Building a Bank within a Bank with Marieke Flament, Mettle - She Talks Tech Podcast

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'Building a Bank within a Bank' with Marieke Flament, Mettle

Building a Bank within a Bank with Marieke Flament, Mettle - She Talks Tech Podcast

Today we hear from Marieke Flament - CEO of Mettle, a unique FinTech proposition as the app-based business account for small businesses, backed by NatWest.

She will be discussing her experience on building Mettle, the technology choices and ways of working to ensure focus is always on delivering features customers need and love.

You can find out more about and connect with Marieke on LinkedIn.

LISTEN HERE


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Marieke

Recruiting for the FinTech industry

 

Marieke Flament is a respected technology leader and is currently heading up the European expansion of leading social payments app Circle. Here she provides insight into what she looks for when recruiting for this fiercely competitive industry.

People are the life and blood of any organisation and this is particularly true when talking about a FinTech startup. Having an analytical mind and entrepreneurial spirit are pretty much a given for any candidate even wishing to get to the interview stage.

But when recruiting we look for a lot more than just possessing the right skill sets. In a small startup it’s essential the candidate is the right cultural fit. Whilst candidates may look the part on paper, how will they fit into the existing team? Are candidates passionate about the problem you want to solve? Do they share the company’s values and character traits?

I’m often asked what we look for in candidates during the interview process and would say the following are all essential:

Passion

At Circle we are not just a social payment app, we are on a revolution to make money work the way the internet does so that the world can be a better place for our customers. That's a big and ambitious vision -and we want people who understand and share our vision. In an interview, I test this by asking people why they want to work for Circle and assess what they think of the app.

Resilience

In a startup the highs are high and the lows are low - we need resilient people, people who can learn from mistakes (and it's ok to make mistakes!) and bounce back. In our industry you cannot afford to stand still and wait for things to happen because you are too afraid of making a mistake.

Proactiveness

We need people with a "go-get-it" attitude - there is no job too low for anyone to do! From setting up your own computer, to picking up the phone for someone else and to making the coffees. In a small team everyone needs to pull together irrespective of their title.

Curiosity

Working in such a multifaceted industry such as FinTech it is vital a candidate demonstrates a willingness to step outside their comfort zone and learn about other areas i.e. marketing, regulation, risk. We are looking for well-rounded, multi-skilled people, avid to learn new skills as our industry is continuously evolving and requires you to keep learning.

Creative but practical

What we do has never been done before, and therefore there is no manual or ‘How to Guide’ we can refer to. Therefore, we need people to not only be creative to find new ways of doing things, but also practical. If someone is creative but not practical then nothing will get done - and we need to get stuff done. Be “creatively practical!”

FinTech as an industry employing over 61,000 people and generates billions of pounds of revenue for the UK’s economy. The possibilities for this industry are endless and competition to work in it is fierce. As for most jobs, having the right grades and qualifications is not enough. You need to possess traits which cannot be taught and are innate, and share the passion of the company you want to join. If you have all the above then you are well on your way!


Marieke Flament: Managing Director of Circle shares her experiences

Marieke Flament is a respected technology leader and is currently heading up the European expansion of unique social payments app Circle. 
marieke

In February 2016 Marieke joined Circle as Managing Director of Europe, bringing with her over a decade’s experience in leading consumer and internet brands. Since her appointment Marieke has launched Circle in the UK, Ireland and Spain, is building a strong European team to spearhead the roll out across Europe. Her work has been recognised after she was shortlisted for the prestigious Women in IT award and most recently the Women in Finance Awards.

Here she shares her experiences of working as the Managing Director of a global technology company, the challenges she has faced and why she wants to see more women working in the sector.

I've been fortunate to have worked in technology for my entire career and have enjoyed both the highs and the lows. My technology journey actually started when I went to university and I was lucky enough to secure a place at Télécom ParisTech - the top French school for computer science. Since then I’ve never looked back and today I am the Managing Director of Europe for Circle, a company which is breaking boundaries in the finance sector by exploring the ways in which technology can be used to change the way we view, and use money. Leading a team at a company like Circle, which is at the forefront of new technologies and which is using blockchain technology to simplify our lives, is what motivates me every day.

It’s undoubtedly been a fantastic experience for me but it’s also been a steep learning curve as when I joined Circle, FinTech was an emerging industry. The most challenging thing so far remains building teams - in a start-up like Circle you don't have the luxury of several hundreds of employees - every hire is key and will make a tremendous impact. When recruiting, we look for passion and for people who share our values and ambitions. Although it may sound cliché, we also look for team players who value a collaborative approach. It’s about working together and finding solutions to problems.

I believe passionately that we need to have more women working in the technology industry, after all the world is made up of 50 per cent women!

At the end of the day the challenges solved by technology and the products created are for everyone. The only way to shape products and technologies for all is to have a gender mix. Disappointingly according to figures in 2015, just 16 per cent of Facebook’s tech staff and 18 per cent of Google’s were female. This needs to change.

This is one of the reasons why last year Circle became a proud signatory of The Women in Finance Charter, led by HM Treasury. As a young fast-growing FinTech company, innovation is vital but so too is our passion for people. We want the right people for the job, whatever their gender.

A big challenge for women is standing up against the stereotype of the types of careers women should and should not be working in. Stereoptypes and biases are often the root cause of the issue and can cause a lot of self-doubt for women working or wanting to work in the tech sector. For a wannabe female techology entrepreneur any doubt will simply hold you back. You need to have an unswerving confidence in your own abilities and need a positive outlook especially during the more challenging times. My favourite saying is “optimism is a force multiplier”, remember that even if at first you don’t succeed then try again. Numerous famous start-ups tasted failure, but kept going, maybe pivoted, tweaked their business models until they reached the right formula for success.

Passion, resilience, and optimism are key attributes and as long as you have these then that’s half the battle.