Transformational thinking

Nelson's Fintech Column

Streamline – Fintech Talent, were proud lead sponsors of the Fintech Innovation Awards last night. It was quite apparent from the overall vibe and discussions we had that 2016 will be the most exciting year to date for the Fintech sector. It also appears that the epicentre of Fintech is our own capital city, London.

 Disruption is real. A perfect storm of innovation, financial regulation, investment and customer adoption is manifesting itself in a record year of growth investment and now commercial return. This week the government has thrown its weight behind the sector with the creation of “Fintech Bridges”. In addition, the FCA announced an experimental scheme which will allow new financial technology companies to test out innovations, as yet unregulated, to foster innovation in the market - the so-called sandbox project.

 So 2016 is a coming of age for Fintech, PwC estimates within the next three to five years, cumulative investment in Fintech globally could well exceed $150bn (€135bn), and financial institutions and tech companies are a stepping over one another for a chance to get into the game.

 Perhaps the true measure of success is for the sector to produce a true global enterprise from the mass of potential in the sector. What remains true, for the Unicorns and start-ups alike, is the familiar battle for Talent in the UK, especially as the majority of Digital Age businesses are reliant on IT and Technology talent.

 Where will the growth and the battle ground for talent take place? Yes, there are 60,000 developers in London alone but Fintech is not the only Digital sector looking to battle for this scarce talent. Talking to several Fintech leaders yesterday it is starkly apparent that Talent attraction and retention is at the heart of their challenges. Attracting and securing the best available engineers, developers, and consultants is what will drive growth.

 In Q1 alone Streamline saw a 30% increase in demand for core skills increase with roles in UX / UI Designers, Cloud Engineers, Big Data, Security Consultants Risk and Compliance Analysts. Skills shortages are real, in IT and Technology, as well as creative specialists and within finance and engineering. These bottlenecks continue to exist and it is vital for the Fintech industries players to promote their businesses with industry partners that truly understand the business and the potential within.

 Congratulations to all of the innovation winners last night. Good luck for 2016!


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