Balancing Risks and Rewards – Meet Bondora’s Head of Credit Risk

Dear readers, today you can learn more about Bondora Group’s Head of Credit Risk, Tomas Bouska. He’s our 41st Bondorian in the Spotlight and also the only Czech in the company 🇨🇿

Tomas loves completing tasks, ensuring we have the right mechanisms to support our customers, and, of course, getting data, data, and more data!

Discover more about the rewards of his daily tasks, what he loves most about working in Bondora, and how he manages to work remotely while still being a valued team member.

Tomas’ inspirational life motto is a classic that still rings true: ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’
Tomas’ inspirational life motto is a classic that still rings true: ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’

The Bondorian Spotlight #41 — Tomas Bouska

👨🏻Bondorian since May 2022

🧭Role: Head of Credit Risk

🔏Team: Credit Risk

Tomas’ journey at Bondora:

It has been exciting! You can always do so much to impact the business and the people around you positively.

During my time at Bondora, we have opened two new credit markets, with a third one just around the corner. We have established a robust Credit Risk team, significantly improved how we manage Credit Risk overall, strengthened governance control, and, very importantly, started implementing a new Decision Engine with a completely new architecture.

What does your typical workday look like?

I usually wake up around 6:00, make myself a simple breakfast, an espresso, and a cappuccino—my morning kick-starter ☕Then I ride my motorcycle to my small office space in Prague’s city center.

I arrive around 7:30, and the first thing I do is jot down the tasks for the day on a post-it note. Each item gets an empty checkbox next to it—I love the feeling of marking things as done! ✅Then, I go through new messages and check the latest numbers. That’s where my routine ends. After this, I usually have some calls and tackle various issues to ensure we reach our goals.

I work with a three-monitor setup, which helps me be more productive. I usually dedicate one monitor to communication tools (Slack, Outlook), one to data and analytical tools (Databricks, Tableau, Excel), and the third to whatever else I need (Jira, Confluence, etc.).

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing my team succeed, making an impact, and (my guilty pleasure)—finding time to write some fancy code and deep dive into the data🧑🏻‍💻

And what makes being in Bondora awesome?

Bondora is a place of opportunities and great people. And I mean it—great people. While Estonians are often stereotyped as cold and distant, my experience at Bondora has been the complete opposite. I’ve never felt a lack of hugs or smiles when I’m in the office.

What does the Credit Risk team do?

Long story short, we ensure we issue suitable loans to the right people.

We analyze extensive and diverse data, leveraging our expertise and market experience to develop credit risk strategies that optimize risk and help us reach our profitability goals, all while acting as a responsible lender within the boundaries set by local regulators 📊

Ultimately, we ensure our services create value for our customers and company.

Best meme that sums up being the Head of Risk?

Best meme that sums up being the Head of Risk

How do you determine credit risks for the company, and how to avoid them?

We don’t want to avoid credit risk entirely; it’s healthy for a company to take risks. Just like in life, reward comes with risk. However, these risks need to be managed appropriately.

The key is to understand how much credit risk a company can take. This depends on the specific business model, market situation, and other factors.

We cannot work in isolation; our credit risk strategies must align closely with the company’s goals, product and marketing strategy, and many other factors.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Working remotely 🌍

What is your best investment advice?

💰 Good one! I invite everyone to come and ask me for specific investment advice. Listen carefully to what I have to say and then do the exact opposite 🤣

Honestly, I don’t consider myself the most competent investment advisor. But one piece of advice I’ll give to my kids—don’t gamble and invest only money you know you won’t miss not having.

And now, let’s get to know Tomas on a personal level!

What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

Primarily, the obvious: I spend my free time with family and friends. Other than that, I started boxing about 20 years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. It’s a great way to release some stress and stay in shape. I have other passions that help me keep going, too—woodworking, cooking, and brewing coffee. 🪵🍳☕

Do you have any pets? Please share a picture and a funny story.

Yes, we adopted a dog from a shelter about six years ago. Her name is Finca, and she’s been our family’s hero, especially after the kids were born. She’s really well-behaved, super calm, and loves being around people.

One day, we returned home to find Finca lying in her usual spot, eagerly waiting for us. We greeted her warmly, but then we noticed footprints embedded in the soft cushion cover of the sofa. It was clear that Finca hadn’t been as well-behaved as we thought!

One look at Finca, and she knew that we knew!

Adorable Finca was unable to hide her cute paw prints on the sofa. But we're sure the reward was worth the risk ;)
Adorable Finca was unable to hide her cute paw prints on the sofa. But we’re sure the reward was worth the risk 😉

What are your favorite games to play?

I’m not a big gamer these days, but now and then, my friends and I get together, have some drinks, and play Crash Team Racing on Xbox. 🏎️ It’s a simple and fun racing game where your goal is to hit your opponents with items like bowling balls and finish first. Ooga-booga! Get outta my way!

What’s your favorite TV show/podcast?

The Office, IT Crowd, and South Park will always make me laugh. Who Is America? is an amazing reminder that each of us lives in our own bubble. I can’t pick just one.

What’s your favorite kind of music?

That depends on the occasion; I like diversity. I will never turn off Massive Attack, Gorillaz, or Quantic. But in general, I will enjoy listening to Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances as much as having fun in a club rocking to the dub rhythms of ’Sixteen Tons of Pressure’ from O.B.F.

Bacon: yay or nay? 

Pancettay 😜🥓

What superpower would you like to have and why?

I would like to have the power to make people tell the truth. I wouldn’t use it much on people around me, as I surround myself with trustworthy people. I’d be more interested in using it on people you typically see on TV or read about in newspapers—politicians, influencers, lobbyists. The world could be much better if some people take the backseat!

What’s something that you want to do that scares you?

One day, I’d like to be dropped off on the peak of a glacier and snowboard down the mountain! 🏂🏻

Thank you for following Tomas on his incredible Bondorian Spotlight journey!

Tune in again next month to read another episode of The Bondorian Spotlight and meet our 42nd Bondorian!

P.S. If you want to become our next Bondorian, head to our Careers Page to check out our open positions.

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