InterviewFinTech Interview with CFO Experian Lloyd Pitchford

FTB News Desk FTB News DeskOctober 27, 202115 min

Lloyd Pitchford sheds light on technological effect on accounting and finance underlining API tools. He focuses on innovations and technology helping to build customer profiles.
Lloyd Pitchford , CFO of Experian

Lloyd Pitchford is the CFO of Experian. He holds an MBA and has deep financial and strategic experience, built up through a career working in complex, growth-oriented, global organizations, across a range of industries and responsibilities. Lloyd is also a non-executive director of Bunzl plc. Before joining Experian, Lloyd held a wide portfolio of finance and operational responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer of Intertek Group plc; in senior finance positions (including Group Financial Controller) at BG Group plc; and in financial and commercial roles at Mobil Oil.

1. Tell us about your role at Experian.
I’m the Chief Financial Officer at Experian PLC. Experian is a FTSE 100 Global Information Services company, operating in 44 countries with 17,800 employees. I’m responsible for ensuring that our global finance operation is efficient and effective.
I’m also the executive sponsor of our ESG programme which looks at how we can improve our performance across a wide range of Environmental, Social and Governance matters. This includes the work we do across the company, helping to support financial inclusion and financial health, creating a more diverse and inclusive business for our employees, and delivering on our carbon neutral commitments. I’m passionate about the positive role Experian can play in society.

2. Can you tell us about your journey in the industry?
I joined Experian in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Before Experian, I was the Chief Financial Officer of Intertek Group plc from 2010 to 2014. Previously, I had spent ten years at BG Group plc – where I held various senior finance positions, including Group Financial Controller – and seven years at Mobil Oil.

3. Has technology affected the accounting and finance industry, and are there advancements expected?

Technology has been a driving force of change within the accounting and finance industry. The two main areas of development have been automation and the visualisation of financial data.

If we look back to 10 years ago, the majority of financial processes were manual and Microsoft Excel was usually the tool of choice for both calculating and presenting data. Fast forward to the present day and a lot of old manual processes can be automated using the latest API tools and robotic solutions, which has the benefit of freeing up more time for finance professionals to focus on supporting the wider business with key strategic decisions.
Visualisation tools have played an important role in the automation process. These systems sit on top of the raw finance data and allow for users to both read, alter and understand the data in real time. The pandemic has accelerated this technology advancement, as companies continue to demand more real time data to make the right decisions for their clients.

4. How important is it to design campaigns for the customers?
It’s very important. We always place the consumer at the heart of our thinking when we are developing a new product. At Experian we’re using our innovative technologies and data to expand access to credit by helping consumers build their credit profiles, take control of their finances and have better access to financial services that can transform their lives. Products such as Experian Boost are helping our customers to take control of their financial health.

5. Recently, Experian has launched Experian’s United for Financial Health, what is the motive of the programme?
As the pandemic took hold in 2020, we stepped in with data and analytics to support governments, health services and national emergency response efforts. Our data and analytics helped them plan ahead and direct health care and financial support to the most vulnerable people, through major initiatives such as COVID Radar in Brazil and Experian CORE (COVID Outlook & Response Evaluator) in the USA.
It soon became clear that the impact, not just on physical health, but on financial health, would be far-reaching for people around the world. We looked at how we could mobilize our expertise and resources to help communities through the crisis and focused on financial education as the best way to strengthen their resilience and support their road to recovery.
Through our United for Financial Health programme we rapidly established 11 NGO partnerships across our biggest consumer markets, with the aim of delivering targeted financial education to some of the communities hit hardest by COVID-19. By the end of the year, we had reached nearly 35 million people, more than double our original goal of 15 million, and we’re not stopping there. This year we’re expanding the programme into EMEA and APAC and we aim to reach 100 million people by 2024.

6. Does data hold a priority in designing financial products?
Data is fundamental to the design of innovative and inclusive financial services products. With our focus on increasing access to financial services, improving financial literacy and confidence, we help people and businesses by harnessing the power of data to create products and services that can help them build a better future.
Financial inclusion is linked directly to our purpose at Experian. The United Nations includes access to financial services, such as credit and microfinance, among its Sustainable Development Goals. Access to affordable credit opens the door to opportunities for people to transform their lives – from homes and healthcare to education and entrepreneurship. This has never been more important than it is today.

7. What are your views about the market trends and the company position in the forthcoming years?
We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for Experian. They are material and we are well placed to address them. The pandemic has essentially fast-tracked several market trends that were already in motion, including the digitalisation of the global economy. Experian delivered a strong performance last year even as the world faced testing times, due to the diversity of our portfolio and our successful innovation-led investments in new opportunities. We are off to a good start in FY22 and we expect another successful year of growth across our global businesses.

FTB News Desk

FTB News Desk

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