Matt Hyde, Director of FinTech Awards Wales Meets:
Head of IT Digital at Admiral
As part of a our new interview series, Matt Hyde, Director of Recruit121 and FinTech Awards Wales, talks to a whole host of professionals in and around Wales’ thriving FinTech Sector. This week Matt caught up with Daniel Lewis, Head of IT Digital at Admiral.
Tell us about your main focus at Admiral
Our main focus is to continue building a sustainable business for the long-term, with more focus on customer centric journeys, and the use of data, tech, and digital capabilities. My role currently focuses on supporting and delivering new and digital capabilities, and enhancing existing ones, as we see the increased demand for various digital channels. The use of data and personalisation of customer journeys is also high on the agenda, which will play a huge role in helping achieve our evolution of existing products, and support our future diversification opportunities. Alongside this, we continue working on our ‘smart working’ approach for remote and hybrid working, ensuring we maintain strong colleague engagement across the business and attracting the right talent for the future.
What impact do you feel FinTech Awards Wales are making in the FinTech sector in Wales?
We have so much to celebrate in the Welsh FinTech space, and FinTech Awards Wales are providing a platform for everyone to do this loud and proud. It’s so important to share success stories, shout about exciting milestones across the industry, and to be a part of a supportive community that empowers people to be effective in FinTech. These awards are a fantastic opportunity to see the breadth of talent across Wales, and it’s sure to help us continue growing as a leading FinTech nation.
Why have you chosen to support the Awards and in particular the FinTech Leader of the Year Award?
We came on the scene as a start-up in South Wales in 1993 and are now Wales’ only FTSE 100 company and a major Welsh employer, so we’re very passionate as a business to support our community and see our home nation thrive. We’re also a financial services company that embraces a digital-first approach, so we’re always interested in what’s going on across the industry. For us, supporting the FinTech Leader of the Year Award was important as we know that being a great leader requires more than just talent. A great leader can empower those around them to give their best and strive for better, so we felt that this award captures one of the most important aspects of running a successful business, and those who win it will be sure to make a significant impact in the Welsh FinTech space.
How do you feel the Welsh economy has fared post Covid and what predictions do you have for the next 12 months?
Covid accelerated our opportunities for remote working which has enabled us to attract new talent from a wider pool across the UK, whereas before, we were limited to South Wales due to locality of the work base. This comes with its own challenges as we’re seeing market rates for FinTech roles changing across the UK. This puts pressure on our homegrown talent in Wales with more focus on how we can nurture this talent, such as investing in graduate schemes, FinTech schemes etc.
What is Admiral doing today to support the FinTech in the future?
One of our biggest goals as a company that forms part of our Group purpose is to help more people to look after their future, so we’re incredibly passionate about providing opportunities and support for people to thrive and develop. For FinTech, we do this in many ways, including partnering with Code First Girls to support more pathways into Tech for women, offering Degree Apprenticeships in Software Engineering, Data Science, and Cyber Security with Welsh universities, and providing our colleagues with access to hundreds of courses to support their ongoing development in Tech. We’re always on the look out for ways in which we can contribute more to our community, so this will be something that will always be moving and improving.
Finally, what’s the best advice you were given and what advice you would give?
I’ve received plenty of great advice over the years, but the one that’s helped me most in a leadership role is don’t ever be afraid to ask questions and remember there is no such thing as a stupid question. This has certainly helped get clarity and feeds into conscious decision making where needed.
In terms of advice I’d give, there were times in the past where I’d want to be the best at everything and sometimes felt challenged when somebody new joined the team with more experience. But, over the years I’ve realised you don’t need be an expert in everything to be a strong leader. So my advice would be to surround yourself with those with the right expertise and a diverse skillset, while encouraging their talents to be celebrated and recognised to their optimum level. I’ve found it’s the best way to achieve your goals and ambitions you set for yourself and your teams, while continuing to learn in your own role at the same time.