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Calastone Jon Willis

Technologists at board level rises from two to four


Structural changes are being made to include technologists in the makeup of boards and senior management teams across the FTSE-100, according to Calastone, the global fund transaction network.

In its whitepaper – The accelerating power of technology: lessons for the future of fund distribution – Calastone says the development is due to the ever-growing importance of technology as a driver for business strategy and innovation.
Calastone found that the number of technologists at board level has increased from two to four over the last five years, while the number of technologists present at leadership team level has increased significantly from four in 2011 to 24 in 2016.
Banks and financial services sector firms, meanwhile, are beginning to follow this trend with three out of the 10 companies listed on the FTSE-100 now having a technologist present at either board or leadership level, roles that did not exist in 2011, and the emergence of the role of chief data officer now represents 2.2 per cent of technologists at senior management level.
Calastone believes that the mutual funds industry needs to continue this trend and evolve with technology at its centre if it is to benefit from the changes it brings. The paper recognises that this continued shift is vital across the whole of the funds industry; making the case that the right skills and expertise at senior and board levels of an organisation will aid the deployment of effective technology, and therefore business, strategies. 
Jon Willis (pictured), chief commercial officer at Calastone, says: “As a financial technology company with technology at its heart, and with a unique position in the funds industry, the trends we have highlighted in the research are critical. The paper demonstrates the need for a cultural change to ensure technology issues are firmly part of the long-term strategic agenda. Calastone believe that an increased level of technological expertise and understanding of emerging and disruptive technologies is vital for the development and sustainability of the funds industry.”

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