Fidelity International has scripted an incredible journey of success, acclaim and fame to turn itself into a global investment management services company. In conversation with Candor Connect, Richard Watton, Head of Corporate Property Services, Fidelity International talks about the reason behind the company’s consistent focus on initiating great workplaces.
Fidelity International delivers investment solutions, retirement expertise and full-service asset management outsourcing to individual and institutional investors. The company also provides workplace pension administration services as well as access to other asset managers’ funds through its platforms across countries. Currently, it manages around $430 billion of assets (under management and under administration) for clients in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and South America.
The Indian arm of Fidelity International has witnessed significant growth in its business and operations since its inception in 2001. The company has two offices in India presently: one in Noida, and the other at the Candor TechSpace campus in Sector 48, Gurugram (Haryana).
The workspace often plays a deciding role in making an organisation a good place to work. This in turn can improve business performance by motivating employees to achieve goals that benefit the company. We spoke to Richard Watton, Head of Corporate Property Services,
Fidelity International, to know more about the company’s vision on initiating great workplaces and fostering innovation.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
Q. Workplaces have been in a state of flux and experimentation in recent years. Would you say that the Fidelity International workplace has undergone big changes over the years too? If yes, please elaborate.
Absolutely! We have moved from a traditional cabin and workstation based environment to an open-plan, collaborative and agile workplace. And this is true for not just our Gurugram office, but for our new offices in Tokyo, Taipei, Dublin (and soon for our London office) too.
The new spaces are bright, stimulating and engaging enough to encourage better interaction, while facilitating private and quiet meetings when required. The secret to our new workplace is ‘variety’—it does work. In fact, the feedback from staff has been very positive.
Q. Many employers are striving to provide an engaging environment that both attracts the best talent and helps them to collaborate and innovate. How is Fidelity International working towards achieving this?
Employees are our greatest asset and space plays a part in attracting, retaining and getting the best from them. Stories from our Dublin office clearly demonstrate that potential recruits who come to the office are always impressed by its design and layout. We would like to think that the same can be said of our new office at the Candor TechSpace campus.
Q. What is your one vital advice that would be of help to those who are aspiring to work for Fidelity International?
I would advise them to be curious—look to learn, grow and develop—for one can never know where a career with Fidelity International could lead!
Q. While more and more people are giving importance to workplace culture when taking up a job these days, customers too are not far behind in their expectations from a company. What sets your workplace culture apart from the rest?
That would be our focus on looking out for our clients’ best interests. Irrespective of which department of the business they are currently working in, we always remind our staff to think of the client’s needs first.
Q. What are the factors that make up an ideal workplace?
I would say that it is flexibility, accessibility, reliability, technology, quality, comfort and cleanliness.
Q. Consolidating separate offices into a single workspace is a phenomenon that is becoming evident among employers these days. Fidelity International too has done that by consolidating its offices and taking up several floors in the Sector 48 campus of Candor TechSpace. What are the benefits of such a move?
There is a clear consideration of economies of scale when consolidating premises, but more importantly, it is about the bringing together of a diverse group of people with a common aim to support our business and look after our customers.
The office is not just a place where you go to work; it is also where interaction happens and where a casual conversation might turn into an idea which can add value. The more such ‘collision conversations’ we can encourage, the better.