This month, you’ve met your match! Introducing Andres Kuusk, Head of Credit Risk and our 11th Bondora Superstar. Andres is the office’s table tennis champion (hence the 11-0 score in the title 🏓), a data geek, and so much more.
Our Bondora Superstars blog series showcases Bondorians’ passion for what they do, their personal investment experiences, and some fun things you didn’t know about them. Ready? Set. Match!
Bondora Superstars #11 — Andres Kuusk
👱🏻♂️ Bondorian since: 2015
🧑🏼🤝🧑🏼 Role: Head of Credit Risk
⚠️ Team: Risk
Andres joined Bondora in September 2015 as a Data Scientist and is now the Head of Credit Risk. Prior to becoming a Bondorian, Andres had a career as a professional mind sports player (earning money primarily from playing poker). But one day, he received a call directly from Bondora’s CEO, Pärtel Tomberg, and that call changed his life.
“Since then, it has been a wonderful journey with a lot of kind and super-smart people around me. It almost feels that I learn something new and useful every single day!”
What about Bondora and the opportunity inspired you to switch careers?
“This was a time in my life when I was eager to find out whether I would be able to succeed outside of mind sports. Also, my then-girlfriend was not a fan of me spending more time playing poker rather than quality time with her. These two factors together, plus the fact that Pärtel reached out to me at the right moment, contributed to my decision to move away from my professional mind sports player career. I initially thought that I would just try it out for 6 or 12 months and then turn back to poker, but now, five and half years later, I’m still here. However, I’m still playing mind sports semi-professionally (spending as much time on it as I can), so I have something of both worlds.”
A typical day with Andres
Andres’s role entails finding people who will not default on loan payments. In a sense this means predicting the future. Even though it’s a challenging responsibility, Andres is fantastic at it. To offset the time spent at his desk, he enjoys chatting with people, playing table tennis, and making jokes in between. He doesn’t use many tools daily except mostly SQL and his table tennis racket 😉
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
“I take great satisfaction from seeing default rates (of our borrowers) going down, which we have recently managed rather well with the Data Science team. Then it feels like I have done something useful, which is a nice feeling.”
“We have a special Bondora rule in our table tennis games – if the score is 11-0, then the loser has to bring 5 liters of ice cream to the office (not just for the winner, but for all the Bondorians to enjoy). So when this happens, and I’m on the winning side, it’s really rewarding. Bondorians love ice cream.”
What’s your favorite Bondora value?
My favorite Bondora value is “Data wins!” This means that we are very data-driven, and the correct course of action is not determined by whose opinion it is, but instead which one is supported by the data to back it up.
How has working in risk influenced your investment strategy?
It hasn’t really. I’m a very lazy person and an even lazier investor. Bondora’s Go & Grow is the only investment product I use because it offers excellent returns and needs practically no effort from the investor. I just throw money in and then sit back and relax.
If you could study anything again, what would you choose?
“I have spent 12 years at the university, so I would prefer not to go back there. Unless they’ll start teaching table tennis.” 😆
📚 Andres’s must-read book:
I would say that everything by Nassim Taleb is worth reading. Fooled By Randomness is good, but The Black Swan is even better!
Time for some more fun questions!
What’s your favorite TV show?
I don’t watch TV, and I even don’t have one. I only watch major sports competitions, like the World Cup finals or Wimbledon, if I’m able to find a live broadcast over the internet.
Should pineapple be allowed on pizza?
Sure, why not. I would be fine with pineapple on any food 🍍
What’s your favorite food?
Salmon. With whatever. Even with pineapple. Salmon always makes my day. I even order salmon when going to some fancy meat restaurants, which makes my friends laugh at me.
And what food do you refuse to eat?
Mushrooms are pretty much the only thing I don’t eat. A traumatic experience from my childhood is to blame, I guess. Rather give me some pineapple!
What’s your favorite joke?
My friend asked me to describe myself in three words; my response—”lazy.” 🤣
And that’s it! We’re glad that Andres tried his luck with Bondora, and we hope you enjoyed learning more about him. Join us again next month as we get to know our 12th Bondora Superstar!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the individual and not Bondora’s official view.