Chief Technology and Product Officer | Leading Financial Services Firm
Sourcing an exceptional digital leader who provides both commercial smarts and technology design for their products and services build out.
Our client was a leading provider of a diverse range of financial services and offered customized solutions in the areas of asset management, credit, investment banking and wealth management. Today, they walk alongside high performing entrepreneurs, wealth creators and pioneers of the new age economy in their quest to outperform, and rely on their in-depth domain expertise and understanding of diverse regulatory frameworks to identify value creating opportunities.
Established in 1999, the firm is among the most successful financial services firms in India. They regularly handle many marquee investment transactions, currently run the largest hedge fund in India, and are among the top wealth managers in the country.
The client believed that technology and technology-led products would be instrumental to achieving their ambitious growth objectives in the years to come. Technology was looked upon not only as a tool to automate processes or connect people, but as a key strategic enabler that equipped – and empowered – each and every team member to be more effective and retain competitive edge.
The diverse businesses that our client ran were significantly dependent on knowledge and relationships, hence these were going to be core drivers for their technology and product build out. They were seeking to bring on board an innovative and business savvy technology and product leader who would visualize – and execute - technology architecture, as well as internal and client facing products/services that would, in turn, help the firm advance on their digital transformation journey.
Strategy and Approach
This was the first time in their history that the client created the position, and there was no prior guidance on what the profile of candidates should look like. Even before the client confirmed the search assignment, we spent time with the Co-founder and CEO of the firm to help crystallize the thought process in terms of what sort of characteristics would make the candidate successful in the role and deliver to the business objectives that the CEO had in mind. We were even invited to one of their meetings with a technology service provider who was going to help them build out their new CRM system, so that we could get more clarity on the challenges that our client was grappling with when deploying technology solutions.
Our client was clear that the candidate for this role should have had a demonstrated track record of conceptualizing and executing technology initiatives from the ground up, and benchmark their projects to the best in the world and not necessarily what was immediately possible. The person needed to carry a reasonable understanding of the financial services industry, and equally, had to demonstrate the values that the firm stood for, viz. excellence, fairness, openness, ownership, accountability, and respect for multiple perspectives.
We followed a structured market research process to identify relevant candidates from financial services firms (banks, non-banking financial services, insurance, capital markets, wealth managers, and so on) who were known for their technology maturity and digital advancement. This included large global financial services firms who had significant technology and digital teams in India.
During the outreach, a particularly nuanced pitch had to be made to generate interest amongst candidates from these well-established firms to come and join a 20-year-old start-up. But with our experienced senior partners calling candidates to advocate the role and the organization, this challenge was well taken care of. The successful candidate came from an accomplished track record leading digital and data initiatives at global financial institutions.
Our NGS Global Value-Add
• The ability to flush out the client’s needs – and expectations – with regards to the ideal candidate. We did not just ask for a job description; we built the job description in collaboration with the client. As a result, we made sure our search strategy was aligned to the client’s needs from day one.
• Seasoned partners personally called the targeted candidates. Those we approached with our selective and strategic outreach responded positively, and even if they were not personally interested in a career change, some of them provided references of other passive candidates.
• Minimal off-limits constraints that enabled us to access a wide talent pool from all corners of the financial services industry.