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Needless to say, business knowledge is a cornerstone of WealthTech development. Making training sessions for developers helps them increase involvement and motivation, thus reducing costs regarding development, hiring, and retaining employees. 

Nowadays, as the whole world goes remote, knowing how to motivate people distantly is a must for every company that wants to succeed. To ensure the knowledge of developers is robust and relevant, companies must choose different ways to deliver it. In this article, we outline what activities companies have in place to ensure their employees have specific wealth management knowledge.

Regular training sessions within the company. In cases where an engineering team doesn’t have domain knowledge, Catherine Clay, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Information Solutions at Cboe, says the business has to spend time educating and training them about concepts like capital markets, market structures, option theory, derivatives, etc. Cboe provides internal training where outside consultants and internal coaches educate employees across departments.

“We want to get everyone elevated in terms of their knowledge base. Whether it’s internal coaching and teaching, and whether [or not] we bring in consultants, it’s happening constantly here.” Catherine Clay, Cboe

It’s Catherine’s opinion, based on years of experience, that developers with deep domain knowledge are extremely valuable. The reasoning is simple — it takes longer for an engineer without domain expertise to understand functional requirements and specifications, especially if there are errors in the specifications. Catherine also prefers engineering team leaders who have domain knowledge.

“There’s this debate that goes on about what would you rather have, an engineer who started as an engineer and then learned about the capital markets? Or somebody who has really deep domain knowledge about the capital markets and then learned how to be a good programmer? And I would always take the latter.” Catherine Clay, Cboe

They invite advisers into the offices so they can conduct a workshop on how advisory business works. Advisers talk about how they spend their workdays, what they like or dislike about their work, what are the bottlenecks that the software is supposed to eliminate, and so on. Such workshops allow teams to see the bigger picture and walk in their users’ shoes, which means they are able to dive deeper into the tasks and how they influence the overall system.

To ensure their software engineers understand the industry, Riskalyze implements the following steps:

  • Software engineers periodically shadow training and support calls.
  • Michael McDaniel, Riskalyze’s CIO and former investment advisor, provides “The Day in the Life of an Advisor” where he lays out, over the course of about four hours, how the industry works from the advisor’s side.

Matt Pistone, CTO, believes that this helps their teams get the domain context, obtain industry knowledge, and understand their customers’ needs.They hold knowledge sharing sessions between teams and departments. To maintain a  healthy atmosphere and motivation in a company, it’s useful to conduct knowledge sharing sessions. During such meetups, representatives of different teams or departments within a company share the insights they’ve received while working on one of their projects. In such sessions, not only can technical specialists present but also those of sales teams. Sharing market insights can also contribute greatly to the cohesive picture of the industry, thus allowing teams to provide the most efficient and forward-looking solutions.

Every Wednesday, the entire development team at Laserfiche meets with the sales and marketing teams to demo the new features and projects that are in the works. As Greg Eisenberg, Director of Engineering in there, says these demos can range from a “seed of an idea” to something that is close to release. This meeting of minds is a wonderful opportunity to get feedback on all stages of development.

“Towards the end of the product cycle, our product team actually helps train the sales and presales teams that then go out and train our resellers for how these new features are going to impact the product and how they can best utilize that.” Greg Eisenberg, Laserfiche

Guide: Human Resource Management for Distributed FinTech Teams

 

Games and tournaments. Educational games demand the least effort to motivate participation. They are especially efficient in case you offer prizes that have real value. Financial wellness in itself is a valuable prize. For example, trading companies can offer employees to participate in a tournament and make as much money as possible in one month. The tournament is accompanied by lectures and workshops about trading, which help participants achieve higher results in the competition. Such a tournament enables companies to quickly and without great expenditure involve engineers in the education process, and it allows them to feel the pains of the end-users and evokes proactivity in them.

At INSART, we conducted an experiment wherein we asked our engineers to play a financial game called “The Life Capital,” a personal finance simulator. “The Life Capital” is a modern “Cashflow 101” game adaptation, an educational tool in board game format originally designed by Robert Kiyosaki. We adapted it to cater to the local realities of Eastern Europe, added assets and businesses that employees can easily understand.

The game teaches engineers to build partnerships and prioritize collectivity, which is crucial for the software development industry as a whole and the startup FinTech environment specifically. Personal finance management skills acquired by employees during gameplay enable them to own their own financial freedom, which also drives increased loyalty and motivation.

Retirement plans and personal finance assistance. It isn’t a rare practice to offer employees personal financial plans helping them gather a certain amount for retirement. WealthTechs go beyond that. By providing more efficient and easy instruments for investing in the market, companies can improve the financial wellness of their employees, grow motivation by allowing a personal impact, and involve them in the finance knowledge area on-the-way. When WealthTechs open accounts in their systems for employees, they allow them to use the advantages they provide to users and, simultaneously, obtain a better understanding of the systems’ specifics and users’ needs.

WealthBar has a mandatory savings account set up for every employee that the company funds as part of the employees’ compensation, says Chris Nicola, CTO. The account is a flexible group or a retirement-savings plan. In addition to compensation, the aim of the program is to put them in the shoes of the company’s clients by making them use the platform they work on. Through their own experience, it becomes easier to understand how saving money and investing money into a portfolio works. And what’s more, they get a real sense of what it is they do for their clients.

Takeaways

Helping engineers navigate through the convoluted financial world is beneficial for the companies in which they work, especially if communication is limited and the whole team works remotely. That’s why so many WealthTechs introduce training sessions, retirement plans, and other types of perks for developers as part of their HR practice.

To obtain more information about how to engage developers in WealthTech, enforce your employer brand, and hire more talent, read our latest guide on HR processes in a Fintech company. Enjoy numerous techniques and real examples from Fintech companies and Fintech CTO Club members.

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