The big leap from banking to fintech can be daunting. Working at tradfi gives you many skills, but they may not be as relevant as you think. Global head of fintech at headhunting and organizational consulting firm Kornferry in New York, Deepali Vyas, says that if you want to graft into fintech to get “organ rejection,” you need some things more than others.
First, successful fintech candidates are “entrepreneurial,” says Vyas. When fintechs hire ex-bankers, they want to see that they have a strategy and “have executed it with good results.”
Because fintechs are currently managed with a bottom-up perspective. Teams are smaller and more focused, and there’s a greater sense of accountability. According to Vyas, if you’re thinking of making the transition from banking to fintech, you should ask yourself, “Did I run my unit like a CEO?” This is especially true when it comes to PnL management.
Be data driven
If you want to work in fintech, you need to understand data to help you make decisions. “The data you work on determines what strategy you follow,” says Vyas.
Show willingness to take risks
Another key question is: “How much risk do I have?”
Switching to fintech is not necessarily for people who want to live a quiet life. Pay is typically skewed away from salary and in favor of stock options, and those options will fall as valuations fall. According to Vyas, the ideal candidate is someone willing to take that risk.
Select Jobs next to your current role
Fintech is about technology, but some jobs are more technical than others. Vyas says that “payments, crypto and digital assets” jobs tend to hire people with technology backgrounds. “However, fintechs that are in more traditional capital markets tend to be into traditional finance because they need that institutional knowledge, so it’s kind of a two-thirds, one-third split.”
Know how to code
In many roles, a certain level of programming skills helps. Vyas says Python and SQL will stand you in good stead. As well as “Data Literacy in Financial Strategies, Data Research, Data Science, Data Visualization and Tableau”.
Show that you are of high conviction and high achievement
Perhaps most important is conviction. “If you have a firm belief in what you’ve done in your current role, if you believe there are things you can do, and reach your milestones, You can write your own CV and your own compensation track,” says Vyas.
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