January 23rd, 2019
Andy Robertson: FinTech innovator making wealth creation simple
Across his 30+ year career in financial markets and technology, Andy has helped deliver sophisticated solutions to enable New Zealand’s leading exchanges, wholesale banking, stock broking and wealth management firms adapt and grow.
Andy is our 'go-to' for all things FinTech. As our Chief Innovation Officer, his focus is on driving our product, service and market innovation through best-of-breed technology and shaping the future of investing and wealth management for our clients.
We chat to Andy about his experience working in the FinTech space, how he went from a Junior FX dealer to Chelmer Director, owner, CEO and now Chief Innovation Officer, and the trends he’s observed in the industry.
Q) How did you get into FinTech?
A: In high school I had a mad professor type in Economics and he encouraged us to take part in stock market trading and investing. So the investing seed was planted then. The technology side evolved from my early career at BNZ in the financial markets department at a time of considerable change. I was fortunate to be involved in some very leading edge projects and my passion grew from there. In 1993, I jumped at the opportunity to join Chelmer and develop world-class financial software solutions for wealth management – and I’ve been there ever since!
Q) What’s the appeal of financial services?
A: For me, at a macro level, the appeal is having the opportunity to improve society. At Chelmer we aim to achieve this through the delivery of software to our clients. By developing elegant solutions and making wealth creation simple and more accessible, more people (not just the small percentage who are wealthy) can create and accumulate wealth and build a better life for themselves. At a micro level I love the constant nature of fast-paced change and evolution that comes from an industry that is the intersection of money and technology.
Q) How did your various roles at Chelmer evolve?
A: When I initially came on board as a Business Development Manager and a Board Director, I was responsible for repositioning Chelmer from a front-office dealing room tech provider to a world-class technology partner to the financial services industry. I established a long-term strategic direction and meaningful vision for the company. ‘Making wealth creation simple and more accessible’ is a vision that really resonates and is part of the reason why I became an owner of the company. As CEO, my focus was to turn this vision into reality and take Chelmer’s industry-leading innovation to market. Now, my recent transition to Chief Innovation Officer has enabled me to focus on the technology side which is where my true passion lies – evolving our technology to create better value for our clients, and that same vision stands today.
Q) What are some key projects you’ve worked on?
A: I’ve been fortunate to be involved in many interesting - and in some cases - leading-edge projects throughout my entire career. One that stands out was project managing the implementation of the ‘X-stream’ (NasdaqOMX) trading platform – a state-of-the-art trading platform which replaced NZX’s old legacy system. In what was an aggressive implementation period with a fixed deadline involving the entire New Zealand broking community, we achieved a very pleasing result. I get a lot of satisfaction delivering solutions that significantly improve functionality, usability and achieve greater levels of automation and efficiency. This is something I’ve been able to achieve through the implementation of various bespoke software solutions for our clients at Chelmer, which involved replacing old legacy systems with our modern Chelmer Suite tech stack.
Q) What industry-shaping trends have you observed throughout your career?
A: Over the last 30 years, I’ve seen financial technology continually evolve and transform the industry, making financial services faster, more efficient and accessible. I believe to be truly successful and thrive in this age of digital transformation requires a focus on providing individualized experiences and solutions at scale – rather than a standard one-size-fits-all approach. Providing surety, flexibility and personalisation is key!
Q) What do you do in your spare time?
Outside of work I like to get out on the water. I’m a seasoned competitive sailor and have competed internationally in Olympic class regattas. Along the way, we won five NZ Tornado national titles and a variety of titles in other classes. I’d say this is probably where my planning, communication and teamwork skills were honed. Nowadays it’s a bit more relaxed but I still take part in the SSANZ.co.nz two handed series of races, ranging from 50-250 nautical miles and round the buoys racing in the e59.org.nz class – both of which are a lot of fun.
Find out more about Andy or connect on LinkedIn.
To learn more about Chelmer’s flexible, custom-component software solutions for investing and wealth management visit our Solutions page.