I can recall a conversation I had around the time I started Pellucid Analytics. It was with a former colleague, with whom I am good friends, and we talked about why there needed to be a better way to create pitchbooks; namely a technology platform that could seamlessly produce client-ready content. He supported my goal of reimagining the pitchbook process but questioned how it would be achieved. “How are you going to entice enough investment bankers to leave their jobs and join you to make this a success?” he asked.
“Why do you think I need bankers to work on this? There are 100,000 bankers living with this problem every day, and it’s not been solved yet. If they are the ones to solve it, wouldn’t it be solved already? If we keep using the same skills, we are going to have the same outcomes.”
This approach appealed to his economic sensibilities. The discussion expanded to how team diversity leads to innovation, such as solving the Enigma encryption, where crossword puzzlers, linguists and expert chess players were recruited in addition to code breakers.
His next question was, “So if not investment bankers, who?”
To me, it’s a question of what, not who. What skills are needed to work on this problem and successfully solve it?
I explained that I needed expertise in the following areas:
Some people may have two or more of these skills, some skills require more than one person but connecting this specialist knowledge bubbles-up new approaches and ideas that go a long way toward solving what are common problems for investment bankers.
As an investment banking group head, I always searched for talent outside of traditional graduate programs because I knew I needed diverse skills in my team for optimal outcomes. As a result, my groups included more engineers, physicists, and mathematicians than other banking groups.
It’s important to note, this isn’t an issue of intelligence. Most bankers would be successful in any career path they undertake. My concern is that many choose a traditional finance path; I don’t want to just hire people that think like bankers, but also people who have been trained to think like scientists or engineers.
"If not bankers, then who?"
Fixing the pitchbook requires some obvious skills like financial analysis, but also some competencies you may not traditionally find in investment banking departments, such as design proficiency and streamlined change management. For these skills, I needed to look outside of finance.
Since its inception, Pellucid Analytics has brought together a team of highly skilled individuals from across the ambit of the eight pillars. Individuals are put in a position to maximize their impact on the company’s success and are given the freedom to define exactly how that happens. It’s a true meritocracy where capability rather than seniority defines how we tackle problems and build solutions.
This year, as we begin our roll-out across the Street, there is one thing I can say for sure. The Pellucid content platform was made possible by people whose skill sets and experiences contrast yet compliment the traditional abilities of investment bankers. I say this as someone who has these “investment banking skills” and know for sure that alone, it would have taken me a million years to come up with something that works as well as Pellucid. But by hiring a diverse, wide range of skills, I think we’ve finally fixed the pitchbook problem.
Want to learn more about Pellucid? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pellucid blends technology and design to create beautiful, client-ready charts. Find out more at www.pellucid.com.