The Role of ESG Integration in Fintech’s Evolution: Navigating Opportunities

| 4 minutes

In recent years, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles have emerged as key pillars guiding decision-making processes, reshaping investment strategies, product development, and risk management practices. This shift not only reflects a growing societal consciousness but also presents fintech firms with an array of opportunities and risks as they navigate the integration of ESG criteria into their operations.

ESG in Fintech:

The rise of ESG principles within fintech is not merely a trend but a fundamental reevaluation of values and priorities. According to recent studies, 54% of corporate directors acknowledge the direct link between ESG issues and their company’s strategy. This indicates a gradual recognition of the importance of strategic ESG considerations with room for further adoption and implementation.

Opportunities (and Risks) for Fintech Companies:

Integrating ESG factors into fintech operations presents numerous opportunities. By aligning with ESG initiatives, companies can foster innovation, attract socially responsible investors, and enhance brand reputation. Also, leveraging this criteria enables fintech firms to address societal and environmental challenges while generating sustainable long-term value.

Ignoring ESG considerations poses risks including administrative scrutiny, reputational damage, and loss of competitive advantage. 49% of investors share that they would no longer invest in companies that aren’t taking action on ESG issues. In an era where consumers and investors increasingly demand transparency and accountability, overlooking ESG factors, prioritization of sustainability and social impact can lead to detrimental consequences like legal repercussions and fines.

Technological Solutions for ESG Integration:

From ESG data analytics to impact investing platforms, sustainable finance products, and ESG risk assessment tools, technology is empowering financial institutions to make informed decisions and drive positive impact. These technological solutions not only facilitate ESG integration but also enable companies to measure and track their sustainability performance effectively.

A great example of this is Clarity AI, a dynamic fintech startup in the ESG sector. Strongly values-driven, Clarity AI sought diverse candidates who shared their vision of having a positive impact on the world through a focus on sustainability. 

Machine learning is at the heart of Clarity AI’s market-leading sustainability tech, allowing it to regularly analyze more than 2 million data points. The platform’s customizability, enabling users to report on as much or as little as needed and break down performance against SDGs at a product or service level, has been instrumental in the firm raising $80 million since 2017.

Best Practices for ESG Integration in Fintech:

Within the fintech industry, the market for ESG has a projected growth rate of around 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 2024. For fintech companies seeking to embed ESG considerations into their business strategies, adopting best practices is essential. Establishing clear ESG policies, conducting materiality assessments, setting sustainability goals, and engaging stakeholders are paramount. Case studies of fintech firms that have successfully implemented ESG initiatives can provide valuable insights and serve as guiding examples for others in the industry.

The integration of ESG principles represents a pivotal moment in the evolution of fintech. By embracing ESG criteria, companies can not only drive innovation and attract investors but also contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future. As the market for ESG fintech continues to grow, fintech firms must seize the opportunity to lead by example, recognizing that long-term success lies in the alignment of financial performance with environmental and social impact.

As fintech companies navigate this evolving landscape, embracing ESG principles is not only a strategic imperative but also a moral obligation, ensuring that financial innovation is synonymous with sustainability and societal impact.

Is your fintech sales team eager to expand and navigate the evolving landscape of ESG integration? Let us help you grow and thrive. Get in touch with us today to explore how Finiti can help empower your team to seize new opportunities.

Breaking Barriers – The Rise of Women In Fintech

| 3 minutes

In the ever-evolving landscape of finance and technology, one undeniable truth emerges: diversity drives innovation. As the Fintech industry continues its upward trajectory, addressing and bridging the gender gap grows more urgent. Fortunately, strides are being made to shatter stereotypes and pave the way for a more inclusive future.

Despite its booming success, Fintech has combated a glaring gender disparity. Women comprise only 4% of CEOs, 18% of executive committee members, and 7.7% of entrepreneurs. However, within these figures lies a potential for positive change — a collective commitment to improvement.

Historically entrenched biases and stereotypes have hindered women’s progress, creating barriers to entry and advancement. However, the tide is turning as companies increasingly recognize the value of diverse perspectives. Companies are starting to see the benefits of workplace diversity when evaluating profitability, productivity, employee recruitment and retention, job satisfaction and performance, and innovation and creativity.

“10% of salespeople are women and more than 75%  of our clients request to see a diverse range of candidates as a key part of working together,” says Kate Sharland, Co-Founder and Client Director at Finiti. 

“We continue to see a gap in industry experience at leadership level between male and female candidates, which we are continually trying to address and change for the future,” explains Sharland.  

Finiti’s clients, in particular, are driving this change. With a heightened emphasis on diversity and inclusion, they are insistent on interviewing and inclined to hire female and diverse candidates. This shift in client preferences not only reflects a moral imperative but also a recognition of the benefits that diverse teams bring to the table. 

Another contributing factor to the gender gap in Fintech is the disproportionate representation of women in STEM subjects. While strides have been made to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology, there is still much work to be done. Initiatives aimed at fostering interest in STEM among young girls and providing support and mentorship to women in tech are crucial steps in addressing this imbalance.

Additionally, the issue extends beyond recruitment to venture capital funding. Male-led startups often receive preferential treatment, perpetuating a cycle of male dominance in entrepreneurship. However, as awareness grows around the importance of diversity in driving innovation and profitability, investors are increasingly recognizing the value of female-led ventures.

The path to gender parity in Fintech may be paved with challenges, but the momentum is undeniably building. By dismantling systemic barriers, championing diversity, and fostering an inclusive culture, we can unlock the full potential of the industry. As we look at successful women like Cristina Junqueira, Co-Founder of Nubank, and Emilie Choi, President and COO of Coinbase, let us find motivation in our futures and remain committed to creating a more equitable and vibrant fintech ecosystem for all. Together, we can transform barriers into bridges and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow.

 If you are interested in supporting female talent in the fintech industry, some organizations advocate for policies to translate awareness into tangible change. Female Innovators Lab and 100 Women in Finance are great resources.

At Finiti, we are proud to be a women-owned and led business. Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are fundamental principles that guide us and shape us into who we are. Our commitment to championing female talent and empowering women in Fintech is unwavering.

If you are looking to grow your Fintech sales team, get in touch with us.

Nurturing Talent Even in Goodbyes: Finiti’s Guide to Positive Candidate Exits

| 5 minutes

In the rush of finding that perfect candidate and the busy back-and-forth about contracts and start dates, it can be easy to overlook a really important part of the recruitment process: unsuccessful candidates. 

Every aspect of the recruitment process is a reflection of your brand – both as a business and as an employer. 

Though someone may not have been the perfect fit this time, a positive exit makes sure candidates only have good things to say to other job hunters and peers, leaving the door open for a positive return tomorrow. 

Here’s how to build your talent pipeline by handling goodbyes with grace and empathy. 

Insightful Constructive Feedback 

One of the biggest questions a candidate is left with after a rejection is “why?”. But few businesses provide an answer: 94% of candidates say they’d like interview feedback, but only 41% have actually received it. 

Mitigate potential concerns from the legal team by keeping feedback factual, constructive, and forward looking. Communicating any feedback in writing can also help avoid miscommunication and give candidates time to reflect before responding. 

Timely and Transparent Communication

Hiring is a time-consuming process, particularly when you’re inundated with applications. 

Increasingly, that means communication slips. The latest Talent Board report found that over a third of candidates were waiting several months or more to hear about next steps, a 48% rise from 2021. 

Whether it’s good news or bad news, responding to candidates quickly goes a long way towards building a positive employer brand. 

Personable Rejection Messages

Words matter, especially when you’re communicating something you know will be disappointing. 

This isn’t a job for ChatGPT. Make sure the messages you send are warm and personable. Although it might just be one of hundreds of template-based rejection emails for you, it’s a big deal to hopeful candidates. 

If you’re using templates, work with your brand or marketing team to spend time crafting ones that convey the key information and fit with your employer brand. 

It’s their last point of contact with you, so make sure they leave the process with a positive impression. 

Encouraging Future Applications

Be clear that just because someone wasn’t right for this particular role, you’d still consider them for future opportunities. 

Show you really mean it by including a link to your current vacancies page; you could even consider starting an email list to alert them to new opportunities with your organisation. 

Not only are you leaving that candidate with a positive impression, you’re building a talent pipeline of candidates you know are interested in working for you. 

Networking Opportunities and Resources

Whether it’s an online event that you’re hosting or a course you know is particularly useful for your team, consider sharing ways a candidate could usefully progress their industry knowledge to make them an even stronger candidate next time. 

Not only will this attention to detail set you apart from other potential employers, it also shows that you’re invested in your team’s learning and development – even before they’ve started. 

Rejection in Context

Rather than thinking about an unsuccessful candidate in isolation, put it in the wider context of the value of building and maintaining your employer brand. 

A positive employer brand can speed up the hiring process, decrease your average cost per hire by 50%, and significantly boost the number of strong candidates applying for your roles. 

If your team is short on time, find a recruitment partner that’s able to ensure candidates have a positive experience. 

Remember, candidates often won’t differentiate between internal recruitment managers and external recruiters, so make sure you work with someone that knows your industry and business to leave a positive last impression. 

From curating a short list to handling goodbyes, Finiti Search is the only recruitment company specialising in Fintech sales roles. 

We get to know candidates and companies inside out in order to find the perfect match. Learn more about our talent network or get in touch with the team today about your vacancy. 

Strategies for Maximising Job Packages: Navigating Salary Constraints

| 5 minutes

You’ve done it. You’ve found that next big hire for your Sales Team. They’re perfect for the role. Job done, right? 

Finding the right person isn’t the end of the recruitment process. Before you start planning their induction and forwarding meeting invites, there’s still the delicate process of finalising the job package. 

But what happens when you don’t have any wiggle room on salary? 

Here’s our five top tips for taking a more holistic approach to job packages that can make all the difference between losing top talent and making sure they sign on the dotted line. 

  1. Unlocking hidden benefits 

When there’s a lot to communicate in a job spec, benefits are often the first thing to get condensed or cut. 

Two-thirds say benefits are as important if not more important than salary, with a similar percentage saying benefits will be a key priority when applying for their next role.  

Whether it’s tangible benefits, like healthcare or an on-site gym, or culture-based benefits, like team events and remote working, make sure you communicate the full breadth of benefits the job package includes. 

  1. Tailoring bonus structures

There might not be any stretch when it comes to base salary, but there are many different bonus structures out there that can help attract and retain top sales talent. 

Think about which activities drive sales for your business and get creative with a tiered bonus structure. You could also add in activity-based bonuses for the initial few months to make sure the candidate’s take-home gets a boost right from the start. 

What’s great about generous bonus structures is that when they win, so do you. 

  1. Negotiating equity and stock options 

An alternative to a bigger salary in the short term is to offer new starters a stake in the company. 

The exact amount you’re able to offer depends on a number of factors, with the average equity share in startups hovering around 1%

Offering equity or stocks shows that you’re committed to both them as a team member and to the company’s growth in the long-term, even if the short term salary might not be what they had in mind. 

  1. Customising benefit packages

There’s much more to a job package than just the salary; the right benefits can be the deciding factor between two similar offers, even when the other salary is higher. 

Over four in ten employees don’t think their current company’s benefit package meets their needs, and half even say they’d accept a pay reduction for a more tailored benefits package. 

To use this strategy effectively, talk to the candidate to find out what they really value. If they have young kids at home, flexible working might be the benefit that wins them over, or if their family is overseas the ability to work from a different timezone for a month a year might suit them best. 

Take the time to understand the things beyond salary that matter to a candidate and create a benefits package that’s perfectly tailored to what works for them. This shows that you’re being as flexible as possible in the areas where you do have stretch. 

  1. Emphasising career growth opportunities

If you’re talking salaries with a candidate, chances are they like you as much as you like them. They’re picturing themselves as part of the team – they’re invested. 

Capitalise on that interest and a great mutual fit by painting a picture of what their long-term career with you could look like. 

Progression could mean a promotion, but it can include other learning perks too. A huge 86% say that they’d change jobs if another company offered more opportunities for development. 

Where possible, share examples of others who’ve joined your business at the same level and have progressed, as well as how you support learning and development throughout your business.  

Communicating your offer

Articulating the full range of what you offer as an employer is crucial to navigating that tricky final stage of the recruitment process. 

Taking a clear, proactive approach to understanding a candidate’s expectations at the start of a process can also avoid losing time or, even worse, a successful candidate at the final hurdle. 

We’ve been curating our network of top Fintech sales talent for twenty years, often placing top talent multiple times throughout their career. 

To learn more about how we ensure a smooth, successful recruitment process by getting to know candidates and their expectations, get in touch with the team at Finiti for a friendly chat.  

12 days of Rising Fintech Stars

| 5 minutes

Leave the French hens, turtle doves and partridge to someone else. 

For our Christmas countdown, we’re looking at 12 of the rising Fintech stars that have made waves in 2023 and look set to continue their meteoric rise in the new year. 

  1. Fiserv

A global fintech and payments company, Fiserv offers solutions for banking, global commerce, merchant acquiring, billing and payments, and point-of-sale. With revenues at $17.7 billion (2022), they are set to do big things in 2024.

  1. Prism Data

A big-data- and AI-powered crystal ball for banks and financial institutions, Prism Data helps them make more informed decisions and mitigate risks. Products like CashScore aim to predict default risk and problematic customers ahead of time. With 2023’s focus on regulation and compliance set to continue, Prism could be ones to watch in 2024. 

  1. FERO Payment Science

By combining automation, machine learning, and alternative data sources, FERO provides faster and more accessible credit solutions to individuals and small businesses. Their focus on financial inclusion and using technology to expand lending opportunities sets them apart and saw them win over Coatue, Volta Ventures, and Antler in their seed funding round to take home $3m

  1. Flanks

This wealth tech app enables clients to get one single view of their investment portfolio in real time. Integrating with more than 300 banks, it provides an aggregated view even across different providers and products. Securing $8 million in Series A funding, they have big growth plans for 2024 with a focus on automating manual wealth management processes. Watch this space. 

  1. Carefull

The global elderly care market is already worth $1,100 billion and set to rise to $1,800 billion by 2030; Carefull is making waves in the fintech industry with its unique solution for elder care and financial management. The platform enables caregivers and family members to monitor and protect the financial well-being of aging loved ones, helping to prevent fraud and financial exploitation. The potential is huge, and investors agree: Carefull secured $16.5 million in Series A funding earlier this year. 

  1. Brite

This boot-strapped Swedish startup is on a mission to make account-to-account payments faster. Their proprietary network enables merchants to receive funds 24/7 and settle them in any currency. They’ve already reached profitability and expanded to 25 countries, and their latest $60 million funding raise will help them continue that rapid expansion into 2024. 

  1. Stitch

South-African company Stitch has been gaining recognition in the Fintech world for its novel approach to digital wallets and payments. Their platform integrates various financial services, from banking to budgeting, in a single, user-friendly app. This simplifies and streamlines the user experience, appealing to consumers looking for an all-in-one financial solution. With $25 million in Series A funding in their pocket and plans for a spin-out brand, they’re ones to watch in 2024 and beyond. 

  1. Albo

Neobanks aren’t new, but what sets Albo apart is its focus on financial inclusion and providing accessible banking services to underserved populations in Latin America. The company offers a mobile banking platform with features like budgeting tools, savings accounts, and debit cards, making it easier for people without traditional bank accounts to manage their finances. On track to hit profitability in 2024, they gained $40 million in Series C funding earlier this year to help them with their mission.

  1. Apron

The brainchild of a former Revolut and Square product lead, Apron minimises the amount of time small businesses spend processing invoices. The fact that it’s not looking to take on market leaders in this space, but to integrate them into a more effective workflow contributed to its $15 million Series A funding and a bright future next year. 

  1. Globacap

Fresh from a $21 million Series B funding round, Globacap is all about digitising and automating the private capital markets. It focuses on streamlining processes, increasing liquidity, and generally improving access to help private capital markets reach their potential. Their white-label service now powers 15 global institutions, and their quiet rise looks set to continue. 

  1. PaymentWorks

RegTech has been a booming area in 2023 and PaymentWorks are making a name for themselves in digital supplier onboarding and payment compliance. The platform helps organizations securely onboard and verify supplier information, reducing the risk of fraudulent transactions. A growing need in the corporate sector, they’re now connected to eight of the largest US commercial banks with 25,000 vendors joining per month – a strong foundation for 2024. 

  1. Quantexa

For any company operating in more than one market, compliance quickly becomes complicated. Focused on banking, insurance, and government organisations, Quantexa uses advanced data analytics to help businesses navigate different regulatory compliance domains. Growing 124% over the past 5 years, they’re ones to watch in the new year. 

We live and breathe Fintech. As the only specialist Fintech sales recruitment agency, we’ve been matching rising stars to top talent for nearly 20 years. 

To find out more about our unique processes or to access our talent network, get in touch with a team ready to build the perfect team for 2024.