LexisNexis NZ welcomes new GM with a vision for customer-centric focus and commitment

Aya Riola believes in the Rule of Law advocacy and the delivery of value-based customer engagement

LexisNexis NZ welcomes new GM with a vision for customer-centric focus and commitment

This article was produced in partnership with LexisNexis.

Jacqueline So of NZ Lawyer sat down with incoming LexisNexis NZ General Manager Aya Riola to talk about his vision for continued customer centricity and what “PACE” embodies when it comes to building the right cultural foundation within the team.

LexisNexis New Zealand is set to welcome a new General Manager, Irwin Jordan “Aya” Riola. He brings decades of extensive leadership experience and a unique cultural perspective to the legaltech company’s customer-focused approach. Aya Riola’s appointment comes as Andy Boss, the previous General Manager, recently relocated to the US to take up a new position within the wider LexisNexis business.

Aya Riola adds to the LexisNexis leadership diversity as the first Filipino to lead the New Zealand business, and he shares that it was the company’s Rule of Law focus that drew him to the brand promise – a commitment that he sees as world-changing.

“We're in the legal business, and there's a Rule of Law index rating where we measure and advocate for checks and balances in any country. It's always about driving accountability when it comes to compliance with the established laws. This is something that most countries are now focusing more on because it's all about equality across the board,” he explains.

Aya Riola highlights the Rule of Law metrices which most legal industries have been looking into because of their potential in “making a difference and changing the dynamics of how we advocate for equality.” This is in line with LexisNexis strategic segments sales leader Matt Pedersen’s statement that LexisNexis is “trying to get law and the rule of law across every country that possibly needs it, no matter what the situation.”

Aya Riola also points to the ways in which the Legal Tech company is presently making a difference in the global community through pro bono legal service volunteer work by its in-house lawyers, particularly in the face of the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

With business growth trajectory currently on target, LexisNexis NZ is on pace to end 2022 on a positive note, and “PACE” has become a word which outlines the new GM’s vision statement for the company.

“P stands for People, becoming our Passion and Purpose; A stands for Accountability, which becomes our Anchor in Achieving results; C stands for Commitment, which becomes our Character in building our desired Culture; and E stands for Empowerment, which becomes our habit in Enabling Excellence,” Aya Riola explains.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have hampered operations in recent years, but he pointed out that finding ways to stay linked to customers has always been a crucial area of focus for LexisNexis

NZ. For the incoming GM, innovation is a mindset of challenging status quo in a way that heightens improved and more efficient processes.

“That's really the true essence of why we even exist as a business – we serve the best interest and needs of our customers,” Aya Riola says. “We found different means of connecting and engaging with our customers virtually, which allowed us to also accelerate our objectives and maximize our customer engagement channels.”

Having spent close to 22 years working in the Shared Services industry, Aya Riola has developed a focus for cultivating a positive working culture that is centred on empowering people who play a significant role in meeting customer needs and accelerating business growth even further.

“It's a digital savvy world today, and it's important that we look at what's important for our customers and what's meaningful for them to help them become more effective and successful in their respective areas of practice,” he shares.

“If we are able to position our product portfolio where lawyers can see the true value in the solutions we are offering rather than it just being a product, it will allow us to expand our market penetration and position the business for sustained growth in the future, which then can allow us to invest in more technology innovations.”

As Aya Riola makes the transition to New Zealand, he is very much looking forward in spending time and learning more about the team, persona of the legal profession customer profiles, working together with industry leaders to effectively target the company’s strategies to deliver more value-based customer engagement.

“With my experience within the global LexisNexis business for the last 12 years, I've had firsthand exposure on how other regions have successfully developed and launched new products within their respective markets he says. “I feel confident that I can make more practical recommendations on investments and inspire innovation from the team on what will deliver the most value for our customers in New Zealand.”

Aya Riola is born and raised in Manila Philippines. He grew up having been accustomed to the close family orientation of many Filipinos. He is a proud son of two successful professionals in the banking industry, which is most likely the culprit of why Math (and numbers) has been his favourite subject since he was a kid. He considers himself extremely lucky to have been blessed with a family that always values the virtue of giving back which is why he is very passionate about community activities.

He only recently got married to his wife Janine, with their wedding plans being delayed for almost two years because of the covid environment. With his strong faith, he has always been taught to see the positive in everything which is why the timing of his marriage lining up with their looming move to NZ worked out perfectly fine. They are both absolutely thrilled and looking forward in getting to discover the proud culture and history of NZ, build new friendships and communities along the way and explore the beautiful places that look just picturesquely pristine from what he has read and seen.

As someone who loves to travel, he loves immersing himself to different cultures and learn new passions, although admittedly he still has a lot to learn and will need to brush up on his rugby and cricket knowledge. He is a sports junkie and exercising is already part of his daily grind. Basketball is his favourite pastime, so he hopes to find a group of new Kiwi friends that he can play with just as a form of a healthy exercise. He usually spends his weekends just with his wife and explore new delicacies but certainly won’t miss thanksgiving by always offering a prayer at church every Sunday.

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