Interviews

FinTrU's Roli Shaw: 'Continue investment in the individuals'

  • Sync NI spoke with Roli Shaw, General Counsel and Head of FinTrU Legal, about the firm’s new Legal Assured Skills Academy, and the progress of the homegrown company’s legal department despite Covid-19.

    The business is currently hiring for more experienced Legal roles at Associate, Senior Associate and Vice President level, which you can find out more about here.

    Can you give us a brief overview of exactly what FinTrU Legal does?

    FinTrU Legal supports the Company’s legal product line pursuant to which we provide a variety of legal services to our clients - which are investment banks. In the same way that many other areas of banks have been challenged, regulatory change has had a significant impact on our client’s legal teams as they strive to maintain regulatory compliance within their trading relationships.

    Significant regulatory change has required change to existing legal agreements and the implementation of new agreements. The demands on legal teams’ time has far outweighed the supply across the industry.

    That has created opportunity for the likes of FinTrU to assist in the provision of those services usually by augmenting their existing teams but also by being an outsource solution for clearly defined projects. Either way, we work very closely in partnership with them to support document intensive businesses such as derivatives.

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    Where a lot of businesses have maybe struggled throughout the pandemic, has FinTrU’s legal services been inundated with regulatory changes and the loom of Brexit? Has there been a need for growth?

    Our own response to Covid is something we were very proud of. It’s very much been business as usual for us. The company has grown quite significantly in the last five to six months which was part of our pre-covid plan. We reacted very quickly by investing in the technology so we could get everyone working from home productively and we moved from 100% working in the offices to 100% working from home in a three week period and prior to lockdown being put in place. This hasn’t impacted our service delivery to our clients, if anything we have increased our productivity.

    Covid creates a business opportunity in a different way to Brexit. I think our clients are reassessing their outsourcing strategies. Now that they have seen how an agile company like FinTrU has responded to something like Covid, in a way that maybe they're not able to respond to, they are more open to broadening their outsourcing strategy.

    There’s also the fact that Northern Ireland is a superb location from a technology infrastructure perspective and that helps provide a platform for companies such as FinTrU are truly agile and they've shown really no disruption in their service provision. We have seen competitors based in other locations struggle to maintain their service levels simply because the technology infrastructure wasn’t there.

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    A lot of people associate FinTrU with being a fintech company. It was founded in NI in 2014. Has the legal department been around since inception?

    It's been around for over four years. I joined FinTrU about a year ago the legal department was about 40 people. We are projecting that it will be at least 100 by the end of the year.

    I see that growth continuing so it’s a great time to come and join the legal team and FinTrU because we are adding new clients and new projects. That was one of the big motivations to launch the Academy. We will need people of various levels and we must respect the local marketplace.

    It is important for companies like ourselves to train and develop and build from within and we’ve always been committed to that. Our culture is very important to us and it’s very important to FinTrU that it supports the local economy and future generations whilst at the same time striving to constantly improve our services. To do that we see the best strategy as a blend of developing talent alongside seasoned professionals.

    With the pipeline that we see over the next two years, we're very confident that we can support the Legal Academy and those individuals who come and join us in their development; that's a really exciting time.

    FinTrU has ran quite a lot of Assured Skills Academies prior to this one. Is this the first legal Academy, and what advice do you have for applicants?

    This is the first legal Academy in Northern Ireland that's been done under the Assured Skills programme. I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. The requirements are very similar to any of the other Assured Skills Academies. A Legal Academy will be more attractive to law graduates, but the reality is there is scope for people who are more commercially minded, who maybe have business or even language degrees. We work in a global industry and languages are very valuable. Where these Academy graduates will end up is in the legal services area and so we want people who want to work in that area. We also have a lot of opportunities for Legal Professionals at a more senior level including Associate, Senior Associate and Vice President.

    We want to make sure our staff feel supported more than ever during these times. It’s a dynamic business and it can be very pressured at times, but we're continuing to invest in our staff. We talk about new clients and continued growth, but we have to make sure that we continue the investment in the individuals. Investment starts at Academy level, but it never stops. So, you know, it’s a good time to come and join FinTrU.

    FinTrU’s Legal Academy will be delivered virtually over six weeks and begins on Monday 24 August. Applications are open to those with at least a 2:2 degree in any discipline, although a degree in law or languages is preferred. Find more info and how to apply here. Find out about FinTrU’s other career opportunities here. right here in Northern Ireland.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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