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  • Rob Carter
    Rob Carter

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    AlgoMe: a community for innovation

    The business world changes at an ever-increasing rate, and for those of us working in Financial Services, we know there are not just one but multiple drivers of change. Former Barclays CEO Anthony Jenkins said recently the financial services’ ‘Uber’ moment is still five years off. If this is true, disruption will soon be upon us but we still face a rapidly evolving landscape.  Downward pressure on fees is now the norm. Changing client expectations and increased competition impact the way services are offered and the actual services themselves, plus the evolving regulatory climate is pushing for ever more transparency. These trends challenge legacy processes, technologies and everyone’s professional skills.

     

    A recent Fujitsu study of financial services found 56% of firms surveyed believe their businesses will not exist in the current form in five years’ time.  Nearly all, 96%, of the financial services firms feel the need to evolve further to ensure a long term future. This may sound bleak to some but it’s exciting evidence of new and exciting industry developments which are coming.

     

    Innovation is now imperative. The expectation is for individuals and organisations to embrace this dynamic landscape but moving from a static environment to a dynamic one with fundamentally different working practices can be overwhelming. People are being asked to deliver more and at speed, but this means individuals don’t have the necessary support they need to excel.

    If organisations are not able to find the time and resources to nurture talent in this demanding environment – where should we look for the support we need to continually innovate within our working lives as well as have the career mobility we seek?

    The answer is to be more proactive.

     

    In this new environment, the winners will be professionals who reach beyond their current network and link to the best people and companies to help them achieve their ambitions and goals.

     

    You might be looking for advice on a topic that you don’t feel you can ask a colleague or support on something transformative, like moving to a new industry or a different department. But how do you go about actually finding it?

     

    Over the last year, as I’ve moved outside of my comfort zone and into digital innovation, I’ve sought out mentoring and support from a variety of sources well outside the usual boundaries of my existing professional network. This journey has seen me mentored by CEOs of start-ups (some 15 years younger than me!) and respected leaders who have worked in the industry longer than I’ve been in this world.

     

    By extending and growing my network, I was fortunate enough to meet my business partner. We set up AlgoMe to augment this paradigm shift away from looking inwards for support and now we are building a community of proactive people that want to help each other adapt to the challenges of the future through discussion and mentoring. AlgoMe will help professionals search and find these useful connections not by mere chance, but through our unique data and advanced algorithms which matches finders with seekers and more.

     

    The benefit for those looking to become mentors are significant too – by increasing your network and exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking. Either way, it’s a great opportunity. You could meet your future business partner or the person that introduces you to your dream job, or just give back and stay in touch with an industry that you may have left behind.

     

    Would you like to be part of our community? Please pre-register with us now to stay informed of AlgoMe’s launch date.



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  • Our picks

    • FSTP LLP in partnership with AlgoMe invite you to a lunchtime round table discussion on the most pressing issues in today’s industry; digital skills shortage and the apprenticeship levy
       
      Introducing your hosts:
      FSTP LLP, a Main Provider for Apprenticeships offering Financial Services, Leadership and Management Apprenticeships, will be on hand to share insights and experience AlgoMe, the community for the Investment Management industry, connecting professionals from Asset Managers, Wealth Managers and FinTechs with their wider industry ecosystem will be on hand to discuss skills and transformation in the industry  
      The event:
      12.30 - 12.50
      Your co-hosts Rob Carter and Andy Milner, AlgoMe will give an overview of demand for retraining and tech skills, based on the latest AlgoMe report; The Disrupted Career: FinTech, Innovation and The Future Of Careers In Investment Management Followed by Philippa Grocott and Nicola Spennati from FSTP LLP, will give an overview of opportunities for using the apprenticeship levy and how to do so effectively within the industry sector 12.50 – 14.00 Group discussion over lunch
       
      Attendance is limited and on a first come first serve basis. Please contact andy.milner@algome.com if you would like to attend.
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    • The Disrupted Career
       
      Welcome To The AlgoMe Report On FinTech, Innovation And The Future Of Careers In Investment Management
       
      This report aims to address key questions that are important to everyone working in or looking to join the Investment Management Industry.
       
      How significant will the impact of FinTech be on career paths? How likely is my current role to be affected? Where are the opportunities in this disruption? How can I best position myself for future success?  
      We asked a panel of Investment Industry professionals their views.
       
      The full report is available for download to all AlgoMe Community members. Not already joined? Becoming a member takes less than a minute.
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    • With the decorations up, the last order date for Amazon nigh and most of us looking forward to at least a few days break, it’s always a good time to take stock of what’s been achieved over the last 12 months.
       
      For AlgoMe this has been another exciting year.
       
      January started in style with the launch of the AlgoMe Careers mobile app – giving professionals the opportunity to find their next career opportunity on the move.
       
      Then in July we released our Industry Pulse Report – a check on what the industry was thinking about key topics such as Brexit, Pay Gap Reporting, MiFiD II and GDPR. Unfortunately it seems that the uncertainty that the industry was feeling due to Brexit is unlikely to have receded in the intervening period, but it’s good to see progress starting to be made in other areas such as gender and diversity.
       
      In September we launched AlgoMe Community – a place for the Investment / Asset Management industry to come together, providing professionals with ways to grow their knowledge, profile and network. We’d like to say a big thank you to all of the members that have joined and contributed and look forward to continuing growth in 2019.
       
      In November AlgoMe joined the Investment Association, becoming a Fintech member and working closely with Velocity, the Association’s new Fintech accelerator. This is a really exciting initiative and we’re looking forward to doing more with Velocity in the near future.
       
      We also launched our Mentoring matching service in November – designed to help AlgoMe Community members connect with the best individuals within the community to help them to reach their career goals using a simple but intelligent process. If you haven’t already signed up to be a mentor or a mentee, please do spend 5 minutes now and tick off a New Year’s Resolution early.
       
      As we go into the end of the year, we have also launched our survey on Investment Management, Fintech and the future of careers. The impact of Fintech on the industry is going to accelerate rapidly in 2019, but what has been less well documented is the impact on individuals, their careers and the skills they’ll need to succeed in a more digitised environment. We really value the input of our community members, so please spend a couple of minutes filling out the survey and we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear the results early next year.
       
      From me and the AlgoMe team, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and look forward to another year of exciting announcements and change in 2019.
       
      Rob
       
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    • I have always struggled to see a fair reason why employers should be allowed to ask about a potential hire’s current remuneration, other than to give them an advantage in pay negotiations.
      It’s something which can only exacerbate existing pay inequalities and  it’s abolishment can surely only be a positive thing.
      Here the Guardian argues specifically about its impact with regards to the gender pay gap:
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/23/gender-pay-gap-current-salary-question
      I believe this has already been outlawed in some US states?
      @Jonathan Max - would be interesting to hear the view from HR. 
      • 10 replies
    • The Investment Association recently gave the industry a boost when it announced the launch of Velocity, its FinTech accelerator.  Designed to identify, develop and accelerate best in class firms with innovative solutions, Velocity will champion and facilitate the wider adoption of technology across the industry.
       
      And AlgoMe will be involved in this too, which is why I’m excited to announce we are now a member organisation of the Investment Association as an official FinTech member and have been named a "company to watch" by Velocity.
       
      Challenging Times
      The Investment Management industry faces major challenges and opportunities from forces such as digital technology, pressure on fees and increased regulation, while at the same time there are widespread changes in the workforce and their expectations.
       
      To date, Investment Management has both been fairly insulated from the challenges posed by agile FinTech competitors, but also distant from the opportunities offered by the new technologies and ways of thinking that such companies bring.
       
      Bringing FinTech closer
      Velocity is a fantastic step towards accelerating the adoption of FinTech. It has received support and endorsements from both inside and outside the industry, including from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, who was enthusiastic about the initiative at a recent City event.
       
      To drive change and innovation, the industry needs to connect across different disciplines and areas of expertise, driving new ways of thinking and fostering cultural change.
       
      Without the benefit of emerging FinTechs and their external expertise, it will be hard for incumbents to harness the benefits of emerging technologies such as Straight Through deal Processing (STP), Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas such as risk and compliance, securities trading and investment decision making.
       
      Our Mission
      AlgoMe's mission is to connect the Investment Management industry and empower professionals to manage their careers. Our new product, AlgoMe Community, is placed to become the hub for the discussion between FinTechs and the companies and professionals in the wider Investment Management ecosystem.
       
      Join AlgoMe Community today
       
      AlgoMe Community - community.algome.com
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  • Related Content

    • Jonathan Max
      By Jonathan Max
      I started at Lehman Brothers in 2005 in their HR team; they had been a client organisation of mine for a few years and was I extremely excited to be joining in the heady days of a raging bull market. While an industry contact had informed me of the potential role; there was the ‘standard’ interview process of seemingly meeting everyone. Did I really know what to expect or how to make the most of the opportunity? Not really is the honest answer.
       
      I learned how to progress my career as I went along; but, in truth was more focused on being accepted and delivering in what was a culturally unique organisation. I stayed at Lehman Brothers until it reached its dénouement in 2008. After the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, I transferred to Nomura and was again part of a fascinating journey with many twists and turns along the way. The market was clearly in a very different place; the next years were a seemingly endless journey of organisational ‘Re’....Restructuring, Realignment, Repositioning, Reorganisation and so on. I left Nomura in 2017 and now reflect on what I wish someone had told me in 2005 about career development; so I have summarised as follows: 
       
      Find a mentor
      My approach here was somewhat ad-hoc. I had a great relationship with my line manager and then an organisation change resulted in a different reporting line. To placate some pre-existing hostility between my former and new line manager; the safest route was to form a ‘mentoring relationship’ with my previous manager so I could still benefit from his considerable insight and advice. I developed several mentoring relationships; both within and outside the companies. A couple were more formal, the others less so but equally valuable. They were people with different backgrounds and experience who could share information and provide guidance. 
       
      Sun Microsystems undertook a body of research around its own mentoring programme, which came up with some very compelling results Mentors were promoted six times more often than those not in the programme; mentees were promoted five times more often than those not in the programme. Having mentoring in your early career is obviously going to speed up progress, but according to the Harvard Business Review article on mentoring “Everyone we spoke with over age 40 could name a mentor in his or her professional life, but younger people often could not”.  Therefore, to get ahead of the game and progress your career you need to think carefully about how to develop the right mentoring relationships and do this early on. Or, put another way, when you can gain practical advice and learn from the experience of others; why would you not seek mentoring relationships?  
       
      Join Networking Groups
      I founded what was to become the largest employee driven network at Nomura; comprising over 750 people in the UK and beyond and holding several events every month. So why did I do this? Because I thought it would be a bit of fun and with the support of my manager and head of diversity something that would bring a bit of variety to me professionally and personally. 
      With this decision, I completely missed the significant benefit this would have on my career. I was able to find new ways to navigate the organisation and find the find answers I needed. I had ‘friendly’ contacts in many departments; if they couldn’t help me they would point me in the right direction. As my day-to-day work became complex and involved working across several different groups and businesses; I had the right contacts to make things easier. I’m not saying you need to form a group but being part of internal and external networking groups is absolutely essential to successful career development. This article; 10 Important Benefits of Networking is a very accurate overview of why this needs to be part of your game-plan.
       
      Leverage the appraisal process
      I don’t think I was in a group of one in my early approach to appraisals and performance management. Typically, following a number of automated reminders, I would complete the mid-year or year-end process with seconds to spare and that was that until the next reminder arrived in my inbox. Most of the completion time was spend on ‘refreshing’ myself on the objectives I had set and then trying to recall enough information to make a decent attempt at well considered response. My advice here is embrace the appraisal process to your advantage as I started to do after realising how I could benefit from a more structured approach; how you evidence your achievements is just as important as how you determine your goals and where to focus your skills. Contrary to popular myth, a sense of entitlement on how your career should progress doesn’t work! What is truer is that management talk and discuss people; so make sure you are in the group of people that gets discussed for the right reasons and opportunities will come your way. Even if the traditional annual performance appraisal process is giving way to more frequent conversations between a manager and subordinate; make sure you are ready to have discussions about your future.

      Know your Industry
      Earlier on in my career, I was too focused on my immediate environment and in trying to deliver day-to-day. Therefore, my perspectives were too internalised, and I wasn’t able to draw on external sources for new or alternative perspectives. I started to change this; attending industry events; reading and learning to increase my understating of the industry and how different elements knitted together.
      What I didn’t realise immediately, is that managers are having to demonstrate this very thing to their superiors and don’t necessarily have the bandwidth to get into all the detail. Making yourself a ‘go-to person’ for information enhances your personal brand and with that you get to get involved in more interesting projects and assignments and hence career development is a beneficial consequence.

      As Abraham Lincoln said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it.", that’s not something you can leave for someone else to do if you want to progress your career.
    • Andy Milner
      By Andy Milner
      An interesting read from TheCityUK, which highlights the lack of diversity and need for more FinTech skills as being key challenges across FS.
       
      Financial Services Skills Taskforce - Interim report | TheCityUK
      WWW.THECITYUK.COM  
    • Jonathan Max
      By Jonathan Max
      https://www.theia.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/PolicyPaper-June2019.pdf
       
      Really interesting Policy Paper from the IA which certainly highlights the fundamental changes underway across the industry, particularly against a backdrop of increased regulation and technology disruption.
       
      Clearly the 'people' aspect is key, would be great to find out more about the Talent and D&I Strategy @gillian.painter?
       
       
    • AlgoMe
      By AlgoMe
      AlgoMe connects the Asset Managers, FinTechs, consultants and vendors that make up the Investment Management ecosystem and empowers professionals to develop their careers.
       
      AlgoMe Community brings professionals and companies together, letting members discuss topics facing the industry, expand their networks, and read thought provoking insights. These conversations help drive the collaboration and innovation which are reshaping the industry, and provide a platform for existing investment communities to connect with each other.
       
      AlgoMe aims to be the ‘go-to’ place for companies and professionals in Investment Management to find each other and the answers to the challenges the industry faces. Through the use of technology and algorithms, we are driving change in the way the sector communicates and are providing our community with cutting-edge tools to manage and develop their careers.
       
      AlgoMe is a proud FinTech member of the Investment Association.
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