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FinTech - A Global Perspective

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Recruitment prospects across the FinTech sector are steadily increasing as banking and financial companies and FinTech start-ups look to innovative and grow market share.

On a global stage, Huxley Banking and Financial Services have explored this emerging sector and the value this has on recruitment in the industry by identifying the cultural distinctions and global Government incentives in FinTech, the companies that are recruiting, as well as a discussion on salary expectations and skills from leading FinTech Recruitment experts.

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FinTech - A Global Perspective

  2. 2. The revolving door of FinTech is experiencing global momentum as banking and financial service companies explore their options to keep pace with consumer demands and standalone FinTechs look to gain market share in the lucrative banking market. As a result of this upturn, recruitment prospects across the financial technology market are steadily increasing for developers through to sales and executives. Huxley spoke to 100 FinTech & Banking professionals as well as Huxley consultants in our key regions to gain a global perspective. More than $50 billion has been invested in almost 2,500 companies since 2010 with the value of global FinTech investments in 2015 growing by 75% to $22.3 billion. This mammoth investment continues to add value to global economies and capture niche markets that add to the specialisation and competitiveness that global financial hubs are demanding. In Singapore, most financial institutions are investing heavily in technology, including the traditionally less tech-heavy parts of the industry such as insurance or wealth management. FinTech is being widely adopted across all business lines as a way of increasing revenues or costs, says Huxley Banking and Financial Services Singapore, Recruitment Consultant, Calum Nicholl. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, FinTech investment has more than quadrupled in 2015 to $4.3 billion and is now the second biggest region for FinTech investment after North America. Huxley Banking and Financial Services Sydney, Recruitment Consultant, Callum McKenzie, says FinTechs are varied but very much aligned to the growth in Singapore. What we’ve seen is a strong demand for insurance and investment and also lending (home loans and personal), financial planning, crowdfunding, peer to peer and stock markets. “A great example is MoneyBrilliant, they provide an app to the general public that links their bank accounts and acts as a financial planner. “In Frankfurt, where a lot of the technology is somewhat outdated, reporting, business intelligence, big data, and new risk models are seeing an overhaul with many financial hubs looking to FinTech to replace their old models says Huxley Banking and Financial Services Frankfurt, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Oliver Voigt. London and New York, the global leaders in FinTech are seeing similar growth from financial hubs. “Payments, lending (consumer and peer to peer), trading software, big data analytics, and sports betting are seeing strong growth, particularly through accelerators and incubator programmes which are looking to expand their teams says, Huxley Banking and Financial Services London, Principal Recruitment Consultant, Daniel Woodgate. Huxley Banking and Financial Services New York, Joseph Cooper continues, “typically, anything software related to trading, risk, portfolio management, big data analytics, and compliance - these are easier to buy off the shelf. This strong growth period, offers skilled individuals the opportunity to work in these FinTech markets which provide an innovative culture, work environment, and benefits not always seen in the banking and finance industry,” says Cooper. THE DESIRE FOR FINTECH “The app is going to evolve into a trigger point marketing tool; telling a user if their mortgage is competitive or if they can sort a service that’s cheaper elsewhere on the market” 2
  3. 3. Culture is king for FinTech hubs across the globe, says Woodgate in London, they are incredibly agile and generally more informal than traditional, larger financial services, and banking environments. Many ‘institutionalised’ and career banking technologists are often challenged to find their role in FinTech, even if their tech stack is right. Attitude; generally a technically agnostic approach where finding the best solution for the problem is key rather than building in a particular language as well as flexibility, and innovation are all key attributes of a successful FinTech professional. In Sydney, FinTech firms are looking for innovative and passionate staff who can perform their roles and support business objectives. These roles have a tendency to be different culturally compared to the large banking companies. In contrast, Frankfurt has a very strong banking culture where fluent German skills are expected from potential candidates. In New York, Cooper says, “It’s very much a team effort, and communication skills are essential, everyone is working together to achieve similar goals, the founder is typically quite hands on, it isn’t a suit and tie environment, it’s tee-shirt and jeans which some banking professionals find very unfamiliar.” FinTech firms are looking for industry experts to engage clients and work on product and service developments as Nicholl in Singapore continues, “At times, candidates transitioning from a traditional banking environment to a technology firm can find it challenging with less hierarchical structures in place and higher expectations to take on a wider range of tasks and responsibilities. Individuals familiar with clear career progression and a rigid corporate ladder can be surprised when they find themselves working in firms without job titles or command structure. The upside of course is that often FinTech firms are able to be more agile, have less red tape, and are generally more progressive in encouraging work-life balance and a strong company culture.” CULTURE IS KING WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU IN YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT? An innovative and passionate team 34% Culture 31% Flexibility 35% 3 Based on 100 responses from June 2016 survey by Huxley Banking and Financial Services.
  4. 4. “Sydney FinTech firms are operating and hiring autonomously, allowing them to maintain their start-up mentality and agility as a developing business,” says McKenzie. “Stand-along FinTech firms in New York are full of activity, and are very much looking for talent to join their teams. However it’s the smaller banks hiring and the larger banks making a number of cuts in both contract and permanent roles,” says Cooper. Nicholl in Singapore is seeing a great deal of investment from FinTech firms in both sales and professional services, but also from banks themselves including DBS, UBS, Citi and Credit Suisse, who have established innovation centres in Singapore to build strong in-house capabilities. In London “FinTechs are looking to engage with agencies in order to meet their rapid expansion plans and scale up, and banks who although are less agile have the capabilities to evolve their own internal innovation strategies through incubator and accelerator programmes,” says Woodgate. In Frankfurt, Voigt continues, “FinTechs are more flexible and have a higher demand with the banking sector although they are generally more conservative when it comes to hiring. For instance, they needed five years to handle the growth of PayPal. As a consequence, banks are often going to smaller consultancies when they need these FinTech skills,” says Voigt. DO YOU WORK FOR A BANK OR A FINTECH START-UP? WHO IS RECRUITING LOCATIONS OF OUR RESPONDENTS 36% UK 27% USA 24% Germany 13% Australia 4 73% Bank 27% FinTech Based on 100 responses from June 2016 survey by Huxley Banking and Financial Services.
  5. 5. The increasing demand for commercial skills in the FinTech industry has opened the doors to roles in sales and data analytics and scientists (machine learning and development) across the globe. As companies look for hands on candidates to improve their capability and service, sales roles are becoming the most valuable with their skillset allowing them to win and manage sizeable accounts, increase brand awareness and build a presence in the market as well as ensuring a smooth delivery of the service to the client. Additionally, web and software development including Javascript, HTML5 and Python and mobile development for IOS and Android are in high demand however command lower pay rates. “Across London start-up FinTech salaries often offer a lower salary base when compared to the larger bracket investment banks although for exceptional individuals there may be the option to get into the FinTech equity pool, which if the firm is successful, can be quite lucrative. Usually, equity is not an option as founders want to maintain a maximum share of their business, however entering a FinTech at an early stage does have its benefits including a somewhat more direct path to senior management roles and the ability to grow a team around them. “As long as FinTechs can be competitive and sensible with salaries then experienced candidates are very happy to consider it if the challenge and culture is right,” says Woodgate. In New York, “The salary package completely depends on the role, which has a tendency to relate to the relationship between the technology and commercial side, even if an individual is a technologist by trade, being client facing and being commercially aware is a major advantage,” says Cooper. In Singapore strong local candidates with excellent client- facing skills command a premium across FinTech, says Nicholl in Singapore. “In Sydney, the salary brackets vary with the technology side offered standard salaries for junior IT staff yet in niche technology FinTechs are offered much less than the rest of the market,” says McKenzie. “Our salaries are based on geography, in Frankfurt and Munich salaries are quite high whereas in Berlin where most of the stand-alone FinTech companies are, salaries are lower. SKILLS AND SALARY EXPECTATIONS WHAT IS YOUR SALARY BRACKET? WHAT LEVEL ARE YOU IN YOUR COMPANY? 0% 10% 20% £65,000+ (USD $90,000+) £55-65,000 (USD $80-90,000) £45-55,000 (USD $65-80,000) £35-45,000 (USD $50-65,000) £25-35,000 (USD $35-50,000) £15-25,000 (USD $21-$35,000) 5 23% 37% 40% Management Mid-level Graduate Based on 100 responses from June 2016 survey by Huxley Banking and Financial Services. Based on 100 responses from June 2016 survey by Huxley Banking and Financial Services.
  6. 6. Industry job openings can take a sharp increase with the announcement of Government incentives as is the case with FinTech as countries diversify their domestic options in an effort to grow local economies and compete on the global stage. Although the UK is currently a leading FinTech hub, this long-term position is at risk with global regions accelerating policy initiatives and gaining a competitive edge through investment and talent expertise . As such, international partnerships are being established including, Project Innovate, a world-first agreement with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to build disruptive innovators at scale which has support from financial regulators as they attempt to enter the market . Woodgate in London says, “This allows new tech firms to get first-hand support from experts while these same experts can learn from start-ups to improve policy and processes. This initiative can support technological innovation and limit entry barriers for FinTech companies.” Across Australia, the majority of these FinTechs entering the market are disruptive technologies and are starting to break up the status quo in the Australian banking industry, opening up the candidate market in an exciting way,” says McKenzie in Sydney. Throughout New York State, reduced tax rates and incentives to FinTechs are offered to encourage them to operate in the industry,” says Cooper. Nicholl continues, “The Singapore Government has adopted a three-point approach for supporting the development of FinTech initiatives: creation of clear regulatory guidelines, financial backing and the provision of technical resources and expertise. Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore recently suggested that peer-to-peer lending and lending platforms may be regulated in the future, however acknowledging the need to adopt a modular and risk-focused regulatory framework for the regulation of FinTech platforms, rather than apply a one-size fits all approach . Additionally, the Singapore Government has committed SGD $225 million over five years to support the creation of innovation centers and technology projects within the banking industry, as well as offering the resources and expertise of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the government institute for information technology research ,” says Nicholl. GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS STRONG INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE FINTECH GROWTH IN YOUR COUNTRY? 37% 43% 20% UK 64% 36% 35% 30% 35% 21% 29% 50% No The Government is delivering weak to zero incentives Somewhat The Government has promised incentives but not yet delivered Yes The Government is delivering strong incentives Australia Germany America 6 * Based on 100 responses from June 2016 survey by Huxley Banking and Financial Services.
  7. 7. “The future will be prosperous for companies offering a dual service to both the customer and the banking and financial market. MoneyBrilliant (financial planning) and SimplyWallStreet (stock trading) are great examples of companies that provide customers simple solutions to help them gain wealth. The apps are simple to use and empower customers to invest where previously they would have had to use an advisor,” says McKenzie in Sydney. Cooper in New York continues, “Anywhere a product is being extended, additional features are being launched, or the platform is being scaled is thriving and with all these new resources being added the flow-on goals of developing the analytics, security, and interconnectivity can be achieved quickly and efficiently.” “In the London market in recent years, insurance FinTechs have seen rapid growth along with payments, artificial intelligence, and block chain however these are expected to slow down over the coming year as the market matures along with crowdfunding, which has seen a accelerated growth period. In Frankfurt, “It’s the large amounts of customer data and that is proving invaluable to complementary companies and banks. Nicholl in Singapore continues, “We’re seeing significant growth in risk and compliance related products, however we see greater saturation with data and information providers and enterprise-wide solutions where competition is very strong amongst well established players. At this time, their market is being disrupted somewhat by niche players such as Appway - it’s an interesting time for the market,” says Nicholl. The future of FinTech is strong, as Governments across the globe continue to invest in programmes and technologies and ultimately, jobs. The job market is building momentum as both the banking sector and stand-alone FinTechs invest in their people to grow their company and revenue streams. It’s an evolving market, which targets a new generation of thinking and development and opens the doors to creative and innovative processes that streamline the lives of consumers and businesses, a challenge that will inevitably pave the way for the next wave of disruptive technology and inspire the next generation of talent. FUTURE OF FINTECH “FinTechs can leverage data to gain investment or even sell it to third parties” 7
  8. 8. CONTACT US Huxley Banking and Financial Services was founded in 1995, and is an international contract and permanent recruitment agency. Our extensive global connections, including over 350 consultants based worldwide, enable us to work strategically to develop and deliver bespoke solutions designed to meet our clients and candidates specific recruitment needs, wherever they are in the world. For more information, please speak with a Huxley FinTech recruiting expert in your region contact: www.huxley.com NEW YORK Joseph Cooper, Principal Consultant Email: j.cooper@huxley.com Phone: +1 646 557 7123 FRANKFURT Oliver Voigt, Senior Recruitment Consultant Email: o.voigt@huxley.com Phone: +49 (0) 69 1338 45 536 LONDON Daniel Woodgate, Principal Recruitment Consultant Email: d.woodgate@huxley.com Phone: +44 (0) 20 7469 5030 SINGAPORE Calum Nicholl, Recruitment Consultant Email: c.nicholl@huxley.com Phone: +65 6572 4528 SYDNEY Callum McKenzie, Recruitment Consultant Email: c.mckenzie@huxley.com Phone: +61 (0) 282 51 2114