In January 2019, Lowell underscored its commitment to industry-leading, advanced analytics with the launch of Lowell Labs in Amsterdam.
We spoke to Christopher Trepel, who leads Lowell Labs, to find out more.
Firstly, please tell us about Lowell Labs.
Analytics has always been a core competitive focus, and a key growth engine, for Lowell. Although we’ve been able to recruit talented analysts, our business is generally located in smaller cities. As a result, it has been increasingly difficult to maintain our talent pipelines and obvious that we would need to establish a presence in a larger analytic marketplace.
Based in Amsterdam, Lowell Labs is an advanced analytics centre of excellence focused on creating new insights about subprime credit consumer behaviour with a focus, of course, on supporting collections activities within our core operating geographies. As an extension of Lowell’s Decision Science department, the new team’s work influences every area of Lowell’s business through a combination of partnership and aggressive problem solving.
In the war for analytic talent, Lowell Labs provides true differentiation through the use of modern analytic technology and a focus on the company’s most interesting problems. It also reflects Lowell’s burning commitment to analytic excellence.
Why did you choose Amsterdam for Lowell Labs?
We chose Amsterdam following a search process that compared 80 potential cities across 20 dimensions, including quantitative university programmes, data science communities, attitudes towards international business, and travel links. Amsterdam scored very well across all dimensions, is Europe’s de facto data science hub, and was quickly identified as a natural home for Lowell Labs. As the newest location for Lowell, our Amsterdam office reflects both the entrepreneurial spirit and freedom-to-operate of a start-up with the stability of a pan-European corporate business.
What makes Lowell’s approach to analytics unique?
Advanced statistics and machine learning methods are at the heart of our work. However, we combine this with an interdisciplinary mind-set, an unrelenting focus on discovering better solutions, and a willingness to invest in unconventional ideas and moonshot projects.
Our data asset is without rival: Lowell has a relationship with 20% of adult consumers across the UK, DACH region, and Nordic countries. Annually, we make significant investments in credit bureau and customised consumer data that describe demographic, account-specific, and macroeconomic factors related to credit, savings, and payment behaviour. Our data platform is designed to explore innovative approaches and accommodate a wide variety of consumer science methods.
Finally, we are collaborating with some of the world's leading universities and public policy groups to conduct economic research and design behavioural tests. These partnerships are incredibly important to Lowell and greatly enhance our efforts to fill the knowledge gap around consumer financial decision making and well-being.
Lowell is committed to making credit work better for all through the application of original insight and a dedication to ethical consumer treatment. Our analytic work serves both imperatives and is strongly amplified by industry-leading initiatives like Lowell Labs.
About Christopher Trepel, Ph.D.
Chris is Group Chief Science Officer at Lowell and leads the multidisciplinary Decision Science department responsible for asset valuation, predictive modelling, financial forecasting, and consumer science R&D. He is also an Operating Partner in Fenway Summer LLC's venture capital fund (Washington, DC, USA), focused on emerging FinTech companies.
Previously Chief Scientific Officer at Encore Capital Group, Chris built and directed the analytics and Corporate Affairs functions, launched a pioneering research platform focused on consumer financial decision making, and wrote the industry’s first Consumer Bill of Rights. Before that, he held analytic and strategic roles at Wells Fargo Bank and McKinsey & Company.
Chris holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, has completed postdoctoral fellowships in Neurophysiology and Behavioural Economics, and has authored more than 70 academic and professional publications. In 2017, he became a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
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