An insight into becoming a Chief Marketing Officer at XTB
We grilled Joshua Raymond, Chief Marketing Officer for XTB about the skills, qualities, and attributes candidates need to possess to work within the financial sector.
What skills should you possess to become a Chief Marketing Officer of XTB?
Being a Chief Marketing Officer carries a huge amount of responsibility, especially if your firm holds client money. XTB is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and so I have a duty to ensure we are fully compliant with our regulatory responsibilities at all times and our employees understand what these are. On top of this, of course, we are a business and we have targets to hit so I need to keep an eye on our costs, define our growth strategy and ensure staff are all pulling in the same direction to achieve this. As such, you need to be a strong communicator, a strategic thinker with an ability to focus on the core strategy without getting distracted and are able to motivate and develop your staff.
Describe a normal day to us:
XTB is a retail broker offering our clients the ability to trade thousands of financial markets such as shares, indices, currencies, and commodities. So, the first thing I tend to do when I wake up is check how the Asian markets traded and how European markets are set to open, alongside checking my emails. I normally get into the office before 8 am and the first thing I do is check our daily revenue numbers and client activity for the previous day, alongside our new client acquisition KPIs. Throughout the day, I have strategic meetings and calls scheduled. In between those, I speak to our staff to see how their departments are progressing, what issues they face and how we can best resolve them. I normally leave the office between 7 pm and 8 pm.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I do very much enjoy the strategic parts of the job but the aspect which I like the most is seeing a large number of individuals all buy into a strategy and work together as a team to execute it so that the business can be successful. When the team is truly working as one, it’s a fantastic sight to see.
Are there any downsides?
There can be long hours, but in truth, I enjoy the job and the company so much there is never an element of clock watching. The major downside sometimes is the pressure that comes with the responsibility of being a CF1 Director. At the end of the day, I am ultimately responsible for the performance of the business, the culture and staff, so it’s no easy task ‘switching off’ when I'm at home or on the weekends.
Do you need any additional qualifications to become successful within this sector?
This does really depend on what sort or role you want in the financial services sector. For example, if you want to become a finance manager then an accountancy qualification is crucial. Of course, it's worth noting that certain qualifications or degrees will give you a head start above other candidates when trying to enter this sector, but that shouldn’t discourage you. For me, certainly when you are starting out, one of the most valuable attributes an employee can have is a thirst to learn and keep improving. When you start your career, your brain must act like a sponge and you should never be afraid or arrogant to believe you cannot learn something from someone else. I would always rather hire someone who is deeply motivated but lacking in experience, than someone who lacks motivation but has experience.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a Chief Marketing Officer in the future?
It's best not to look too far ahead in my opinion. I feel it’s more beneficial, particularly when starting out in your career, to work on a rolling 5-year development plan to help motivate yourself and keep you on track to constantly improve, gain more experience and broaden your skills. As there is so much to learn when you start out, it’s more important to focus on the quality of the small steps you take than rushing ahead with giant strides as when you get to the top of a business, your lack of knowledge and understanding will quickly get found out. As the saying goes, you have to walk before you can run. But don’t let this affect your aspiration to reach the top.