FE fundinfo is a global leader in investment fund data and technology. Trusted for data, technology solutions, research and analysis, open international network and expert insights, they provide transparency and enable efficiency to unlock business potential for asset managers, fund managers, distributors and financial advisers. 

The FE fundinfo and Godel partnership kickstarted 2020. The team, which last year was a finalist at the Digital Technology Leaders Awards has been working together to deliver modern digital solutions to manage data and streamline processes to provide substantial benefits to FE fundinfo’s customers. 

In this episode our host Laura Ainscough, Service Delivery Manager at Godel is joined by Louise Moore, Head of Technology Operations at FE fundinfo to discuss the transformation and change efforts within technology teams, the constant cycle of adapting and the advantages of using a nearshore partner.

This is an edited transcript, for more conversations on the latest in tech, subscribe to The Godel POD on Podbean and Spotify. Podcast jingle provided by the Hideout YouthZone

Podcast transcript 

Laura Ainscough: Hi everybody and welcome to another episode of The Godel POD. I’m back hosting again. Laura Ainscough from the Service Delivery division and today I’m back at the FE fundinfo office again in London. 

Today my special guest is Louise Moore from FE fundinfo. Thank you so much for joining us and just to obviously introduce your role as well, Louise is Head of Technology Operations here at FE fundinfo, newly appointed job title as well as the official announcement. I suppose it’d just be great to introduce yourself to our listeners and probably get a little bit about your role. 

Louise Moore: I’d love to. So I am Louise. As Laura said, working as Head of Technology Operations here at FE fundinfo for not quite a year but I’ve been with the company for 4 years. It was an internal move and I essentially came to work for Paul, CTO to help him bring together two really core functions.  So we were amalgamating product and technology under his leadership and he needed someone who could help him to bring together the right structure and Governance at the management level. But also making sure that we have the teams interacting properly, were monitoring and tracking the right. That’s essentially what I’ve been working on for the last nine months and enjoying it.

Laura Ainscough: I don’t think we’ve ever had someone on with your role as well, which is just so important to every business. This and bringing divisions together and everything and what I suppose I’d really love to dive deeper in is, how you know the metrics came for. How you know, what’s good? Looks like, you know, when you feel like there is that success. I don’t know where we start here. With the KPI’s and success metrics. 

Louise Moore: We started really in kind of Q4 of last year when we were thinking about the budget process and what our product roadmap could look like and the beauty of having the product and technology teams under one leadership, the inception of those ideas happened together. So already we have product and technology complete lockstep around what was feasibly possible to roll out, and how long. Do you know what resource requirements would we need? So all of those discussions happened together at the beginning, which was brilliant. How we were able to agree on essentially, the product road map for the whole of 2024, we then took that road map, we socialised it with our commercial teams to make sure that we were focusing our attention in the right areas, are we going to be building things that our clients. Got the right level of socialisation there so even those discussions just having those three teams involved in those discussions was a brilliant stepping stone. And then since then, we’ve just made sure that we’ve got the right meetings in place and the right cadence tracking. Yeah, to ensure that we are actually hitting the relevant software delivery milestones and so we have a road map with an associated sort of technology. 

And we just make sure that they’re set and that was the beginning really, of our KPI journey. We’ve moved more into a kind of return on investment. We wanted to deliver this piece of software. We said it would take X amount of time, but actually how much does it cost to do that, And how much are we now setting that product feature set 4 and is it worth it? Do you use that data too?  And we’ve we’ve built. A tool internally that allows us to essentially track the resource allocation every product, software rollout and that’s and we’re actually reporting that up to all levels. So they can have that level of ROI. So yeah, I mean it’s taken us a while to roll out that process because yeah, we’re relying on the relevant technology and product team speeding in that day to two hours on a monthly basis. Yeah. Suppose it’s sometimes the hardest bit to get people on that journey with you because I’m sure you’ve come into the role like this is. What we’re trying to do, and you’re reporting up to, you know, CTA. How did you get people on the journey with you? I think that’s yeah. And a lot of clients struggle with that part, really Make sure, yeah, carrot and stick. 

What we did was when we bought product and technology together, we had an off-site, a management off-site, we made sure we were really, really clear on our objectives for the year. We then actually held a town hall with everybody in products and everybody in engineering to play back the results of that off-site. So yeah, from the beginning, they were kept informed that this is what we discussed as a leadership team. This is what we agreed with the priorities for the year. And this is the impact on you? As an employee, this is so we made it quite clear from the beginning that there was going to be a big focus on metrics. So I think that helped them know it was coming. Naturally, you have challenges in the process and the timing. You know people struggling there. But we’ve we’ve got there. I mean, everyone has been really winning. And I’ve got, you know, a team under me, a couple of allies to a wonderful and yes, I gave him a badge of chief nagging officer. I love it. I love. I love that title. We need to take that again. 

Laura Ainscough: Obviously you probably don’t want to blow your own trumpet, but I suppose that’s why the importance of your role, where it’s not trying to hurt people against each other. You’re there to bring everybody together and that’s probably key to why it has worked here as well. 

Louise Moore: Mean we have a bit of the job within the leadership team. I think one of my colleagues calls me teacher’s pet a little bit wrong, it’s to hold people to account and make sure that we’re getting the data on time and yes they get it, and we just joke about it, but somehow it’s cheesy isn’t when you say 1-2 one goal, but at the end of the day, if it’s product engineering delivery like that is the reality that is bringing it to get. Yeah, you will do the same thing at the end of the day. But maybe sometimes they don’t agree with that, but we agree on the end goal. How we get our guests up for grabs.

Laura Ainscough: And I suppose obviously from that success of it. But you know, I’m sure you’re then able to collect that data and then bring in changes to the organisation where you know again, that’s another direction really, but how do you implement those changes if you needed to and how do you go about that to wider business? 

Louise Moore: It’s a really well-timed question actually, because despite bringing products and engineering together we’re actually now in a position where, by the organisation is restructuring, yeah, and we are separating out the two products and teams. You know, we’ve recently brought on board a chief Product officer which is really exciting. So we’re going to be separating the teams out again. So the challenge for me and my team is going to be how do we continue those operational KPI reporting processes? Yeah, across two separate functions. I don’t have the answers to those. Next challenge. I think it’s the same as rolling out any change. It’s being really clear in what you know, it’s being really clear what you don’t know and being able to document any process change and the impact that has had on individuals’ clarity of change in process is really important. 

Laura Ainscough: Do you obviously use a lot of these changes like with the data that you collect? Is that how you may be present which is very key to again bringing people on that doing it? 

Louise Moore: I mean, I’m reluctant to change the data capture mechanism because we’d rather out it’s working. People understand it. Naturally. It’s not perfect. Yeah, but it’s a way of working, so I’m reluctant to change the way we capture the data. The type of data metrics that we capture is likely to change just because of the separation of the two teams.  I think I do think yeah, that the data can definitely have an influence in terms of what you might want to change within the process. 

Laura Ainscough: And I suppose another thing was efficient and very another layer of it for you as well as you were based in loads of different locations. Yeah, we’re obviously here today in London, but you’re everywhere. It’s great that you get to travel around as well, but I suppose that’s another layer in itself, isn’t it, when you’re bringing on these changes and you might not be doing it F2F, any advice on. 

Louise Moore: Like probably most global companies now, yeah, we, you know, we’re fully operational with the technology setup. So Microsoft Teams is an absolute godsend. Yes, we do all of our meeting routines. Yeah. I would say virtually every call I’m on with colleagues from around. That our infrastructure works brilliantly just enables the discussions, yeah. I was actually on a call this morning where we were able to use a virtual whiteboard we were brainstorming it was weird but you can’t underestimate the technological infrastructure needed in order to collaborate across ponds. Yeah, and that’s been really good, saying that, I think. Do you know now that the pandemic’s lifted? Yeah. The senior leadership team are able to travel. To have all the offices as well, like bringing us together enables you to have talent, and business updated. So that way, so I think that’s helped as well. 

Laura Ainscough: And again, it’s obviously good for you to get that visibility in different offices and bring them on the journey as well, isn’t it so? I really want to come with you. I suppose I’m really interested in is when you feel like there is a need for change, you know, I think sometimes people do it on, like, a yearly basis and sometimes you know, I go into companies and they aren’t adaptable to change and they’re not doing it enough or they’re doing it too. How much from your role how? How often do you know how often do you actually analyse if there needs to be that change? Any advice? 

Louise Moore: All the time. It’s really, I think the nature of our business is it’s incredibly fast-paced, feels like we’re rolling out some number of change somewhere with the business at any one point in time. At the moment there are multiple change taking place whether it’s organisational restructures and teams changing, whether we’re running out of these feature sets or new products, or whether we’re changing our existing products and maybe migrating clients from the old to the new. That doesn’t seem to let up, so I think people get used to working in that kind of constantly changing environment. The risk, of course, is change fatigue. I just again to reiterate my point. What’s changing? Open communications and allow a forum for employees to ask questions. 

Laura Ainscough: You are in a very fast-paced industry as well I suppose. So I think when people are joining FE fundinfo. 

Louise Moore: It’s exciting, it’s wonderful from a learning opportunity perspective, I guess you just have to feel quite comfortable. 

Laura Ainscough: As a challenge and it’s staying ahead of the different trends as well, isn’t it, I suppose links were my next question. Obviously, in technology, there’s always skills upskilling you know and what do you do at Fe? Maybe to kind of keep ahead of that trend, you know? Yeah, I know you’re working on multiple products at one time, but how do you motivate your engineers about that? 

Louise Moore: There’s a couple of things we do here, so we have installed communities in practice so technology teams in particular. And you know you can just find developers that are passionate about something. They’ll create a community of practice and they’ll share their findings and their knowledge and everything they do on the weekend. Yeah. So that works well. It’s not something we necessarily track, but they happen. But I think what I’m probably more proud of is our annual hackathon event which is brilliant. It’s wonderful and essentially what you do is I think it’s a two week time frame that anybody in the business can sign up to. Yeah, have to just be a technology LED initiative, but naturally is usually lots of tech involvement and each team they’ll they’ll group themselves together, they come up with a team, they will formulate an idea like a business problem or management they’re trying to solve for. Yeah. And then they will go away and they will technically sort of they will cover The technical solution for That problem And then they’ll present that back to the the panel of judges. There’s a real incentive to think outside the box to come up with something really quirky. Yeah, I’m excited about it, AI. 

Laura Ainscough: Yeah, there’s gonna be so much. Do you think you’ll be having a go this year or participating? 

Louise Moore: I wouldn’t mind being in a group so. 

Laura Ainscough: I was going to say I can imagine you giving it a go and it’s great, though, to hear the success of that cause. I know and probably where different companies do try these Hackerthon events but I suppose it’s how you sell it and how you put it out there to the wider team, isn’t it? Cause sometimes they are a success, like here, but sometimes they can be a bit of a flop. 

Louise Moore: I have to say the uptake participation participation rate actually increases. 

Laura Ainscough: It’s probably the competitiveness. What I know what it’s like here is people want to win. And it’s those then you learn of what the trends are and the you know. 

Louise Moore: Best practice is shared. 

Laura Ainscough: And yeah, and then you probably can use some of that information and data as well to make this kind of key decisions. And I suppose again on the technology part of side of it, I suppose it’s really great to see women in leadership role, which is, you know, fantastic and I think, you know, recently they lost some statistics at the moment where I think it’s like 28% of tech leadership roles are women, so it’s great to obviously keep addressing this as well and when we’re not really, the majority in the sector, it’s quite nice to ask you the question of how did you get in this industry? What attracted you? 

Louise Moore: Well, I mean, I was fortuitous in I was already working in the organisation and I think with the combination of bringing products and doing together for all the CTO, he recognised that was that there was a need for this role and I just happened to be the candidate that got the job. I think from that perspective, it was definitely about a skill set and not a gender requirement. But saying that I’m actually really enjoying being in a team of all men, I’ve never worked in a team of just men.  I’m enjoying it, it’s great to be part of such an oddball team. 

Laura Ainscough: I suppose they’ve obviously probably welcomed you in with the different and it’s exciting for that. And like you say, your CTO recognises your skills and it’s just probably happened quite naturally and now you’re just in the technology sector. And I suppose just for other women may be in the industry and you know, a leadership role, what, what advice would you give these women who are maybe wanting to learn and try and get themselves in a similar position? 

Louise Moore: I think I probably got two pieces of advice. The first one is to say from the professional side of things, I think get yourself as many mentors as you can and they don’t need to be official mentor. But you know, whether it’s an uncle or a friend, you know, a friend’s mum or someone that’s got more experience than you in the pressure world. Yeah, if that’s the world you want to go in, whatever world you’re interested in and just leverage. I think I found when I when I look back on my career, there’s always been at least one mentor in that current job I really looked up to follow their guidance. Use them as a wrong model. Yeah, in some instances, learn what not to do. Yeah, that’s important. And the other thing I’d say is, you know, mentally surrounded by your cheerleaders. People that lift you up when you’re having a really tough day, back when you’ve had a great day. That I think both in work and outside of work. 

Laura Ainscough: No, I totally agree. And sometimes, you know, I think, you know, work works as you can sometimes take it for granted. Like, I’m in a very good working culture as well. And I get a lot of support, but I think, you know, with experience, you can some people can be in a really toxic environment which can knock you back. 

Louise Moore: You need an outlet like I’ve always had a work life and a work husband that’s been. You can call them, you know, just to have a rant or seek their advice. 

Laura Ainscough: Yeah. And I love the word you use like, cheerleader. Like, it’s those people that just, you know, give you that constructive feedback that motivates you and want to keep making you do better, whatever gender you are as well. It’s just like, keep things, isn’t it? And I suppose I’m kind of looking back on your career. Is there anything that you would change or have to learn from? 

Louise Moore: It’s a great question, not necessarily change. Yeah, I do think what I’ve learned over the years is the importance of cultural fit. Not necessarily talking about the values that have these, I’d like to think companies will buy them, but sometimes they’re just a bit saying it’s more. Terms of making sure that you’re that you’ve got the right working environment. Yeah. Do you feel rewarded? Have you got the right work? Life balance? Yeah. Whatever is important to you is reflected in your day today. I’ve definitely worked for companies in the past where it hasn’t necessarily met all of my own values and it works for a while but I wouldn’t see myself necessarily growing there long term. If you really want to grow somewhere, then that fit is. Because you’re not naturally comfortable. Where’s this role, it sounds like you found your niche and you’re growing and growing. There’s more responsibility after responsibility. 

Laura Ainscough: But I suppose it is great to see, you know that there is an increase of women. In technology as well, like. Yeah, you definitely see it. I’m not saying everyone is in leadership roles, but you can definitely see an influx, and I suppose that’s quite positive to see in this industry. 

Louise Moore: Really ositive and actually at FE fundinfo, we’ve got a really healthy kind female to male actually ratio, Yes in technology but also across the organisation the financial services industry. 

Laura Ainscough: Well, yeah, because it’s not even just the tax sector here. It is financial that’s it’s two industries that are predominantly known as male. Seeing yourself in such a position just encourages that kind of positivity as well. 

I know obviously, we’ve probably worked together and I know you got introduced to our partnership and know what Godel does within FE fundinfo, but I suppose it would be great just to hear what you think works well in a partnership like this and how we contribute to your role as well and hopefully make your life easier. 

Louise Moore: Definitely. I mean, for us, obviously, we’ve worked with you for a while now on two really critical projects. What I really like about partnership is how quickly you guys can understand what it is we’re to do, ramp up the relevant resources in the right team and just get stuck in. The speed of ramp up is great and the the work that you guys do is brilliant. I think we’ve got a great partnership and, great working relationship with our SDNS, our service delivery managers and your technology teams and the flexibility that you offer is incredibly helpful.

Laura Ainscough: Well, like you say, you’re such a fast-paced company, aren’t you as well? And I think you, you give us a lot of great challenges and I think you worked very nice work. And you want to different technologies as well, which I think our engineers are always very on it. you’re implementing a lot of this change and new direction and you’re helping kind of our engineers work with that. I suppose what we always do with our end of our podcast like this. We ask, you know, how would you describe us in three words?  

Louise Moore: How would you describe Godel in 3 words? I would say knowledgeable, definitely flexible, and fun. 

Laura Ainscough: I’ll take that. I love those. Next time we’ll do this podcast we will have a bottle of wine. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first video podcast of yours. So I’m sure people will see you more on these now. So thank you so much for your time, Louise. 

Louise Moore: Thank you for having me. Laura, it’s been great. 

Outro 

Laura Ainscough: Huge thank you to all the listeners out there who’ve listened to this instalment of the Godel pods. If you like what you hear and would like to know when we’re releasing even more episodes, please just subscribe to the Godel page on Podbean or Spotify.