Fintech firms are in a battle with larger financial services companies for technology talent with an understanding of the financial services industry. These three technology companies in the U.S. are hiring next year - here's why.
Don Bergal is the chief marketing officer of Avoka, a fintech firm that provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) for everything from account opening, loan and credit card applications or applying for a government license or service.
“Our customers selling to large institutional and business customers, and they are looking for us to handle back-office processing and their customers’ digital experience,” Bergal said.
Bergal says that the majority of the jobs that Avoka is currently recruiting and hiring for widely are technical positions – software engineers, architects and consultants who want to work with financial customers on fintech projects. Software skills are more important than financial services knowledge.
Avoka has been hiring aggressively. In the past year, it has grown from about 80 employees to about 140 worldwide.
“We’re bringing people in as fast as we can, and not just sales and marketing folks, but also customer implementation and support, as well as technical positions,” Bergal said. “We grew 70% in five or six months, and next year we will add another 50 positions worldwide, technical roles for the most part, plus customer support and business-development positions.”
Avoka’s headquarters is in Sydney, while its largest office is Broomfield, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. It also has a London office.
The technical positions at Avoka include software and web development, including coders fluent in Java, HTML5 and application architecture. The firm also needs to add more personnel to strengthen its customer-facing presence in building applications for big enterprises.
Redtail Technology, a Web-based customer relationship management system for financial advisers, added 10 employees in 2016, with the customer-service department experiencing the largest amount of growth in headcount. The firm also added to its sales, training and development teams this year, driven by an increase in demand for integration with third-party software, customer assistance and training on new customers using the firm’s products for the first time.
Redtail plans to add 15 more employees in 2017.
“We are targeting growth in all departments, with customer service experiencing the largest growth,” said David Mehlhorn, director of sales at Redtail. “We have seen a significant change in the training and adoption roles, not only within Redtail but within the fintech industry as a whole.
“There is a significant push by broker-dealers and [other financial] institutions to begin mandating or at least strongly pushing advisors toward the adoption of technology,” he said. “For Redtail and the CRM space, we are seeing broker-dealers and [wealth management] institutions take a great interest in how their advisers and [registered] reps utilize the technology.
Orion Advisor Services, a wealth management technology and service provider, added 56 new people in 2016 and is on target to end the year having increased net headcount by 64. The largest areas of increase with staff were accounting and IT personnel.
Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion, anticipates a total of 29 net new hires for 2017. Again, the majority of the hires will be in accounting and IT roles. The firm hires for roles at its offices in Seattle, New York and Omaha.
“The area where it is the most difficult to hire is in relation to IT developers,” Clarke said. “We see opportunities in fintech focused on trying to help advisors comply with the new DOL regulations and to have technology that is on par with robo-advisers."
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