The fintech sector is accelerating at top speed, making it one of the hottest sectors of 2021. While the sector continues to grow exponentially, it’s also creating positive change in the industry alongside evolving consumer behaviours. Taking into account insights and observed market developments from Boyden’s global fintech and financial services experts, we share the top fintech management trends making their way into 2022.

By Carlos Dafauce, Lourdes Lopez

The fintech sector has had a revolutionary impact on banking, payments, and insurance. Fintech investments have hit $91.5 billion in 2021, nearly doubling last year's total. The global fintech market is expected to reach $324 billion by 2026, growing at a 23.41% CAGR.

Linked to this growth, there have been significant movements within the companies’ top management in the sector. Mid-cap and top corporate players have appointed new regional CEOs. There has been a  pursuit of top leaders with strong strategic vision, commercial skills, innovative capacity, that are able to drive change and add inspiration across different teams and locations. The most relevant companies are performing market analysis projects to learn where there are stars, and how to attract them and engage them. 

There is fierce competition for growth and quick positioning in the market due to constant technology changes and improvements. Leaders must bring a clear vision and strategy, as well as move fast and think differently from how things used to work in the traditional financial sector. In parallel, the profile of modern financial services leaders continues to shift amid the sector’s renewed focus on customers for revenue growth, service digitalization, a renewed focus on risk management, and increasing investor and regulatory scrutiny.

Startup companies have been exceptionally growing within the fintech industry. As of February 2021, there were 10,605 fintech startups in the Americas, making it the region with the most fintech startups globally. In comparison, there were 9,311 such startups in the EMEA region and 6,129 in the Asia Pacific region. Mid-cap and big corporations are competing with the startups by attracting talent and offering attractive benefits like phantom shares.

The COVID-19 crisis has only heightened the need for top talent that can pivot and steer businesses through hard times and onto firm ground. Digital and transformation experience is vital.

Prior to COVID we already encountered a drastic change of business with the financial services sector due to digitization. Traditional banks, for example, were pushed by new fintech start-ups and scale-up companies to rapidly transform their structure, product offering, and their pace in innovation and decision-making. Some of them are on their way to successfully transform into a more digitized financial entity, but some of them will not make it due to a lack of investment capability and management potential. They will either cease to exist soon or will be taken over by more flexible and agile financial/technology firms.

More and more technology firms will step into (or already have) the financial arena, like the Google’s and Apple’s of this world. Also, fintech initiatives will continue to grow in the coming years. They will change the banking, insurance, wealth & asset management, etc. landscape enormously. We also see strong activity in payments and open banking where traditional players are investing not to lose pace with newcomers. Also, PE firms are focusing more and more on new financial services developments and initiatives.

Boyden is seeing demand for CIO, CDO, CSO, CISO, big data, IT audit, customer experience, and compliance positions across the board of financial services subsegments. And in payments, recruiters are looking to fill positions to transform the traditional business to that of digital at the C-level. This applies to start-ups, mid-caps, and unicorns.

Main services demanded by our client base are executive searches of the above typology and market intelligence. Given the big demand and churning in certain jobs and functions, global mappings are becoming very popular. Clients want to know what talent is out there to recruit in case of need, to be ready for succession plans or unexpected resignations.

The predominance of working for a major investment bank or hedge fund is being replaced by top talent looking to tech or fintech as the quintessential dream job. These other sectors’ creativity and flexibility, coupled with cutting-edge products, have only accelerated the movement of top talent into the space.

To respond to the increasing demand for senior financial executives who have experience/expertise in both digital and transformation topics, Boyden has expanded our human capital services to provide more digital solutions for our clients to focus on technology finance positions. We also appointed fintech regional leaders to face the market challenges and work together in close coordination with our technology practice given that boundaries in certain fields are blurred.

Contact us to learn more about these insights or how to work with one of Boyden's global Fintech specialists.

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