Calastone study reveals increase in technologists within FTSE executive leadership teams

18 Apr 2018

Calastone, the global funds transaction network, has today announced the results of its study which examines the composition of leading UK firms in the current FTSE 100 and 250, focusing on the presence of technologists in company boards and executive leadership teams. The report is the second study by Calastone that investigates how FTSE companies are responding to technological change, and how this affects the makeup of their senior leadership teams.

Calastone’s 2018 study reveals that those companies that have embraced technology most successfully are more likely to have a professional technologist within their executive leadership team. This demonstrates the growing importance of technology and how it is enabling and driving changes across a wide variety of sectors and markets throughout the UK. The results also reveal an increased rate of growth of technologists’ presence in leadership roles over the last two years.

Key findings of the research are as follows*:

  • 34.7% of FTSE 100 companies have a technologist in their executive leadership team, up from 24.5% 2016. Similarly, figures from the FTSE 250 indicate an increase from 18.6% in 2016 to 23.1% in 2018.
  • On the FTSE 100, Support Services is the leading sector, having 4 companies (of a total of 9 listed) with technologists in their leadership. Banks (with 3 of 4 companies) and Financial Services (2 of 4 companies, with one at board level) also scores highly.
  • Banks is also one of the sectors that saw the greatest increase in the number of technologists in top jobs since 2016, jumping from 1 to 3. Financial Services, however, remains unchanged since 2016.
  • On the FTSE 250, Support Services is also the leading sector in terms of total companies with technologists in leadership positions (12 of 21), but instead is followed by General Retailers (6 of 14), Financial Services (4 of 15) and Media (4 of 7).
  • Non-life Insurance and Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology see the greatest leap in number of companies with technologists since 2016, jumping from 1 to 3.

Where the banking and financial services industries are doing well to respond to technological change, Calastone believe there still remains a significant opportunity for the funds industry to make the step up. As the industry continues to face increasing cost, operational and regulatory pressures, all parties in the value chain – fund managers, distributors, transfer agents and platform operators – should look to other sectors that have navigated change and successfully used innovative technology.

Campbell Brierley, Chief Innovation Officer Calastone, comments:

“Organisations worldwide face the difficult challenge of having to align legacy systems to meet new, more sophisticated demands from the industry and customers. The role of the technologist has, as such, become increasingly pivotal in solving these problems – whether that be through replacing old systems, or using cutting edge innovative technology to streamline operational efficiencies and create a seamless user experience. Embracing technology in this way is becoming increasingly important in generating competitive advantage.”

Jon Willis, Chief Commercial Officer Calastone, adds:

“The funds sector sits at an exciting juncture where customer demands and industry standards are changing, and only those organisations which adopt and enact technology innovation will remain competitive for the long term. The results from our study reveal the extent to which the UK’s largest, most successful businesses in other sectors are embracing digitalisation and technology innovation, and we believe funds companies can learn from their successes to best position themselves for a better future for our industry.”

Please download the research report here

*Our analysis ranks the most successful sectors by those with the greatest number of companies with technologist representation in senior leadership positions. For more information in the methodology, please refer to the research report.

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