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    Jonathan Max

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    Innovation and people: The Hard Facts about Fintech and Soft Skills

      Time to read: 3min

    Innovation is changing Investment Management. The Investment Association highlighted rapid technological change in its recent industry report

     

    Day by day new technologies like blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence are revolutionising the industry. It also encourages professionals to keep learning and adapting, invest in new skills, and be tech-savvy.

     

    With this acceleration of technology adoption and the changing nature of work; what exactly is the human element for the future of careers in Investment Management as it embraces Fintech? 

     

    Forbes points the way very clearly in its Six Innovation Leadership Skills Everybody Needs to Master article; that being innovation and ‘the need to bring people together as a team. The need to demonstrate deeper empathy. The ability to get new things done.’
     

    Technical skills can be learned, but a person’s motivators and behaviour style are typically more difficult to acquire and learn. This means it is imperative Fintech firms do not (or should not) make hires based on a candidate’s technical skills alone. 

     

    So why exactly are these softer skills relevant to Fintech and Innovation?

     

     

    Mindset
    FinTech professionals are required to have the analytical and critical thinking skills needed to help them find creative solutions to such problems, this Innovation Mindset will be essential to succeed in the dynamic nature of FinTech. The ability to collaborate effectively with others build relationships and demonstrate critical thinking will be in demand more than individuals who just ‘major’ on technical skills alone.
     

    Flexibility
    It has been predicted traditional Investment Management roles will soon become obsolete with estimates of their demise ranging from 5 to 20 years. For those considering transitioning from a more traditional role into Fintech, technology skills are not all that is required. A need for an adaptable and flexible approach to ensure cultural alignment in what can be very different working environments is essential. This applies equally to what individuals earlier in their careers need to be thinking about when they approach career planning plus hard and soft skills development

     

    Soft Skills
    The good news is soft skills is the topic most pursued across all career phases among the Investment Management industry. As we see the blending of industries - Fintech and Investment Management – it will be just as important for Fintechs to identify the need for people with strong soft skills so they may build the innovative, appropriate culture to enable growth of sustainable and healthy businesses.

     

    There is so much positive energy and progress across the sector and many great success stories. But, when the ‘human’ element is misaligned the outcomes can be spectacularly detrimental  - reports in the media about Revolut ‘where turnover and toxic behavior is rife’ are a case in point.

     

    What is evidently clear, soft skills are not ‘nice to have’ but essential for both employees and organisations to embrace so they may effectively navigate the future of the Industry and the opportunities ahead.

     

    We’ve looked at this in depth in our latest industry report. To find out more about our view of what’s to come, please download and read the AlgoMe report: The Disrupted Career: FinTech, Innovation And The Future Of Careers In Investment Management.
     

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    Andy Milner

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    There's an interesting discussion below around the role of non-execs in the wake of the Woodford scandal.

     

     

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