Co-Founder at Color in Tech
London, United Kingdom
You studied your Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Business School. What prompted you to then shift to study law?
My childhood goal was to be a lawyer. After entering the investment banking industry at the age of 18 years, I found that my passion for the law was reignited when I was negotiating legal agreements for an investment bank. Hence, I went on to sit my bar exams in order to complete Law School and become a barrister.
You’ve worked for some of the largest global FIs to include Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase since the age of 18. What are the key takeaways you’ve embraced from your experiences with these companies?
The key takeaways from my experiences were the development of a strong work ethic as extremely long hours were the norm when I started the finance industry. Innovation was another key takeaway due to the culture at these large organisations. Everyone was encouraged to come up with ideas and solutions to existing processes and/or problems.
Both of these takeaways are still exercised today hence my approach to time management and focus helps me to stay on top of my day-to- day agenda in an innovative way at times.
What was your experience like working with The Gates Foundation during your time with the Global Poverty Project?
It was an amazing experience working as a UK Global Poverty Ambassador. I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Gates at the launch of the project which was held at the London School of Economics in 2012. To give back and help to raise the awareness of ending of global poverty, while enhancing healthcare and expanding educational opportunities is incredible.
How did you become involved with the London fintech community?
It has been a natural progression from my traditional finance and legal background to include fintech now. FinTech and RegTech are affecting the banking industry where I am managing the company’s legal risk across Europe for the derivatives, regulatory & securities financing business within an investment bank.
Following the launch of the “Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation” which provides scholarships, diversity leadership lectures and mentoring to Black, Asian and minority ethnics (BAME) future leaders, I was asked to co-found “Color In Tech”. Both of these initiatives are helping to increase race diversity across many sectors including technology within the UK and beyond. In addition, I am an active networker and have got to know a lot of influential people within the London fintech community via events and social media who have mentioned that the fintech community needs more people like me in it.
What inspired you to co-found Color In Tech and the General Counsel Diversity Leadership Forum?
The inspiration behind both of these initiatives relate back to my diversity agenda.
“Color In Tech” is to help increase race diversity within the Technology sector which includes Fintech. There are Fellowship Programmes and Insight Days etc at top technology companies and venture capital firms with some of our partners such as Google and Microsoft. We are based in the London’s Tech City covering the UK and Europe which a view to expanding to Asia very soon.
Further information can be located via www.colorintech.org
The “General Counsel (GC) Diversity Leadership Forum” is a best practice & networking forum for leaders in the legal field to help increase diversity action. There is a lot of talk about diversity at the moment but not much progressive action. Hence, I am playing my part to help move the diversity agenda forward at a quicker pace.
Your latest endeavor is the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation. What is the focus of the organization?
With over 15 years’ experience in philanthropy, diversity and community work, I wanted to go the extra mile and launch the ‘Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation’. This is to provide the next generation of Black, Asian and minority ethnics (BAME) future leaders with incentives and opportunities via scholarships, work experience, lectures and my mentoring/coaching programmes. The aim is to help increase race diversity and equality in Britain and beyond.
The application process for the “Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship” will open on Monday, 29th February 2016. The scholarship caters for all sectors such as finance, law, academia, technology and media etc. Further information can be located via http://mirandabrawn.com/diversity-leadership-foundation-scholarship/
You are incredibly active in supporting multiple diversity organizations such as Black British Academics, Black Cultural Archives, City Women Network and The Fold London. How do you choose what organizations to support and dedicate time to?
As Vice Chair of the Black Cultural Archives, Patron of the Black British Academics, Board Committee Member for City Women Network and Brand Ambassador for The Fold London, I have to say that I enjoy all of these roles immensely.
I am very selective and realistic about the time commitments required for each initiative which I am involved with and so far it has worked out very well. The decision making process to support an initiative is simply based upon a genuine interest and passion for diversity. All of these initiatives lean towards diversity whether it is gender, race, social mobility or age diversity etc.
Who(m) do you believe has had the most influence with respect to your own career?
Without a shadow of a doubt, my parents have had the most influence with respect to my career, especially my mother. Both of my parents demonstrated an incredible work ethnic when I was being raised and this has rubbed off on me. A good work ethic is essential for career success. My mother has helped to guide and mentor me throughout my journey literally from day one. I have been blessed with her experience, wisdom and advice which has proven to be invaluable over the years.
Who do you consider to be strong women leaders in the FinTech space?
A female FinTech leader who comes to mind straight away is Eileen Burbidge MBE. Eileen is a founding partner of Passion Capital, the HM Treasury FinTech Special Envoy for the UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Chair of Tech City UK. We were sitting next to each other during one of the key UK FinTech Week 2016 events which took place in February 2016. The event was a private roundtable which consisted of 15 selected attendees hosted by Tech City UK. The aims were to discuss the access to skills, talent and visas in UK Fintech with senior officials from HM Treasury. It was a great opportunity to introduce “Color In Tech” and it can help with this.
What do you see as the 3 leading future trends for FinTech?
- Merging of Lifestyle and Payments
- Mobile – changing consumer and organisational behaviours
- Bonus: Diversity
More about Color In Tech
Color In Tech is an organisation that connects high potential ethnic minorities to top technology companies, start ups and venture capital firms in the UK and Europe with an asian expansion on the horizon. Our current partners include Google, HP and Microsoft. The mission is to change the way companies hire and bring diversity to the global innovation economy. We offer Fellowship programmes, Accelerator Funds including scholarships and Insight Days at various companies. The launch of the Color In Tech Diversity Awards will take place in late 2016.