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.

FinTech People Moves, Q1 2016
So, you want to join a FinTech business?
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