Our annual Princedale Partners Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party

Dear Reader,

I’ve just completed my first real test at Princedale Partners having joined earlier this year and what a journey the past 9 months have been!

Last Thursday, 15th September, Rupert, Stuart, Spencer and I hosted our annual Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party on the stunning rooftop garden of the magical Ham Yard Hotel in Soho – which I’m very proud to have organised! It’s not like I felt the pressure at all of being instructed to lead the project of getting some of the most impossible-to-get-hold-of CEOs, Founders, Entrepreneurs, Digital Leaders across corporates, start-ups and VCs together, at the same time, in the same place…!

Narrowly dodging a thunderstorm, the evening felt like a real success. As soon as the first guests arrived at the stunning private rooftop garden, I could relax knowing that I had sent everyone to the right venue and we knew we were in for a great night. We are very proud to have hosted some of the most influential Digital Leaders from the likes of Google, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Hargreaves Lansdown, McKinsey, Boots, PhotoBox and BGF Ventures for what was an evening of catching up with old peers and sharing perspectives with new faces over cocktails, canapes, 18th-century silhouette cutting and a late September sunset.

Here are some of the photographs from the evening. I am already looking forward to next year.

Amy Witchalls
Rupert’s PA and Events Manager

2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party
2016 Digital Business Leaders Cocktail Party

Digital People Moves Report, Q2 2016

Dear Reader,

We thought you might enjoy a slight change of topic from Brexit and the woes of the EU by taking a glimpse at some of the Digital leadership moves that have taken place in the Consumer marketplace in April, May and June this year.

To be clear, this is an overview of appointments that have been made across the wider marketplace and are not necessarily our placements.

Let me know if you would like to meet and discuss the digital talent marketplace and any hiring needs you may have after the summer by contacting me at rupert@princedalepartners.com or my PA Amy who will arrange a time amy@princedalepartners.com.

Hope you get to have a break this summer and I look forward to hearing from you if the team and I can help in any way.

Best regards,

Rupert signature

Rupert Jupp
Managing Director & Founder

  • Matthew Crummack / x Lastminute.com / Joins Gocompare.com as CEO
  • Jody Ford / x eBay US / Joins PhotoBox as CEO
  • Sergio Bucher / x Amazon / Joins Debenhams as CEO
  • Fernando Fanton / x Elsevier / Joins JustEat as CPO
  • Doug Gurr / Amazon / Appointed as Managing Director, UK
  • Tony Rivenell / x Boots / Joins Halfords as CDO
  • David Walmsley / x M&S.com / Joins HoF as Chief Customer Officer
  • Hannah Webley-Smith / x Benefit / Joins NOTHS as Customer Director
  • Luke Griffiths / x eBay Enterprise / Joins Klarna as GM UK
  • Nils Aden / x Unibet / Joins CurrencyFair as CMO
  • James Pipe / x Huddle / Joins Deliveroo as Senior Product Manager
  • Sharath Bulusu / x Housetrip / Joins Myntra as VP Product
  • Anna Barsby / x Halfords / Joins Morrisons as CTO
  • Pam Rosser / x Google / Joins Disney as Digital Commerce Director EMEA
  • Gill Moore / x New Look / Joins Monsoon as Chief Customer Officer
  • Monisha Saldanha / x Find My Past / Joins Big Bus Tours as SVP Product
  • Mark Hodson / x NOTHS / Joins HoF as Director of Brand Marketing
  • Marcus East / x Apple / Joins M&S as Global Digital Director
  • Neil Campbell / x Betfair / Joins Majestic Wines as Director of Special Projects
  • Nick Hagen / x Betfair / Joins Property Partner as COO
  • Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne / M&S / Appointed as Exec Director – M&S.com
  • Tom Rahder / x Bolero / Joins Ebury as VP Marketing
  • Richard Bastin / x Lebara / Joins RateSetter as CTO
  • David Williams / ASOS / Appointed as Digital Experience Director
  • Adam Freeman / x Bloomberg / Joins Freeformers as Partner
  • Nikki Akers / x Tesco.com / Joins L’Oréal as eComm Director, Consumer
  • Kate Cuthbertson / x Superdry / Joins First Direct as Head of Digital

An assessment of Product in FinTech

Over the past two weeks, we have assessed the hiring of Senior Digital Product Leadership in FinTech in the UK. We have mapped 81 businesses in FinTech and consumer Financial Services across Challenger Banking, Alternative Lending, Investment, Payments, and Remittance, to assess the role of digital Product in this evolving industry. Businesses identified include Atom Bank, Aldermore, Funding Circle, GoCardless, Hargreaves Lansdown, Mondo, Nutmeg, RateSetter, PayPal, and World Remit.

Here are some of the key insights we have gleaned:

  • A digital Product function has been established in 82% of the target FinTech and FS businesses, even though it is not labelled as “product” 50% of the time.
  • In 84% of businesses researched, Product is not a part of the C-Suite.
  • Prior FS experience was not deemed a requirement for 54% of senior Product leaders.
  • 54% of Product leaders started their career in technology development.
  • 45% of senior Product leaders hold less than 15 years’ career experience and are typically on a base salary of between £90,000 and £150,000 plus bonus, plus LTIP.
  • Attempting to identify a candidate with a balance of Financial Services/Digital growth experience is extremely difficult. As a result, reflect within your business to which skills could be sourced from elsewhere and thus how this informs the prioritisation in competencies in the search for your Product leader.
  • Invest significant time with all the key stakeholders to the Product function to ensure that there is a consistent understanding of what Product should mean to the business and how it effects each stakeholder. This will set your Product leader up for success.

If you would like to see the full 5-page report, or discuss any of the content above or in the report, please contact Amy by email on amy@princedalepartners.com.
Alternatively, now is a great time to consider hiring with summer just around the corner, so please do get in touch.

Automation; coming over here, taking our jobs…

The idea that the machines are taking over is certainly not a new idea, one that is as old as technology itself. In more recent times, the full integration of digital technology into our daily lives has led to the realisation of just how dependent we are upon it, sending even the more sensible among us into raving paranoiacs every time a story on AI pops up in your Twitter Feed. Inevitably, every news story segment of a self-driving car or of a drone dropping a parcel or something more destructive leads to exponentially rising cortisol levels.

It seems unlikely that there is any base for these fears for the immediate future – we’ve been worrying about this since Frankenstein and the aborted Luddite movement – and it is far more likely that it instead betrays a much deeper fear stemming from the stresses and insecurities which characterise our age. Long gone are the certainties we once had, such as in the free market, religion and the belief that each generation’s lot would be better than the last. Living in the 21st century is a difficult task with financial crises, terrorist threats, climate change, not to mention the more nearer term fears such as higher costs of living, declining opportunities for the young and poor and all before you start worrying about Siri’s imperial ambitions. Given these trends and the great pace of change we’re experiencing, it is entirely likely that the way in which Tudor society appears to us today will be similar to the way our grandchildren will look back at us in the future.

Whether you believe that AI will enslave the human race or not, in the short to medium term, millions of jobs will be lost – 15 million in the UK according to the Bank of England recently – without an immediate uplift in jobs being created. Automation will transform and disrupt not only blue collar jobs but also professional occupations in law, accountancy and financial services. Wanting to end on an optimistic note, however, these innovations have the potential to remove drudgery (both physical and administrative) from human existence with the remaining jobs serving to harness our natural creativity, interpersonal skills and will make working life a far more rounded and fulfilling experience.

Spencer Corin

Digital People Moves Report, Q1 2016

Here is our report of recent digital leadership moves that have taken place across the consumer & technology space, both in the SME start-up world and established businesses. Evidence of lots of demand for digital leadership talent in this very hot marketplace that shows no sign of slowing.

These are not necessarily our placements to be clear, but a holistic view across the digital talent marketplace.

  • January 2016
  • Aneil Rakety x TheTrainline, Joins Informa Group
  • Carl Schieble x Moneygram, Joins Ennet as COO
  • Nick Mcauliffe x Shawbrook, Joins Wellesley as MD Fintech
  • Michel Koch x Maplin, Joins Time Inc as eCommerce Director
  • Chris Conway x Asda, Joins Morrisons.com as Head of Online Trading
  • Iain Hildreth x theTrainline, Joins uSwitch as Marketing Director
  • Jalin Somayia x Property Partners, Joins Pockit as interim CMO
  • Derek White x Barclays Bank, Joins BBVA as Global Head of Customer Solutions
  • Adam Stewart x Vodafone, Joins Reckitt Benckiser as Chief Digital Officer
  • Darryl Bowman x Babylon Health/Wonga, Joins Funding Circle as Chief Marketing Officer
  • Laurent Le Moal x PayPal, Joins PayU as CEO
  • Ben Carter x NOTHS, Joins Just Eat as UK Marketing Director
  • Serge Acker x Ralph Lauren, Joins L’Oreal Consumer Europe as Chief Digital Officer
  • Kyle McGinn x M&S, Joins Facebook as Head of Product Management
  • Niall Wass x Uber, Joins Atomico as Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Andy Botha x Notonthehighstreet, Joins Zoopla as CFO
  • Hugh Fahy x Net-a-Porter, Joins Notonthehighstreet as CTO
  • Lea Hartkopf x TheTrainline, Joins Busuu as Head of Marketing
  • Gareth Griffiths x ASAP54, Joins Property Partner as VP Marketing
  • February 2016
  • Glen Drury x Kanuii, Joins Blippar as Chief Commercial Officer
  • Marieke Flament x Hotels.com, Joins Circle as MD Europe
  • Kevin McQuillan x BA.com, Joins Aviva as Director of Customer Experience
  • Filippo Gallignani x Lynda.com, Joins Delivery Hero as VP Performance Marketing
  • Harsh Mehta x Amazon.com, Joins BC Partners as Principal
  • Jo Benton x Gain Capital, Joins Saxo Capital as Head of Marketing and PR
  • Charles Davies x Blurp, Joins Stubhub as Director of International Marketing
  • Angela Pesta x Tesco, Joins eDreams ODIGEO as Senior Director, UX
  • Sandrine Desbarbieux x Avis, Joins Samsung Electronics as European VP Digital
  • David Kohn x Snow n Rock, Joins Heal’s as Customer and eCommerce Director
  • Martin Francis x House of Fraser, Joins WoolOvers as Chief Customer Officer
  • Christina Scott x Financial Times, Joins News UK as Chief Technology Officer
  • Pierre Woreczek x McDonalds, Joins Kingfisher as Chief Customer Officer
  • Matthew Lawson x Loveholidays.com, Joins Ribble Cycles as Chief Digital Officer
  • Jon Owen x Shop Direct, Joins Ribble Cycles as Chief Executive
  • Sam Diamond x Shopa, Joins Azimo as Head of Marketing
  • Jorg Asmussen x European Central Bank, Joins FundingCircle as Non-Executive Board
  • March 2016
  • Jonathon Brown x M&M Direct, Joins Photobox as COO
  • Ian Chambers x Game Digital, Joins MindCandy as CEO
  • Simon Trim x Sporting Solutions, Joins Sporting Index as CEO
  • Tony Macklin x Immediate Media Co., Joins Staff Finder as Chief Product Officer
  • Julian Elliot x Direct Line, Joins Dentsu Aegis Network as Chief Data Officer
  • Faisal Galaria x Alvarez & Marsal, Joins Octopus Ventures as Entreprenuer in Residence

FinTech People Moves, Q1 2016

We are happy to announce our first in a series of People Moves in FinTech. Below represents a snapshot of some high-profile leadership moves that have taken place across the broader FinTech landscape since the start of the year, both in high-growth SMEs and established businesses. We look forward to providing this valuable insight on a quarterly basis. From just this summary, it is interesting to see the mix of moves from well-known digital businesses and Financial Services into FinTech.

These are not necessarily our placements to be clear, but a holistic view across the digital talent marketplace.

  • Angela Yotov x Barclays, Joins Ratesetter as Head of Legal
  • Ben Brabyn x UKTI, Joins Level39 as Head of Level39
  • Ben Sanders x WorldPay, Joins Pockit as COO
  • Carl Schieble x Moneygram, Joins Ennet as COO
  • Dan Huddart x RSA, Joins Avantia as Chief Technology Officer
  • Darren Schindler x Metro Bank, Joins Property Moose as Executive Chairman
  • Darryl Bowman x Wonga, Joins Funding Circle as Chief Marketing Officer
  • Derek White x Barclays Bank, Joins BBVA as Global Head of Customer Solutions
  • Faisal Galaria x Alvarez & Marsal, Joins Octopus Ventures as Entreprenuer in Residence
  • Gareth Griffiths x ASAP54, Joins Property Partner as VP Marketing
  • Han Veldwijk x MyOrder, Joins Lloyds as Head of FinTech discovery
  • Jalin Somaiya x Property Partner, Joins Pockit as interim CMO
  • James Wise Balderton, Promoted to Partner at Balderton
  • Jim Gunner x HSBC, Joins Ratesetter as NED and Chair of Risk Committee
  • Jo Benton x Gain Capital, Joins Saxo Capital as Head of Marketing and PR
  • Jorg Asmussen x European Central Bank, Joins FundingCircle as Non-Executive Board
  • Kevin McQuillan x BA.com, Joins Aviva Director of Customer Experience
  • Laurent Le Moal x PayPal, Joins PayU as CEO
  • Marieke Flament x Hotels.com, Joins Circle as MD Europe
  • Mark Weedon x MSCI, joins Property Partner as Head of Institutional Development
  • Matt Macri-Waller Benefex, Joins SalaryFinance as Member of Advisory Board
  • Niall Wass x Uber, Joins Atomico as Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Nick Mcauliffe x Shawbrook, Joins Wellesley as Managing Director
  • Nigel Wilkinson x HSBC, Joins Ratesetter as Head of Commercial Credit
  • Nils Aden x Unibet, Joins CurrencyFair as CMO
  • Paul Marston x Secure Trust Bank, Joins Ratesetter as head of SME lending
  • Paul Muhr x Citi, Joins Finstar Financial Group as Director Capital Markets
  • Phil Marsland x Lloyds, Joins Arrow Global as Chief Operating Officer
  • Rob Moffat Balderton, Promoted to Partner at Balderton
  • Ruth Pearson x Simmons & Simmons, Joins Lendinvest as Legal Council
  • Sam Diamond x Shopa, Joins Azimo as Head of Marketing
  • Seema Desai x GSMA, Joins Zopa as Head of Product
  • Simon Veinuard x Hailo, Joins Travelex as Global Head of Digital
  • Steve Dukes x Wonga, Joins Dollar Financial as Chief Product Officer
  • Steve Pateman x Santander, Joins Shawbrook as CEO
  • Susanne Chisti FinTech Circle, Joins JustLoans Group as Non-Executive Director
  • Vipul Chhabra x Barclaycard, Joins Funding Circle as Global Head of Customer Analytics

If you would like to let us know of a recent hire, if we can assist you with your leadership hiring needs or if you would like advice, please contact amy@princedalepartners.com our FinTech consultant.

Talent & HR Directors in FinTech Breakfast

Last Thursday, we hosted the first Princedale Partners HR & Talent Directors in FinTech breakfast, where guests from 11 of the UK’s leading FinTech business joined us to discuss the unique challenges they face in growing a business in this fast-growing and still very new industry.

We were delighted to be joined by the following guests:

  • World Remit: Chief People Officer, Audrey Stewart
  • JustGiving: Chief People Officer, Andy Meikle
  • World First: Group HR Director, Kelly Jackson
  • Nutmeg: Head of People, Robert Crowley
  • Index Ventures: Director of Talent, Dominic Jacquesson
  • OakNorth Bank: Head of HR, Adria Linder
  • FundingCircle: Former HR Director, Kim Stringer
  • Forward Partners: Head of Talent, Chris Wilkinson
  • Tandem Bank: Head of Talent, Mel Hetherington
  • Transferwise: Global Head of Talent, Thea Fineren
  • Property Partner: Head of People, Nick Yockney

We started by quickly establishing that the combination of growing a technology business while simultaneously adhering to strict regulation did in fact create a melting pot of difficulties un-paralleled in other industries. Furthermore, these challenges range across a variety of areas, such as culture, the hiring and retention of talent, stakeholder (and founder) management, diversity, development, marketing, compliance, growth strategy, internationalisation, investment and more.

Here is a summary of just some of the takeaways from the discussion:

  • The background of the founder has a significant impact on the focus on compliance in the business. The priority of compliance vs technology is different from business to business
  • Shifting focus onto compliance/risk in hiring can be difficult as there is a natural fear of “Risk” being a barrier rather than an enabler to growth
  • Different skill-sets are right for the business at different stages of development
  • Sometimes this can include the founders, circa 40% of tech business that have undergone an IPO were still founder led
  • Typically, this manifests in a broader skillset requirement in the early stages of a business, and becomes increasingly narrow/specialist as the business evolves
  • As a result, maintaining the right culture can become increasingly difficult
  • Many founders still meet every hire for the business. In some cases, this can be appropriate, however, it is a significant use of their valuable time that could be entrusted to the line manager/Talent Director
  • It is considered important that founders should, at the right stage of growth, move away from what might be considered total ownership of recruiting at every level and function.

This is just a small sample of what was a very enjoyable morning, and with plenty more still to discuss, we look forward to hosting another event in the second half of the year. We would like to thank everyone for attending.
If you would like to discuss any of the points in more detail, please feel free to contact Amy at amy@princedalepartners.com.

What a week, month, year for Morrisons

Take yourself back to 12 months ago where Morrisons was fully in the quagmire. Profit warnings, slipping market share and even a boardroom intervention from the Morrisons family caused chaos to the share price amid gloomy city speculation. More worryingly, the Group was stuck in an existential crisis. Supermarket grandee, David Potts was brought in and has led a rejuvenation of the brand with a return to the retail fundamentals of range, price and product. They aborted their convenience store operation, hired more frontline customer service staff at a time where most retailers cutting back and abandoned many of the projects they only ever half-heartedly believed in.

Leveraging their manufacturing arm they have negotiated a stellar deal with Amazon, which has immediately won their place back in the FTSE 100, with good cause. It can’t be long now before Amazon enters online groceries with a full service line although this development will serve Morrisons very well. On the same day Ocado’s stock dropped by 6.5% spelling woe for the online grocer. With Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda all in a somewhat difficult place, Morrisons is gaining customers and now looks the most able to fend off the charge of their German rivals. With loyal customers, a great team, price reductions and the Amazon and Ocado deals in place, the future looks bright for Morrisons.

Spencer Corin
Research Consultant

So, you want to join a FinTech business?

As a specialist FinTech headhunter that works with both early stage and established businesses, I receive calls every week from active candidates who are looking to make a move from their current, typically corporate, role into a high-flying “FinTech” business. However, there is a pattern forming in the advice I find myself giving candidates and the outcome of each call.

On these calls, I see myself asking the same four questions:

What stage of business do I want to join?

Typically, what attracts people to smaller businesses, is they can have a greater impact and take on more responsibility than in the corporate world. Earlier stage businesses require a different skill-set (and mind-set) and will require you to be highly hands-on and broad in your knowledge. A larger business, as it grows, will prefer individuals who become increasingly specialist in their area of knowledge.

Before making the decision to pursue the FinTech industry, I would ask yourself where you could add most value and how well you could adapt to the start-up environment – something which many candidates underestimate.

Which five companies would I most like to join and why?

I always find it surprising when candidates can’t answer this question. My best piece of advice here is to:

  • Take time to research the sector. If it’s FinTech you’re trying to move into, have more to say than “I hear it’s really hot right now” (yes, somebody actually said this last week).
  • Produce a clear list of your five favourite companies, have a clear reason for why, and you will find yourself more prepared for making this search.

What start-up experience do I have?

Making the move to an early-stage business is difficult and almost all of these businesses are looking for people who are “hands on” and have “growth experience”. But how can you move into FinTech with no experience? It’s up to the individual to be proactive in their interaction with the FinTech community. Join mentor programmes, attend events and advise early stage businesses. If you don’t already have this experience, it’s time to start getting out there and finding some.

What examples of past “hands-on” experience can I give?

When interviewing, I spend a lot of my time trying to understand whether candidates can provide evidence of being hands-on. The client is looking for you to give concrete examples of exactly what you have achieved and how.

This is especially relevant in larger organisations where you are operating as part of a matrix – another reason why, if you’re managing a 200 person team, moving in to a start-up business of 50 may not be the right move.

Lastly, when it comes to your CV, keep it short and sweet and only include the most “wow” and relevant points. Give solid statistics, briefly explain what you achieved and make sure it flows from experience to experience. Tell a story.

The search for any new job is always going to be lengthy and time-consuming. FinTech is ever-evolving and needs intelligent, creative and ambitious people to make it better. Research, thoroughness and preparation are key in any job hunt but in the FinTech start-up world especially. You need to be able to tell your new employer where and how you could add value to their business using solid past experiences – if you have no FinTech experience, what else can you bring to the table and how quickly can you learn?

Be serious or don’t show up

The first few months of the year through spring are some of the best times to consider a career move, with the combination of a contemplation through January and typically the opportunity to pick up bonuses in February and March. As a result, I thought I would share some tips on how to maximise your impact while interviewing if you want to be on the front foot.

Interview Preparation

The key here is to approach every interview process as if this is your ideal next role so that YOU have best prepared if through the interviews the opportunity really is enticing. You’d be surprised to which extent people’s perception of a role and business significantly improves having met with the leadership team, seen the office environment and heard more about the role and opportunity from those on the front line. If you haven’t fully prepared or don’t go in with 90+% commitment, the opportunity is probably already lost…and I’d argue you’re doing yourself a disservice.

  1. Research the company thoroughly
    There are hundreds of free resources available but some of the most obvious include; the corporate website, LinkedIn, Duedil, Google News, Reuters & Wikipedia. You should be looking for information on what the company does, where it operates, its ownership structure, the reputation of the management, company history, values, mission statement and any recent developments or launches
  2. Research competitors or threats if any?
    You want to make sure you have a strong sense of how they stand up against their competitors and ultimately where, if any, the threats and opportunities lie. However, don’t become disenchanted if they aren’t the market leader, that’s often when you can add the most value!
  3. Research the management team and interviewers
    In particular, the stakeholders this role will be interacting with. Have a look at their professional profiles – where have they worked before? What did they study? Where have they lived? Do you have any connections in common? Familiar interests, awards, qualifications … This will start to give you a sense of the culture and types of people they hire. You may also meet them during the interview process and building rapport through familiarity is powerful.
  4. Experience the customer journey
    Unless you’re applying for a job at Virgin Galactic or Sunseeker it is vital that you experience the customer journey and where possible, buy the product or use the service. If they don’t give you an opportunity to drop this into the conversation, create one! It will demonstrate the effort you’ve put in and you will have a much better understanding of what they do and don’t do so well. If you don’t have experience and an opinion, you’ll be judged negatively from the get-go.
  5. Re-read your CV and the job description
    I know you know your CV, you lived it, but have you really invested time into understanding how your CV relates to the brief? And is all the relevant information included in your CV? If not, you may wish to highlight this in the interview or send over an updated version in line with the brief beforehand (I strongly advise the latter!).
  6. Ensure you’re dressed appropriately
    Call up reception or headhunter and ask for the dress code if you’re not sure. You don’t want to be under or over-dressed. Know your audience.
  7. Prep call with the headhunter
    Most headhunters will instigate this but if not, ask. Ensure you have a day or two before hand to speak with them about their view on the company, culture, personalities of those you’ll be meeting and of course, the format of the interview. You can use this invaluable opportunity to ask any outstanding questions you have and have time to get some answers.
  8. Consider what you want to get out of it
    Take time to consider what your ambitions and career goals are. This is as much an opportunity for you to interview the business as it is for them to interview you – the fit needs to be right on both sides. Will it meet the expectations of your ideal next career move? Will it provide you with the necessary challenges and opportunities? Will you get the autonomy you require or support necessary to grow? Prepare questions that will enable you to answer these. However, don’t come across too strong, you may want to spread them out over one or two interview stages focusing on the most critical first.

We hope this provides some guidance but above all be yourself. Be calm, confident and prepared. There are of course so many ways you can get an edge on your competition but ultimately, go the extra mile and you’ll be in the strongest possible position.