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Published on: Matt Meets

Matt Meets: Katharine Adlard – Director – PwC

Matt Hyde, Director Recruit 121 (Finance & FinTech) Managing Director of FinTech Awards Wales & London & Finance Awards Wales Meets:

Katharine Adlard, Director, PwC

Please introduce yourself and your role in PWC

I am Katharine Adlard a Director at PwC and I have worked with businesses in the Financial Services sector for near enough 16 years and lead the FS Tax team in Wales & the West. PwC have a local FS specialist team across Tax, Audit and Consulting with experts advising on various FS matters and in all sectors of the industry.

I advise incumbent FS businesses such as insurance companies and retail banks and building societies. I have a hands-on approach and enjoy personally getting to know my client’s businesses in order to ensure PwC offer them the best service we can, pre-emptively and proactively.

Across the bridge I have been involved in FinTech West since its inception – facilitating sessions through PwC’s partnership, sharing insight in the industry and contributing to thought leadership. I have a particular interest in FinTech and how it can disrupt and shake up the traditional FS offering.

We have already seen what insurance comparison sites such as have done to change the sales channels for purchasing insurance. I very much look forward to being part of the development of what the next innovations are for the sector. Open banking in particular is something that has really proven a catalyst for change!

Where are the opportunities for Fintech in Wales?

PwC sees both the FinTech and broader technology sectors as key in the future success of Wales – we are championing this through #TechEnableWales, our initiative that brings everything we’re doing in tech under one umbrella. We want to recognise and encourage the fantastic entrepreneurial businesses who bring to life the wide range of solutions provided by FinTech, including a number of disruptors and creative problem explorers. We feel it is vitally important to highlight and celebrate the best of Fintech in Wales, particularly on the back of
the recent Kalifa report.

The Welsh FinTech ecosystem already has a great collaborative style and at our upcoming event ‘Scaling FinTechs for success through partnership and collaboration’ on 15 July 2021 we hope to explore what’s at the heart of successful FinTech partnerships, and how FinTechs of all shapes and sizes can scale for success.

Whether a FinTech just starting out or an established financial services provider, partnerships and collaboration are fundamental to the ability to scale. Putting the right support around an organisation, connecting with regional networks, and finding opportunities to collaborate – with other FinTechs, with incumbents, and even with the regulator – are just some examples of the foundations for success.

What does being involved in Fintech Awards Wales mean to PwC?

Supporting innovative businesses is something PwC does well here in Wales. With dedicated local resource supporting both Private Business and Financial Services, we are passionate about making a difference and recognising success.

Being involved in the Awards has brought to life how the best of the FinTech sector can be rightfully recognised among their peers. Building a momentum of energy and buzz, while bringing FinTech people together, will enhance the FinTech network and enable Wales’ successes to be showcased among others elsewhere. This is particularly relevant given the national FinTech Alliance which PwC are partnering and more locally FinTech Wales which goes from strength to strength.

What advice would you give a young technical professional?

  • Support and collaborate with others willingly.
  • Be bold with your great ideas and seek help on your journey.
  • Some of the best stories have been borne out of challenge or even failure, so don’t be afraid of that and show passion, determination and resilience to allow you and your ideas to grow.

What books and podcasts would you recommend and why?

My personal recommendation for a great inspiring read from a pioneer of Welsh FinTech has to be Anne Boden’s book ‘Banking on it’. As the CEO and founder of Starling Bank, Anne has demonstrated how to be successful as a woman with a great idea in the world of banking and tech!

Podcast-wise I know I personally learnt a lot from the PwC ‘A-Z of Tech’ podcast series. It is our journey, ably hosted by PwC’s technologists and special guests, through the alphabet of technology trends. We are currently up to ‘Q for Quantum’ this month. Check it out!