The FTSE’s future is digital – number of FTSE firms with senior technologists increases by 60% since 2016______

The number of companies with technology experts in FTSE 100 senior leadership positions has grown by more than 60% in the last four years, and has risen almost ten-fold since nearly a decade ago – according to a study from Calastone, the largest global funds network. Today, almost 40% of FTSE 100 firms now have a technologist on their leadership team.

Calastone’s study analyses how FTSE companies are responding to increasing technological change, and how this is affecting the makeup of their senior leadership teams, across both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250.

The FTSE 250 has fared the same, showing a similar direction of travel for management. The previous five years has seen an almost 50% rise in the number of FTSE 250 firms that have technologists on their leadership teams. This increase has been almost five-fold since 2011.

One of the most profound changes in recent years has been the shift in focus within senior roles, developing from generalist technology expertise almost ten years ago, to now becoming more data-led. The number of job titles incorporated the term ‘data’ within the FTSE 100 has grown by eight times from four years ago. Today almost one fifth of technologists have a data-specific role within the senior leadership, compared to a decade ago when there wasn’t any at all.

The number is even greater within the FTSE 250. At present, almost a quarter of FTSE 250 member firms include the holder of a ‘data’ role in their leadership teams. This is an almost threefold increase in just two years.

In terms of sectors, Calastone’s study has revealed that the FTSE 100’s travel and leisure segment boasts one of the highest number of firms with technologists in leadership roles, reflecting the importance of digitally-enabled customer interactions that prioritise convenience, transparency and responsiveness.

Banks and financial services also scored highly, which have seen a significant increase in technologist representation within FTSE leadership. This has likely been prompted by the demand for digital services that enhance client experience, as well as major technology-led developments such as Open Banking.

The increasing prominence that the UK’s largest companies are placing on technology, and specifically data expertise, is testament to the rapid shift to digital transformation, with the value of data being the key commodity in today’s digital-first environment.

Andrew Tomlinson, Calastone’s Chief Marketing Officer, comments; “The composition of senior leadership teams within the UK’s leading companies is changing, and the role of technologists are increasingly prominent. As traditional business models are forced to adapt and pivot to a data-led digital strategy, it is essential that the leadership team has the digital savviness and skillset to deliver this. The need for these skills is likely to increase going forward as organisations accelerate their adoption of technology to stay resilient and competitive post pandemic.

We are also seeing a marked rise in data experts occupying senior levels of management, demonstrating the significant value of customer insights, customisation and the need to continue to enrichen client relationships. Especially within financial services, where demand for better service delivery at lower costs is forcing fund providers and investment managers to adapt, innovate and scale digital transformation.”

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Calastone analysed the make up of the executive leadership teams across both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indices in mid-2020. The analysis ranks the most successful sectors by those with the greatest number of companies with technologist representation in executive leadership positions.

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