Finalists Announced for the 2018 Scottish Financial Services Awards

Five businesses have been selected as finalists for this year’s Scottish Financial Services Awards.

Barclays, Copylab, CYBG, Origo and Previse all impressed the judges with their range of achievements, innovation, commitment to Scotland and contribution to wider society.

The winner will be announced at the Scottish Financial Enterprise Annual Dinner in Glasgow on Thursday 25 October. The winner of the Rising Star Award will also be revealed.

Run by Scottish Financial Enterprise and sponsored by EY, the awards celebrate success and recognise excellence in financial services.

A panel of industry leaders, including SFE board members and independent judges, selected this year’s finalists. Nominees were judged on their contribution to Scotland's standing as a financial centre, their long-term perspectives, the benefits they bring for customers and their innovation and imagination.

Graeme Jones, Scottish Financial Enterprise Chief Executive, said: “The calibre of this year’s nominations was extremely high and created a difficult task for the judging panel. The range of businesses represented in the final line-up illustrates our diverse and successful industry, which continues to grow with 10,000 new financial services jobs being created and the second highest foreign direct investment in the UK being secured.

“The commitment from the finalists to local communities and the next generation of talent is very encouraging and I would like to thank and congratulate the finalists for their efforts to make a positive difference not only customers and clients, but to wider society as well.

“We’re thrilled to once again recognise people in the early stages of their career who have demonstrated outstanding potential and looked beyond their own personal career to promote financial services. Congratulations to this year’s Rising Star Award finalists, Alex McCutcheon and Milly Dent, who are both passionate about supporting the success of fellow young professionals.”

Sue Dawe, Head of Financial Services at EY in Scotland, said: “This year’s finalists are incredible people and organisations that signify the quality of Scotland’s financial services industry. They demonstrate our industry’s ability to create high value jobs, revolutionise operations through a relentless commitment to innovation and the adoption of new technologies while also nurturing the next generation of leaders.

“Those shortlisted represent our industry as a community inspired to make significant contributions to Scotland’s wider society. It is important that the passion of those working within financial services who strive do more for the greater good is celebrated and showcased as examples for others to follow.”

Previous recipients of the Scottish Financial Services Award include, Edinburgh-based fintech Nucleus, which listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM after winning the Award in 2017, Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco Bank and Standard Life Investments.

Victoria Maclean, an Equities Fund Manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments, won the inaugural Rising Star Award in 2017 and has gone on to become Chairwoman of SFE Young Professionals.

The finalists for the 2018 Scottish Financial Services Award are:

Barclays has been selected for enabling local communities in Scotland to prosper through the sharing of skills and experience. The bank’s range of initiatives and projects, including Digital Eagles, Eagle Lab and LifeSkills, are making a positive impact on wider society. With over 90% of Scottish secondary schools registered for LifeSkills, Barclays is supporting young people to prepare for the 21st century workplace. Over 2,000 children, and their parents, in the Govanhill area have directly benefited from Barclays support, helping them look beyond current circumstances and consider a range of future opportunities. The Eagle Lab provides a space for entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses to innovate, upscale and collaborate. Barclays decision to build a new state-of-the-art campus in Glasgow will transform the Buchanan Wharf and is a significant commitment to Scotland, with the prospect of up to 2,500 new jobs.

Copylab is a pioneering Scottish exporter. In the past five years, the specialist investment writing agency has become the largest of its kind in the world, creating more than 70 high-value careers in North America, the Middle East, Asia and most importantly, in Scotland.  Copylab's specialist financial writers create high-quality, creative and technical communications for asset managers, insurance companies, wealth managers and fintech companies. It’s an accredited Living Wage Employer and has signed the Scottish Government’s Business Pledge. Copylab’s paid internship programme with Glasgow University is a consummate example of a small organisation supporting the next generation.

CYBG, owner of Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and digital banking service, B, has created a new technology platform which is transforming the bank into a leading financial services innovator and placing it at the forefront of the Open Banking revolution. The development of the platform was an important strategic objective, making CYBG a truly digital bank, with the ability to deliver flexible, omni-channel capabilities for customers at speed. The platform is operated entirely by its digital team in Glasgow. CYBG’s technology and innovation centre of excellence has created high-value technology jobs in the city and the bank has cemented its long-term commitment to Scotland with investment in a new Glasgow headquarters.

Based in Edinburgh and of critical service to the whole of the UK, Origo is Scotland’s longest running fintech, dedicated to improving outcomes for consumers by transforming the financial services industry’s operating efficiencies. The Options Transfers Service has seen an 80% reduction in the time it takes to transfer pensions and ISAs and its Pensions Dashboard project could have a major, positive social impact. The Integration Hub is helping smaller platforms, providers and software suppliers interface with larger players in the industry. This ability to develop new technologies that connect the industry and help position Scotland at the forefront of fintech is at the heart of Origo’s success.

Previse opened a Glasgow office last year, creating nearly 40 new data science jobs, and established an Edinburgh base shortly after. The fintech company’s mission is to get suppliers paid instantly. Its smart tech analyses the data of a large buyer to predict the very few invoices that are unlikely to get paid, so that the rest can be paid instantly. Previse has quickly become part of the fintech community, partnering with The Data Lab and the University of Strathclyde. It has shown a real commitment to supporting home-grown talent into employment by partnering with Auticon UK to create tech jobs for autistics adults in Glasgow.

The finalists for the 2018 Rising Star Award are:

Alex McCutcheon
The Business Consultant at Sopra Steria has a passion for fostering digital talent and supporting fellow young professionals within financial services. Alex has proven himself to be an excellent ambassador for the industry not only through his work with Sopra Steria, but also with SFE Young Professionals. He has demonstrated outstanding potential and development in the early stages of his career illustrated by becoming one of the youngest members of the key accounts team at Sopra Steria and providing senior leaders in the industry with unique and valued insights into the market.

Milly Dent
The Commercial Manager at the Royal Bank of Scotland goes above and beyond to ensure colleagues and networks are set up for success. She supports young professionals and organises events for charity, volunteer days and training for graduates. Her passion to embrace innovation and use it to create positive change among wider society shone through in a project for the Chartered Banker: Young Banker of the Year Competition in which she reached the semi-finals with an idea to build customer trust in banking.