She was unproven, on her first job out of graduate school.
Among her tasks: Sell the use of a computer program that would allow institutional customers to spot foreign exchange risks and hedge against movements in interest rates.
So, to make sure she understood what she was marketing, Diana Chan decided she better figure out what it was she was selling. This, after all, was in the era when computing was something of a dark science, overseen by lords who could establish the formulas that would cause computers to spit out the reports that users and their customers might need.
“I looked at that thing and I said, if I'm going to sell this thing, I'd better know how exactly it works,’’ Chan recollected in a recent conversation with Securities Technology Monitor. “So I punched in an example, then it spit out the report, and I sat there and manually tried to calculate how it got to the results of the recommendation, with my input.”
Diana Chan, CEO, EuroCCP
Chan couldn’t get her calculations to match those that came out of the program used by Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, now part of JPMorgan Chase. So, she asked that the formula in the program be checked, for accuracy in processing inputs and results.
There was, of course, a mistake. Yet the program had been sold to customers as accurate.