Fintech revolution offers a chance to nurture a new breed of bankers – CFTE Blog

This blog post is the first in a series taking a closer look at the current state of finance and the impact Fintech is having on the industry. We highlight the unique talent each board member brings to help CFTE in its mission to empower a new generation of finance professionals. We kick off the series with Claire Calmejane who sits on the advisory board.

Claire Calmejane is a leading figure in fintech

Claire Calmejane is recognised as one of the most influential people in Fintech

If we played a word association game, what image would “banking” bring to mind?

For most, it would be men in fancy pinstripe suits making deals in the city.

The industry is evolving, however. Consumer habits are changing and the change is being driven in large part by the rise of the mobile first millennial generation. This trend, combined with the growing influence of financial technology companies, is disrupting the status quo.

And established financial institutions are waking up to this fact.

Question: how does a 250-year-old financial institution respond to disruption?

The Answer: Claire Calmejane.

Millenial Inspiration

In the face of this change, Lloyds Banking Group has turned to a millennial woman with a computer engineering background to devise new strategies for growth. As Director of Innovation and Digital Centre of Excellence, Claire has been mandated to make innovation part of the organisation’s DNA.

She has accomplished this by first, laying the blueprint of how to successfully innovate within a large organisation. Secondly, changing the culture of the organisation by leading her charges to transform their thinking of what banking should be in the 21st century.

Her experience and achievements don’t stop at Lloyds. She is involved with a number of initiatives that benefit from her talent. For example, she is a vocal champion for women in technology and regularly mentors entrepreneurs at Startup Bootcamp.

And she’s only 34.

Diversity is Key

Ernest and Young’s infographic on why diversity is key to the future of banking

The simple truth is, we live in a world where we need more diversity and leadership from a new breed of bankers – more of the same ilk as Claire. It’s her ability to act as a bridge between so many different worlds that enables her to be so successful, and more, an inspiration to many, especially women.

In many ways, Claire’s achievements mirror the challenges many of today’s financial institutions need to overcome. If they don’t adapt their business models and workforce, they risk being left behind in a world fast being disrupted by technology like AI, robo-advisors and automation.

For incumbents, this means tapping into new and more diversified pools of talent who are digital natives and understand finance 2.0. People who understand technology and how it can be leveraged to provide new sources of value for both organisations and their customers.

What Next?

In essence, new Fintech start-ups are displacing traditional business models by offering customers a faster and more convenient service. The incumbents need to respond and some of the main questions they should be asking themselves are:

  • How do you innovate in large organisations?
  • How do you instil an innovative mindset from the top down?
  • And importantly, how do you lead this change?

The bad new for the incumbents, there is only one Claire Calmejane.

The good news – she’s on our board. We are working hard to develop a next generation Edtech platform that aims to produce the future finance leaders of tomorrow – to bridge the gap between old and new ways of thinking about finance.

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