Episode #63 Martin Boyd – Lessons from the largest Fintech in the world

Martin is President of FIS’ Capital Market Solutions business. You might have heard of FIS because of their 43 billion Dollar acquisition of worldpay in 2019, which was the largest acquisition in the Fintech industry to date. FIS is the world’s largest Fintech with over 10 billion USD in revenue and over 55,000 employees globally.  In this role, Martin is responsible for developing and delivering the technology and services that facilitate the movement, management and growth of money and global securities. He joined FIS in 2015 with the acquisition of SunGard, where he began his leadership journey in 1998. Over his 20 years with FIS and its predecessor companies, Martin has held a variety of global operational and strategic leadership positions with increasing responsibility in treasury management, asset management, international distribution and the institutional and wholesale business.Before joining FIS, Martin was a senior manager with the Royal Bank of Scotland, a management consultant at KPMG, and started his career at IBM. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham.

In this episode we focus on the fintech industry. We explore the impacts of covid on the adoption of new technologies and what tech trends Martin observes and expects for 2021. We speak broadly about technologies like AI, Cloud, mobile, and blockchain. Other topics are the ever more dominating role of technology in a companies operations, innovating at the scale and size of FIS, and creating a culture fit for a rapid changing world. 

Links

https://www.fisglobal.com/

https://www.fisglobal.com/en/about-us/executive-team/martin-boyd

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-worldpay-inc-m-a-fidelity-ntl-inf-idUSKCN1QZ0ML

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TRANSCRIPT EPISODE 63

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:06] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Wall Street Lab podcast where we interview top financial professionals and deconstruct their practices to give you an insider look into the world of finance.

[00:00:24] AVH: Hello and welcome to another episode of The Wall Street Lab podcast. My guest today is Martin Boyd, he is the president of FIS’ Capital Market Solutions business. FIS is the world’s largest fintech, and martin with his 20 years’ experience in global strategic roles across transferring management, asset management, international distribution and institutional and wholesale businesses is now heading the entire FIS’ Capital Market’s business, which is huge. He has nearly nine and a half thousand employees globally, nearly six and a half thousand clients among which are asset managers, private equity companies, insurance companies, brokers banks and many more. The business he is responsible for created nearly two and a half billion us dollars in revenue in 2019.

In this episode we talk about how the world’s largest fintech innovates at scale. What technology trends are there in 2021? We talk about technology innovation like cloud mobile, blockchain, AI. So everything is covered in this episode. We also talk about how technology got adopted during the COVID crisis. We talked about how to create a great company culture, and Martin leaves us with some career advice. I hope you like the episode. And now, without further ado, my episode with Martin Boyd.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:01:55] AVH: Martin, hello and welcome to The Wall Street Lab podcast.

[00:01:59] MB: Thanks, Andreas. It’s really great to be part of your podcast and happy new year to you and the rest of your listeners.

[00:02:07] AVH: Thank you, and of course happy new year to you too. Now we recently had Rob Santella on the show, who was also one of our colleagues. So he talked a bit about FIS, but I think it would be super interesting if you could just give us a slight background over your career. What is it that you do at FIS? And then maybe also introduce FIS as a company. I think it’s a very unknown company, but it’s the world’s biggest fintech. So I think that’s going to be very interesting today.

[00:02:43] MB: Yeah, exactly, Andreas. So if I start with a little bit about my background, I started out in the technology space. I guess my first proper job was working for IBM as a system engineer with them, and that really taught me the ground work of the technology business. But a lot of my customers at the time were banks. And over the years through a career with KPMG, Royal bank of Scotland, and then for the last 20 years with FIS and its predecessor businesses as it has been over the years, I’ve enjoyed a really diverse career being able to grow both personally and the scale of the business and the operation that I run.

When I think about the changes that have taken place during that career, it’s just been incredible to see how technology across that period of time has really driven so much change. And also, I think from a personal standpoint, really motivated me and constantly excited me about the future ahead. And I feel very much at this moment in time a very similar feeling with a lot of the technology evolution that’s happening yet again.

So what do I do today? Well, I run the Capital Market Solutions business. It’s one of three operating segments in FIS. The other two are our banking business and merchant businesses in payments. And our theme around the business is to help the way the world banks pays and invests. The Capital Markets Business itself is actually a large global business. We’ve got over 10,000 employees spread across the world, present in all major financial centers. But our solutions have some key fundamental strengths in terms of what they have in common. They really help our clients drive processing efficiency. The capital market space is all about large high value transactions, but in volume and allows them then to make data-driven insights at the same time as they’re able to manage the market risk and operational risks that their businesses are undertaking.

So those are the common themes, which the solutions across capital markets addresses, and that could be a corporate treasury function, or their cash management function, all the way through insurance risk, and through to asset management on the buy side, and then your brokerage firms and large investment banks on the sell side. So our solutions cover the spectrum of capability that you need if you’re undertaking a foreign exchange deal, issuing a bond, or simply managing the way investments take place across the business.

So your listeners are probably aware from our prior calls and certainly the one with Robert, or Bob, as I know him, capital markets are relatively complex. And so to really help our clients to the maximum extent possible, we’re also enabling our solutions to exist within their own technology platforms or ecosystems and we do that providing clearly defined integration points or APIs, and that enables them to have great connectivity and great data flows from end-to-end in their business activities. Certainly ,if you go to the larger banks, we perform components of service and value and technology as you go to the smaller clients. So we do more by bringing solutions together to solve an end-to-end problem.

[00:06:22] AVH: If you look back on the last 20 years of your career, what would be a kind of technology or an innovation that was an innovation 20 years ago and what would you consider a technology innovation today? And I’m just interested in how the times have changed what innovation looks like.

[00:06:45] MB: Yeah, I think it’s a great point. And I think it’s a combination of infrastructure, which enables, and then also types of technology which changes your ability to interact and make decisions. So if I start in the first place with what’s happened with the infrastructure, I think if COVID and the environment we’re in had happened five years ago, I think we would have struggled sitting at home with the bandwidth available with the technology available to really be able to continue to drive the business and do our jobs almost uninhibited from a day-to-day standpoint. And the reason for that is the massive advances in communication technology that’s taken place, both mobile technology, but as well as the more formal broadband provider technology. And the switching and the capacity that’s gone into that as well as the accessibility of that in almost every part of the world and every part of our business has just been a transformation.

And so if you imagine this same event five years ago, I think you’ll have found the world, our customers and certainly ourselves, struggling to adapt to that and to be able to run their businesses in the way that we relatively have done so without too much problem in the last 12 months. And it is a part of the thing that the world that doesn’t sound that sexy or interesting from a business standpoint, but which is really vital and it’s a real enabler to what we’ve been doing.

So the second then, which is really the rise of mobile, and it’s not just the rise of mobile itself that’s been an enabler, but the digital experience generally. And for us in capital markets, a critical technology has been things like business intelligence where you’re able to expose and manipulate significant amounts of data in ways, again, which were unimaginable 15 years ago without massive compute capacity. And the fact that you can do it on mobile devices, on desktops and other areas is, again, a huge enabler.

I’m going to talk a little bit about machine learning and artificial intelligence since they’re starting to have an impact, and that’s some of the excitement for the future. But I’ll come on to that a little bit when I think about what some of the critical skills are as we go forward.

[00:09:13] AVH: You mentioned mobile, and you said you have those really high value, really, really important transactions in the bank. Is it now apparent that more and more of those transactions work via mobile or is those are still mostly desktop related?

[00:09:30] MB: I think it’s a good question. I think we’re certainly seeing with the rise, say, let’s take the investment management market, but with the rise of the investment platforms that we see out there around the world. You’re seeing an increasing amount of transactional capability at the mobile end. And certainly when you look at our pure mobile banking applications, they enable you to make and initiate payments, to set up new payees, to drive your day-to-day banking truly through what you have holding in your hand. So I think it’s been dramatic, and it’s almost just – Because it’s sort of evolved in steps over the last 10 years, it’s almost become something that you’ve assumed works and now happens. And in fact we asked the question, “Can you make transactions?” Well, yes we are. We’re doing it every day. And I think that enabler for the business has been substantial in terms of how we think about being able to make a transaction and see it flow through from end-to-end efficiently from a business standpoint.

[00:10:37] AVH: We are at the very beginning of 2021. And you already started to look back a bit on 2020, but now in mind with having COVID, one thing that I see is that it feels like COVID impacted how especially mobile adoption is up, like mobile payments. At least in Germany where I’m sitting are up by a really large amount. Do you also have the feeling that COVID increased the rate of change in technology and especially increase the adoption?

[00:11:16] MB: Yeah, Andreas, that’s a very relevant question and one which obviously as a technology and service provider in this market we’re very keen to understand day-to-day. Across last year, knowing we’re only just in the new year, we conducted two surveys during the COVID crisis and obviously it continues for many of us right now. And those two surveys really sought to understand what our clients – And we surveyed over 250 executives across our clients in both surveys. Really what was driving some of their decision-making process around technology in particular, but about their business as well.

And I think there were a couple of key features which stood out for me and which also accelerated. I think that last word is quite an important word, because I think many of the trends that are coming through strongly, which I’m going to talk about in a minute, were trends which were established before the pandemic took hold.

What I think the pandemic has done though is really sharpened people’s focus and awareness and really sought to drive an increase in the speed with which they’re adopting various components or technologies from a business standpoint.

So, for example, there has been, and I think the digital and mobile story plays into this, a significant number of our customers who are now trying to simplify and redirect both capital spending and investment towards things that differentiate the business service that they provide to their customers. And almost always when we talk about that differentiation, it’s around focus on investing in customer-facing technology and solutions. Things that are going to enable their customers to get access to their data that are going to enable their customers to make better informed decisions. So that’s almost 50 of that survey base, which is a significant increase on what we would have seen before where more spend would have gone into fundamental infrastructure from a business perspective.

Second area, which I think is very interesting, is that they do have a need to constantly leverage technology and technology partners to help manage operational costs. The capital markets industry and the financial markets industry as a whole is under increasing cost pressure through both regulation and other factors. And so managing the cost such that they can keep their services cost effective to their customers is critical. And over 45% have said they’re going to accelerate the use of cloud and BPAS, or outsourcing business process as a service. And I think, again, in our industry, leveraging the cloud was something that people were starting to do, but now we’re seeing a huge acceleration in that activity.

And I think the final area which stood out for me in those readiness uh reports that we produced was really the changing demands on the workforce and of the workforce, if you like. So I think some of the workforce is saying – And we’re starting already as we see the generation of new technologists join our organization. They want a more flexible approach to working. They want to be able to spend the appropriate amount of time in different work environments and challenge themselves in different ways.

And what’s COVID has also accelerated is this drive towards more flexible working. And I think driven initially by a cost imperative from an employer standpoint, but, as I say, an increasing desire by employees to be more flexible, we’re now starting to see a greater proportion of businesses say that they’re going to spend time in a more hybrid working environment where they’re not demanding everybody returns to the office, but they’re not demanding everybody’s at home all the time. And we saw over 62% percent of firms in our survey now saying that a long-term hybrid model would become the normal for them. Whether that changes over the coming months, I don’t know. But certainly that’s what the data is telling us at the moment or the information is telling us at the moment. And I think that’s astounding when you think about where we were 12 months ago.

[00:15:44] AVH: A couple of weeks ago I saw an advertisement that you can rent a bungalow in the Maldives. Well, I think 25,000 euros for an entire year. Why wouldn’t you want to work in a bungalow in the Maldives if you have great internet connection, right?

[00:15:58] MB: Yeah. Well, I like the idea of that myself. I must admit, Andreas, I think one of the one of the challenging things as an employer in this industry is that whilst, technically, if you’re hiring for the first time, that employee can be in many different parts of the world in many different places. I think when it comes to existing employees, they obviously have a home base, a tax base and things like that. And so when you think about the flexibility in terms of environment, it’s a little bit more thoughtful in terms of how you want to drive the business going forward. And certainly, and I think it is well understood, that for collaboration to work at its optimal, you do need to be able to get people together in closer proximity on a more regular basis.

And so it’s not as simple as I think saying you could have half your workforce remote and half in the office. You need to be able to bring people. And it’s not just the team of people who perform the same function. I think it’s critical that you get teams that cross functional boundaries, because I think that’s where innovation is really going to be driving the business in the future. And by bringing the group together to have those sort of conversations, I think it’s going to change the way we think about occupying the office locations that employers retain to generate those ideas in a different way.

[00:17:27] AVH: What other benefits did you find in moving to a hybrid environment?

[00:17:35] MB: Well, I think it’s too early to say, because I think for most organizations they’re spending the majority of their time working from home. But I do think one critical challenge that the financial industry has been working on is inclusion and diversity. And I do think a hybrid working model really opens out opportunity for more inclusion and greater diversity across the business. And it could be as simple as, in our organization, we’ve got a fantastic team of employees who help our customers implement our software technology. Frequently, or historically, that would have required them to spend a huge amount of time on customer site.

Well, you can imagine with that type of role and that amount of travel, it precludes and sort of excludes, if you like, people from potentially doing that role. What the last 12 months has told us is we can do 95% to 98% of our implementation and consulting work for customers remotely. Suddenly the game has changed. Suddenly you don’t need to be 90% at the customer side. You can go to the customer site 10% of the time. You can imagine what that does from an inclusion standpoint. It means that people who felt that they couldn’t do it before now feel they may be able to take on that role. So I think that’s why I think the combination of technology and new working practice is tremendously exciting from an employee standpoint in the workplace of the future.

[00:19:10] AVH: So I want to dig into something you mentioned in passing earlier, and you said a lot of the changes are driven mainly because companies, banks want to decrease the operational costs. And we talk a lot about how technology is able to do that, and I think do you have the feeling that running a bank or a generally a company, which I would say like as COO responsibility from an operational standpoint transforms more and more into a technology role and that technology plays an ever greater impact in how you run, a bank, a business or your operations in general.

[00:19:55] MB: Yes, that’s undoubtedly true, Andreas. And we’ve seen a trend across our clients and in the industry for a convergence between traditional CIO, chief information officer role, and COO, chief operating officer. And we’ve definitely seen a convergence of responsibility across those two roles. And it’s very much for the reason you stated, which is that there’s such an interaction now between technology and operation that it’s almost very difficult to both realize the benefit as well as the advantage if the two are managed completely separately. And what we’re actually seeing are some hybrid models where you see individuals with joint responsibility for technology and operations, but they also have and report into two functions, an operations head at the top level and a technology leader as well, because of course you still need to draw upon critical technology skillsets that you may not have in scale in your existing operation. But there’s certainly that trend as you described.

And I think one of the other points I was going to pick up on, which is a big enabler I think towards operation efficiency going forward is machine learning and artificial intelligence, and we’ve really seen a significant uptick in technology projects and solutions that we’re creating, which have a specific emphasis on either being able to speed up a process. So it could be a commercial loan origination approval, or it could be a KYC component like anti-money laundering solutions where machine learning and artificial intelligence can dramatically improve your decision making and your ability to get to the right outcome from a business standpoint. But at the same time, eliminate some of the manual steps that would have previously taken place in that process. And it’s only by combining that technology view as well as that operational view that you get a true insight and actually able to make the organization change needed for that value to come out.

[00:22:11] AVH: What other organizational changes did you witness over the last couple of years powered by technology? So I know that more banks, as you said, they’re now appointing a CIO in terms of chief information officer. And I feel like there’s more technology roles coming into the executive level.

[00:22:37] MB: I think that’s right. I mean I think if you’re an executive without a technology knowledge or a technology background, it’s going to be a critical component of an executive’s role in the future regardless of their business responsibility. And so I think, for me, a critical foundation for those future executives are to have that technology component. And obviously the most valuable component you can offer is the combination of technology and knowledge of business outcome and business impact. If you’ve got that combination, that business analysis/technology skill, then that’s going to be always in demand.

But I think another critical area, and I think what the COVID crisis has shown us is that by more and more people working remotely, we’re potentially even more exposed from an information security standpoint. And so cyber security and the roles around cyber security in organizations, again, have become to increasing prominence if they weren’t already big before. Certainly, those capabilities really mean that only those organizations with scale can really compete effectively to make sure they keep their clients’ business safe.

[00:23:56] AVH: I think cyber security is a big topic, and I’m glad you mentioned it because I think it leads to a good segue of what are emerging technologies like cyber security, you mentioned AI, machine learning, where you feel like will have the biggest impact in 2021 or where the biggest investments will be made.

[00:24:21] MB: Yeah. So cybersecurity, certainly, as an organization, I know many of our customers and clients have said they’re increasing their spend on cybersecurity. It’s a very short phrase for something of incredible depth and complexity from a business standpoint and it’s everything from how employees are trained to act and react to potential threats at the frontend all the way through infrastructure systems, platforms and capability.

So it really starts with an organization culture that respects the need for security of data, security of client data and things like that, but all the way through to making sure you’re using specialist teams, specialist vendors to help undertake your business in a safer fashion as it conceivably can be. So that is ever present and it’s going to increase I think as more and more digital experience is leveraged from a customer standpoint.

If I think about technologies and skills, I did mention machine learning and artificial intelligence, and I think underpinning those, there’re some critical i guess career choices that individuals can make and specific areas that they might want to think about getting into. So those I’ve mentioned already. Those that can combine an understanding of the business and the experience of the customer and how that relates to being able to leverage technology I think are going to be really important roles for all companies in the future.

But I also think that data science and the ability to really understand the combination of data science, digital delivery and customer experience, are going to become critical roles. We’re seeing shifts in our organization where we’re already starting to retrain many more of our technology teams in machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. We’re also leveraging partnerships which are enabling us to accelerate our use of those. And I mentioned earlier on how I think our customers want to do more business with larger providers, but they also want the opportunity to participate in smaller innovative initiatives that are available from vendors in the market. And I think our role as one of the major fintechs in the world is to help channel some of those so that we can provide the scale and capability and access for our larger customers to feel confident in the operational delivery, but at the same time we really open the door and allow those other vendors to get access and to work with us more closely.

So we’ve got a range of different ways in which we’re investing both at the start up and in terms of you know early innovation all the way through from an investment standpoint to try and both nurture businesses like that, but also integrate their solutions into our broader system.

[00:27:26] AVH: Actually, that’s one of the points that I wanted to pick up on, and I’m glad you front ran and my question a bit, because I’m really interested on how do you compete as the world’s largest fintech? How do you compete with all the new technologies that are out there. And you already mentioned you do some investments. What other strategies do you do to keep up at scale with those new solutions?

[00:27:55] MB: It’s a good question. I mean as a business, you’ve constantly got to think about innovation and change. And so when we think about the culture and values of our organization, it’s at the center of how we want to think about our clients.

I think the first thing to say is, regardless of technology, what our clients want from us is the right experience in terms of being able to undertake major transformations and to be able to do that safely and at lower risk from a project execution capability. I think therefore the strength of FIS and our competitive edge is, first of all, being able to offer that ability to take that load off them such that we carry the cost of change, we carry the capability to enable them to do it, but where we really need to accelerate our own innovation is in selected areas of our platforms to really give the edge where we think we can provide that edge. Elsewhere, we seek to include partners as part of that innovation story to enable us to get there as quickly as we can.

I think it’s interesting in the capital market space, we’ve undertaken a number of different partnerships with C3.ai, which is Tom Siebel’s AI company with other smaller organizations where we’re starting to integrate their solutions. And what that does for our customers is provide that end-to-end outcome, but at the same time means that they can get access to that. But I think we also run very important innovation programs internally within FIS. So we run a program called Innovate In 48, which is really a 48-hour time period that we give teams in FIS around the world the ability to come up with innovative solutions, business outcomes, initiatives from a business standpoint. So we have over 600 teams and the team averages between four to five people. Most of those, as you can imagine, in 2020, work remotely. But it’s a but it’s a great way of both being able to provide a pipeline of an innovative capability that we can include in some of our solution set. But at the same time, it also generates a combination of engagement and knowledge in both technology and business teams about what’s possible through innovation. And I think that constant refreshing your understanding of what’s possible is maybe the major barrier to any organization driving innovation at a higher rate.

So we look at innovation both in terms of those partnerships, those investments. What we do and drive and how we act to improve the culture internally as well as then obviously working in partnership with our customers. Who by the way have got some great ideas of their own and want to bring that to the table so that we can work together.

[00:30:51] AVH: How do you approach a partnership? For example, how do you decide when to partner up? When to invest and when to develop something internally? Is there any kind of pattern that you sought out?

[00:31:02] MB: I think what it first of all starts with is what does the component of technology or the innovation that we’re considering, what does it add to the customer, number one? Secondly, is it an area that we are both technically and business competent to be able to both understand and execute on in terms of building if we were going to build it ourselves? And then thirdly, if not, what are the potential organizations that we can collaborate with to bring a solution to market? So we go through that sort of step-by-step process knowing that we can’t invest in everything all at once. You have to kind of make choices. You’re obviously trying to pick those choices that our customers are going to get the most value from most quickly. And if we’ve got the ability to bring that to market, then we’ll obviously try and invest and make sure we do so. If we haven’t, then we will work with another partner to bring that to the table more quickly.

[00:32:05] AVH: Now, for the last part of the conversation, you mentioned some hard skills as an employee that you need data science, all those things. If you were to start over and say you’re coming out of university and you can keep one or two pieces of advice from the knowledge you’ve gained now after with 20 years’ experience. You can keep one or two points or some advice and you can learn that, but you are starting right now. What would you choose to remember?

[00:32:40] MB: I can’t remember who mentioned this to me or who said it first, but we were born with two ears and one mouth for a very good reason. And a critical way of advancing your career is to spend time listening, absorbing and understanding and then using your mouth, if you like, to clarify, to understand further, to drive with another level of detail in terms of your understanding.

So a critical skill for me, and I don’t care what the role is, is the ability to listen and to absorb what you’re hearing and to do so uncluttered by all of the prior experience or knowledge or, I guess, the things that make you who you are, but be able to look at that as openly as possible and understand that. Because I think if you can listen well and then you’ve got the confidence to be able to tell the other person what you’ve heard, then that automatically creates a bond of understanding. And I don’t mind if you’re in technology, in our professional services world, in sales or running a business operation, it’s a critical skill that I’ve learned over the years and it was one part of my fundamental training in my early days was to take the time to listen first and then contribute. So that’s number one.

The second one is be open. And what do I mean by that? I think when you start out in a career, you may have very well defined view of a career path. The one thing I think the world over the last 12 months and over many years has taught us is that view of the world can shift dramatically from year to year. And so if you have a very narrow boundary in terms of what you think you’re going to do, then that limits you in terms of the possibilities and the opportunities that are around you. And I think sometimes it’s as valuable to make a sideways move to look at another opportunity within an organization even as it is to take the next upward move, because by taking the sideways move, you’re looking deliberately to acquire skills and competence that you didn’t or weren’t exposed to in the role you’re in. And that’s definitely how my career is developed. I would like to say it’s all very conscious, but sometimes, as you know, these things come down to unconscious, a little bit of luck a situation that you find yourself in. But be open to the possibility I think is critical.

[00:35:20] AVH: I think the be open part is very relevant, because I mean looking a bit at your history within FIS, and you’ve been I think part of several companies that have been acquired and then been acquired again and again. And often what you see I feel like with the executive teams that after they’ve been acquired, they leave. So I’m wondering, what makes an acquisition positive or a success from two standpoints, from the acquirer and from the employee?

[00:35:56] MB: Talking about my personal experience. As you say, I’ve been acquired a number of times or been in businesses which have been acquired. And I think the comment I make about being open and being flexible is I’ll call it a critical survival skill. I don’t really mean it as that, but I think it means that you don’t jump to a conclusion based on an initial set of data. And in any organization you join, you see a superficial set of data which relates to the performance of the business, the company and things like that, and then you see more depth and detail behind that with the longer you spend. And the longer you spend, the more then the apparent opportunities emerge. And obviously a smaller business tends to get acquired by a bigger business, and therefore the opportunities that present themselves in a bigger business tend to be more varied.

And so I’ve been lucky enough to run international distribution businesses for Sun Garden and FIS. I’ve been lucky enough to run individual business units and now you know a larger part of the company. And I think if I had acted as instinct suddenly would – Sometimes we’d say within the first 12 months and say, “No, this isn’t for me.” I would have suddenly closed my mind to a range of potential that I would have missed out on. So that’s from sort of a personal kind of perspective on what I believe has enabled me as an executive to take the steps I’ve taken.

I think what makes a successful acquisition though is a clearly defined and understood strategy around the role that that business plays within the broader enterprise and then very quickly merging cultures. It isn’t one culture overcomes the other culture. It’s genuinely a merger of cultures where you get something that employees and executives can see something on both cultures in the organization that emerges going forward. And I think that to me creates a very healthy business going forward, because it’s one that is constantly reinventing itself, but it’s also one where individuals feel totally engaged in the outcomes that you’re trying to achieve.

[00:38:14] AVH: Normally, I wanted to finish, but you’ve mentioned something, and I promise this is the last question. But how do you as an executive make sure that you have a good culture and how do you promote a good culture especially in times of transitions between business? I imagine it’s a very difficult task.

[00:38:35] MB: It is. And it’s an interesting question, because it comes back to, well, what is the emerging culture that you’re trying to establish? And I think, partly, you’ve got to listen to your employees around where they’re seeing either challenge or opportunity for the business. You’ve also got to listen to your customers and what’s driving their activity. And usually from a cultural standpoint, clients want to do business with organizations of a similar culture. But increasingly, I think we’ve seen an acceleration of this backdrop over the last few years, is the diversity and inclusion element of any business organization. And I think if a business is going to be successful in the future, inclusion and having a diverse population is going to be critical to the innovation agenda.

And so, for me, it’s a melting pot of those three elements that come together to do it to define that culture. But if you’re not at a foundation listening to your employees, then you’re going to wander off in a direction and they find that the team are going in another way. So, fairly, it’s fundamental, but you learn it through you seeing it being effective and then sometimes not effective.

Look, I think this is a really exciting time for the fintech industry and the industry broadly in financial markets. I think the current state might be personally challenging for an enormous number of us that are working in this industry, and at times very difficult to navigate both mentally and physically sometimes. But I think what I’ve observed is so many of the barriers that would have constrained us 12 to 18 months ago have started to break down more quickly. And I think as we do come out of this, we’re going to emerge much more energetic in terms of our understanding of change or our ability to change and also I think into an environment that’s a lot more interesting. So I’m very optimistic about the future, Andreas.

[00:40:41] AVH: That’s perfect. I really hope that we’re going to get a great 2021 and that we make the best out of this. Now, anything that you – Any last words? Anything? Last advice that you want to give our audience, and otherwise I would say we’ve had a great interview and I would wrap this up.

[00:41:01] MB: No. I think I’ve said probably more than people want to hear. But from a business standpoint, obviously, we still have a struggle for at least another three or four months globally across the COVID crisis. I hope that’s the extent of it and that we start to see both economies and businesses recover substantially as we come out of it. And obviously it goes without saying, we just keep safe.

[00:41:31] AVH: Yeah, perfect. Martin, let’s yet stay optimistic and all the best for you at 2021. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

[00:41:39] MB: Yeah. Same to you. Thanks a lot for having me.

[OUTRO]

[00:41:42] AVH: Hey, again. This is Andy. I hope you enjoyed the episode. If you did, please leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcast from. Share the episode with your friends, with your colleagues and everybody that is interested. And if you want to reach out, feel free to drop us an email, a message on social media. And I look forward to hearing your thoughts, your comments, your feedback. And thanks again for listening. Have a great day.

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