Name: Richard Bell
Position: Head of Financial Services Business Development
In the 34 years I was at Barclays I spent the majority of my time delivering large projects and programmes, so Cutover as a product is very relevant to what I used to do. For the last eight years of my career with Barclays, I held a number of Technology Chief Operating Officer roles for Investment Banking, Wealth and Investment Management and Corporate Banking. My experience as a COO really embedded the importance of commerciality within a corporate environment with a key focus on cost, risk, performance and people.
After leaving Barclays I consulted with a number of organisations, including HSBC Commercial Banking and successfully started my own executive coaching practice.
How did you get involved with Cutover?
For the last few years of my banking technology career, I was very passionate about ensuring that change was being delivered with maximum efficiency, certainty of delivery and that it solved real business problems. The aggregate impact of multiple deliverables in the same or adjacent delivery slots piqued my interest in Enterprise Release Management (ERM). ERM is focused on harmonising multiple release activities into coherent groups of common value e.g. bundling all releases that relate to a single client proposition such as cash management, dramatically reducing the drip feed of business change.
After retiring from Barclays in 2014, I was talking to somebody in London over a cup of coffee who told me about two people who were developing a software platform to support the kind of ERM methodology I was interested in. When we met it turned out that they were doing something slightly different which further extended the release value proposition.
This led to me joining the co-founding team and the world of automated runbook technology for critical events management. Cutover’s runbooks focus on the sharp end of critical events, directly supporting the people on the ground. My ERM interests have evolved within the product and the first version of release “Air Traffic Control” (ATC) will be launched with Cutover V3.0.
What are your main responsibilities?
My primary focus is on developing the Cutover business within financial services and providing design input on the evolution of the Cutover product. It’s been an interesting crossover from being in a role where I used to purchase vendor products to now be developing and selling them to people like myself.
What have been your biggest challenges since joining the Cutover team?
There are a couple of things that I thought would be congruent with my previous life in banking technology that actually turned out to be very different. Firstly, I thought that because I used to buy vendor products I’d be great at selling them. I soon learned that selling was a skill that I didn’t yet have, so becoming a sales person was a key learning experience for me.
Secondly, the big difference between working for a major corporation and working for a FinTech startup is that in a large corporation, the financial challenge is all about operating within a cost budget. In a startup, there is no budget for the next year unless it is generated through sales or received as investment. That’s a big cultural difference and was a great lesson for me.
What are your main priorities going forward and what do you see in the future for Cutover?
The main priority this year is to put in place the next stage of our operating model that will set up Cutover for global success. A big part of that is making sure we have a world-class team to support the world-class platform.
I think Cutover is on a fantastic trajectory to becoming a global SaaS platform and I think it can play a major role in the broader delivery of change required to support the hybrid world of human and technical orchestration.
You can connect with Richard on LinkedIn.