component as well. Proper management for all the deposits, as it is the largest liability component for most financial institutions, could be the make-or-break of the company. MVRA is a renowned consulting firm in this field. It is my honor and pleasure to be on the team and provide my contribution.
Q: Do you see your work applied in everyday life?
A: We are not on the front lines dealing with the customers directly, but I do believe that it has an impact in its own way. We are influencing financial institution’s reporting and management’s decision-making process. Even though it is indirectly, we have also impacted some consumer’s everyday lives who are using those financial products. In a nutshell, it is relevant.
Q: What area of this industry would you like to see change or grow?
A: It’s not up to me but it’s going to be fintech, in my opinion. How will fintech impact this industry remains to be seen. They have been in growth mode for about two decades. Its impact will be way beyond mere operational (such as online banking, mobile banking, etc.), but much deeper such as service design, even business model shift.
However, similar to the mature financial products, the underlying force on fintech services will continue to be the combination of financial incentives and regulations. Therefore, I believe the knowledge we have accumulated in our current practice is going to stay relevant and will guide us into the future even though there will be uncertainties.
Q: You have had a very extensive and diverse education, what did you envision for yourself as a career after your schooling?
A: I was trained as a biomedical engineer initially and then got really interested in economics, within which I could see the engineering thoughts and application, which was almost tangible to me at that moment. On top of that I added applied math to that list. When I was in school, I probably didn’t think too much about what would come of this whole collection of topics. I was driven by my personal interests at the time. When I was about to conclude my student life, it appeared to me that finance was the natural field to dive into and build my career.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself outside of your professional life? What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
A: I like to travel. Pre-pandemic we traveled internationally more often but after the pandemic, especially with an elementary school age kid, we stay mostly local and explore national parks. They are so great! We are big at collecting the national park cancellation stamps – trust me, you will NOT be disappointed! We checked out five national parks in California this summer alone and cannot wait for the next exploration.
Q: What is your favorite part of working at McGuire and now MVRA?
A: Before the merger, McGuire/Mountainview was a small company, and had a flatter structure. Now, as we are part of the SitusAMC family, which is a much larger organization, there is more robust support such as IT and Marketing. With those resources, we do have this opportunity to push our presence to a higher notch and I definitely appreciate that!
Visit the MountainView Risk & Analytics Team Page to meet the rest of our awesome team!