Fintech news

FinTech Talent Hot Spots in 2019

 

2019 is shaping up to be a HUGE year for FinTech in Australia. But where is all the FinTech Talent to help you grow your business?

Together with our partners, clients and good old market research we have compiled a list of the most in demand skills. FinTech startups can’t match the salaries of well capitalised businesses and often struggle to hire the talent they need. We have excluded startup data from our research and have focussed on companies with 50 plus people and capital in excess of $10m.

Sales Directors.

Banking and Financial Services Software companies have big plans in 2019. Established banks will look to defend their position as Australia goes Neo Bank crazy. Large international players now see Australia as a major strategic play as open banking puts Australia on the map for innovation.

New banks means new clients requiring core banking systems, lending platforms, security, CRM, Analytics. An endless list!

Sadly, there is a serious lack of sales talent out there. Expect to pay $180,000 as a base salary for anyone with 5 years-experience enterprise software/SaaS sales. But don’t expect too much in return for your money. Most sales people change companies every 12 – 18 months. In an environment where deals can take anywhere from 6 -18 months to complete, even at $180,000 you won’t get a deal closer.

If you are looking to grow your FinTech business by hiring someone who can close deals with Banks and Financial Institutions, expect to fork out $220,000 plus bonus, benefits and LTI, if you want to see results. Take a look at this advert as an example.

Head of Partnerships.

FinTech’s with a B2B or B2B2C model require Account Directors who can win new business and act as the link between the tech team and client. So, they created the Head of Partnerships role.

Part Business Development, part Account Management, to secure the best people for this type of role you are looking $180,000 – $200,000 plus bonuses/benefits.

As this is a fairly new role to the Australian market, talent from advertising and media agencies can often present the best skills match. Alternatively we find talent from the US and UK are accustomed to this model and will often make the best hires.

Chief Growth Officer.

Are the days of the CMO numbered, a slow death by 1000 (job) cuts? Marketing today is all about growth – ROI and the numbers don’t lie!

Sales and Marketing, especially in B2B models is returning back to its origins, one integrated and seamless function. The revenue generating engine room of the business. The challenge lies in finding people with a broad base of experience, that encompasses Product, Sales Pipeline, Digital Marketing, PR and Brand.

$225,000 plus super and bonuses is the starting point for a capable CGO who will deliver results. Expect to pay more depending on the size and scale of the role.

Senior Product Managers.

Judging by the feedback from clients and the market, it seems many FinTech’s are considering a pivot or growth into new markets. We have held a number of discussions over the last 90 days with clients looking for a similar profile. A Head of Product Development who can change Product teams focused on process ( and who seem convinced that applying Agile methodology solves everything) into product development teams shipping product that sells.

The right person typically comes from an engineering background. They break the mould by demonstrating commercial acumen/results and an ability to change the behaviours and beliefs of product teams.

Expect to pay anywhere from $180,000 plus benefits and bonus for this type of person. Our research suggests they will be in big demand 2019, no doubt the figure will rise.

Cyber Security.

As the challenger banks officially launch in 2019, the thing that keeps CEO’s awake at night (apart from trying to get a license) is security. Ironically, the best Cyber Security people I know don’t class themselves as Cyber Security specialists. They are risk experts.

If you are on the hunt for a Cyber Security specialist expect to pay big dollars. Or go to the source, Eastern Europe and hire the people who are your potential threat!

Developers and Engineers.

No change there, each year it gets harder. I heard Google recently paid an engineer in London a $3m salary. Expect to pay what you have to pay to get the right person. It is extreme, but we have plans underway to help the FinTech community access top development talent on reasonable salaries!

Data Science.

AI continues to be the buzzword of 2019. Will it follow the same path as Blockchain? Business leaders are beginning to recognise the limitations of Ai and the potential business issues it can cause.

Instead of replacing humans, the buzzword of 2019 will be ‘augmentation’ as we seek to automate mundane tasks. The emphasis will be on machine learning. Hardly ground breaking, we have been doing that in the workplace since the industrial revolution!

Still, a great data scientist will cost around $150,000 in 2019. And if you want a genuine AI/ML specialist, our research team is scouring the universities and colleges around the world.

Finally ….

If you want to change the game in 2019, you need to hire game changers. There is no work around! For practical advice on attracting and hiring the very best FinTech Talent contact Dexter Cousins

 

FinTech Summit

Tuesday 16th October. The 5th FinTech Summit took place in Sydney. An all-star line-up of FinTech leaders and a sell-out crowd made this the best FinTech Summit yet.

The topics of open banking, the rise of challenger banks, the recurring themes of raising capital and hiring talent were all debated. But the prominent themes of the day were integrity, ethics and genuine care for customers.

There was a real sense of excitement in the room, with the audience recognising we are at the beginning of a new era in FinTech. Presentations by UP Bank and Xinja demonstrated the differences between a digital challenger bank and a neo bank.

Using ground breaking technology, Up (challenger bank) have taken an established bank and re-imagined the banking experience based on the premise ‘living not banking.’

Xinja (neo bank), on the other hand are building a totally new bank and new products, using technology to ‘bring humanity back into banking.’

Two very different angles, two very different visionaries but two people united in making Australian banking the best in the world.

A panel discussion with challengers Volt Bank, Athena Home Loans, Douugh and Judo Capital and a final presentation by Martin McCann of Trade Ledger painted an exhilarating future for Aussie FinTech. In 12 months time Australian consumers could be spoilt for choice.


Celebrating the success stories of Australian FinTech

AfterpayDavid Hancock of AfterPay opened the FinTech Summit with a fantastic presentation on customer trust. AfterPay has a market cap of AUS $2.6bn and is without doubt Australia’s greatest FinTech success story to date. The global growth story is astonishing, even Kylie Jenner wants AfterPay for her cosmetics business!

The paradigm shift in risk management, based on trust and customer care, has played a big role in AfterPay’s success. Social platforms, technology and access to data have all enabled the rapid growth and adoption of new business models. His words of advice to the major banks were

“The cost of mistrusting people is significantly higher than the value of mistrusting people.”

Katherine McConnell, CEO and Founder of Brighte shared her journey. Incredible to think exactly three years ago, Katherine arrived at Stone & Chalk with a vision and a laptop. Today, Brighte has written approximately AUS $200m in loans, has $90m banking facilities, with investors including Mike Cannon-Brookes and AirTree Ventures.

The 10x vision for Brighte is to enable the mass adoption of batteries in the home and play a pivotal role in making Australia a clean energy country. Despite all the success and awards, Katherine remains one of the most humble and accessible people in FinTech. It is fantastic to see the continued success of Brighte.


Xinja news and updates

Xinja CEO, Eric Wilson was as passionate as ever in his mission to bring humanity back into banking. We caught up with Eric afterwards where he shared big announcements and a new product release (not Xinja Chocolate.)

Although unable to name names at this stage, expect announcements on high-profile board appointments. The series C funding round is coming to a successful close with lots of interest from overseas investors. Talks with regulators are on track. And the core banking system implementation (a world first partnership with SAP) is ahead of schedule. Hopefully all should be announced at the next AGM planned for November.

So, only one questions remains (quote Billy Zane in Zoolander)

‘Eric, when you gonna drop Android on us buddy?’

Soon!


Values and culture are your business

The afternoon event consisted of 4 break out sessions on open banking, raising capital, regtech and compliance. Yours truly chaired a panel discussion with Kylie Vitale of Volt Bank, Kristen Holmes of Zip and Will Blott of Cover Genius. Three highly progressive People and Culture leaders with a pioneering approach to scaling businesses through Values and Culture. The value of hiring a People and Culture specialist in the early stages of growth is huge.


Open banking and the future of Australian FinTech

Martin McCann of Tradeledger ended what was an energetic event with a rallying call to action on open banking.

“If we make Banking as a Service a success, we could unleash Aussie financial muscle on international markets, on a scale never seen before”

What a fantastic message to end a landmark day.

My closing thoughts? Open banking is a once in a century opportunity for Australians. For the future of Australia and our ability to compete on a global scale, we simply cannot allow open banking to become the exclusive domain of the big four banks. Scott Morrison has asked the FinTech community not to screw it (open banking) up. Today, the FinTech community fired the same message straight back to the PM.

Glen Frost deserves extra special praise for organising another standout Summit and for his continued and selfless support of the FinTech community. Well done Glen!

 

 

Matt Baxby Revolut CEO

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