Growth centred around a Culture of Flexibility and Investment in People | The Financial Technologist

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We are very proud that BMLL has been recognised as one of Harrington Starr’s ‘Most Influenti...

We are very proud that BMLL has been recognised as one of Harrington Starr’s ‘Most Influential FinTech Firms of 2023’ for the second year in a row. One of the main reasons for this success is in large part due to our investment in our people, who are our biggest asset. This last year has been an incredibly exciting time for BMLL. In November 2022, we secured a USD 26 million Series B investment from Nasdaq Ventures, FactSet and IQ Capital’s Growth Fund. Their investment speaks volumes. Not only do they back our vision and the strength of our product, they recognise the investment into our talented team, who are essential to the growth we have experienced as a company. In the last year alone we have grown revenues, added Tier 1 clients, expanded coverage of our asset classes, and launched our flagship product BMLL Vantage for EU and US equities and ETFs. The recent funding round will be used to continue our strategic growth path, which is to invest in acquiring new data sets globally, to invest in people to onboard those data sets, and to invest in people to go out and sell that data globally. Investing in Leadership Investing in talent is one of my main priorities. We want to harvest the right talent and make sure we have a team that as a whole is focused on achieving common goals. Over the past four months alone, we’ve hired a Head of Americas and Head of Sales, Americas, as part of our growing expansion into the US, and are looking to continually build that client-facing team. We’ve also invested in our technology product team through an internal promotion to Head of Delivery, as well as bringing on a Head of Information Security who reports directly to the CTO, and a Senior Product Manager for our newly launched product, BMLL Vantage. Additionally, within the past two months, we’ve hired new people on the Quant, DevOps and Communications teams. I’m thrilled with these appointments because each one is bringing new ideas to the table, with new ways of working and new experiences. I strongly believe in bringing in talent with complementary skill sets to improve the overall BMLL team. Every time we hire a person, we aim to get better as a team; that's where investment scales - if we're improving as a result of the people we hire, we all get better by the day. Supporting a culture of flexibility Looking back over the past few years, I am extremely proud of how BMLL has demonstrated leadership through the pandemic, particularly when it comes to talent acquisition and retention. I am quite adamant about wanting to maintain a flexible culture within the company. Certainly, when hiring in the technology world, I think it's now a must. But I'm also determined that we take forward the very best of what we learned during the pandemic. Right from the outset, we had a conscious strategy of investing in technology that created a best-of-breed hybrid office in which our staff can efficiently operate either in the office or out. This means that remote members are able to join team meetings as if they are in the room - and it works well. We did this by purchasing remote equipment for the office, for example, white noise generators and auto-tracking cameras. This has become increasingly important as our team expands into other countries and geographies. All in all, I think our flexibility is one of the things that helps us attract excellent talent- and also to provide the best service to our global clients. Driving productivity According to some industry commentators, flexibility can lead to a reduction in productivity. While I don’t agree with this blanket statement, I do believe the office environment is vital for innovation and collaboration. The ideal is having the perfect blend of both. Yet when people are working remotely, certainly on the technology side, new ways of measuring productivity need to be implemented. For example, that’s why over the past three years we’ve set up sprint goals for our individual teams at BMLL, and we measure performance against those goals. In fact, as CEO, my visibility into the productivity of our tech teams is now greater than ever. The importance of training I am very fortunate to have had extremely good personal experiences with executive training and one-on-one coaching in my previous roles, so I know first-hand how training can be transformational on people's career journeys. As a result, I am quite passionate about empowering my team to do their jobs better. Presentation training for our product team and management training for senior leaders are just a few examples of what we are providing at the moment. Of course, we want our people to develop to their maximum potential and perform better. And if I'm not prepared to invest in our people, then why should people invest in our products? Everybody has a voice One of the most exciting aspects to our recent rapid growth is the diversity of our team. We have over twenty nationalities at BMLL, and we can see this in our day-to-day existence when people bring in different foods or customs. Because we want to enhance the idea that we are one team globally, our new members of staff come to our London office for training and social activities to help them really feel part of our organisation. We also feel it’s important to be open to different passions, for instance, we have a team member leading our charitable efforts helping the Whitechapel Mission homeless shelter. On another level, we feel that BMLL as an organisation needs to play a part in shaping a response to ESG challenges. As such, BMLL participates in the working groups of the Sustainable Trading initiative, which aims to drive positive change in the financial markets trading industry by helping firms improve the ESG performance of their trading businesses. Stronger together With ongoing remote working here to stay, I have been focussed on ensuring that the team spirit of BMLL is as strong as it was before remote working. Indeed, I truly believe that with our flexible approach, our continuing investment in talent, and provision of up-to-date technologies to support our team, we have become stronger than ever. We will continue our efforts to bring out the best in our people, and build an unrivalled best-in-class talent base in what is a highly specialised area of the financial market - Level 3 data and analytics - that serves the most sophisticated participants in the market. You can read Paul's article and further industry insights in the latest edition of The Financial Technologist. Download your free copy here.
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