We sat down with Charles Radclyffe, Head of AI at Fidelity International during the AITECHTalents Steering Committee ‘Donut & Danish’ breakfast meet up earlier this summer. He thinks Facebook’s Libre is ‘interesting’ and ponders *how* organisations like his can attract and retain a generation of talent to prioritise social impact and purpose over financial gain, and fantasise about sitting down and chatting with his son … 20 years from now.

What is FinTech for Good?

I think all organizations that work with innovation, have to do good for as wide a group of people as possible. I mean it’s the imperative for all of us who work in this industry to do that.

Can you give us any specific examples where someone’s life has been made better because of FinTech?

I think what’s really interesting at the moment is Facebook’s Libre. It opens up the white paper with a very big bold statement that the world needs a new global currency and then goes on to list the 1.7 billion people who are unbanked. It’s very clear that that initiative is something which is trying to touch as many people as possible and have a positive impact on people’s lives. The hope of all of us who work in the financial services industry is to have a broader reach and to be as positively rich as possible with the inventions and the innovations that we work on.

What cultural or conventional myth should be shattered?

I’ve worked on both sides of the FinTech landscape. I’ve worked in a small entrepreneurial startup company and sold to large banks. I also worked for large financial services organizations buying from startups. So I guess my brain is a bit confused between the Silicon Valley approach and the City of London approach.

One thing that people will hear a lot about is this Mark Zuckerberg ‘move fast and break things’ culture, which is really what we think about Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. But, of course, for financial services organizations, it’s kind of the opposite. We’re trying to move fast but we’re desperately trying not to break things.

In fact, we need to make sure that we definitely do not break things. I think that’s the cultural myth that a lot of FinTechs need to understand. First things first we need to protect our clients and make sure that nothing breaks and then we need to move as fast as possible within those constraints.

How do you convince fresh new talent to start a career in financial services?

I think attracting talent into the industry is a challenge that we all have got whether we’re FinTech, a large financial services institution or from a different sector entirely.

I think what’s really interesting about the generation that’s coming into the market today is that they think much more about the impact that they have on society and ways of working with a team. So, I spend a lot of my time thinking about:

  • How do we help people work more flexibly?
  • How do we build a much more diverse and inclusive team?
  • How do we make it clear to people the positive impacts of the small parts of the puzzle of their building straight out of school or university?
  • How that piece of the puzzle has an impact on the society around us in a positive way?

I think those of us who are able to attract the best talents or those of us who are able to communicate that message more clearly.

If you could sit down with anyone for a fireside chat, who would it be and why?

Those are tough questions to answer, but I would actually love to sit down with my son 18 years from now as a grown-up man and be able to understand the world from his perspective. As a toddler, which he is now, it’s very hard for me to try and imagine what the world 18/20 years from now is going to look like, but that’s actually the very thing that I’m doing in my role in innovation. To try to imagine what the world is going to look like 10/20 years from now and build products and services and the culture that can create business. So yeah if I could get the insight for my son 18 years from now – I would love it.

Watch our video interview with Charles now.

Charles will be talking about AI, morality and ethics at AITECHTalents on November 13th at PrintWorks in London.