Chris Barton — Why WealthKernel?

I never intended to work in finance.

At university, I studied politics and was much more likely to be found debating in the pub than deep in an economics text book. A privileged ex-pat upbringing meant I rarely had to worry about money, or consider how it was managed.

However, after an abortive attempt to go into law I had to earn some money in order to live and that’s how I ended up in a temp job with Barclays as an administrator. It was only until I figured out what I wanted to do, I kept telling myself. It was never going to be a career.

The temporary position became a permanent one and was quickly followed by a promotion and a move to London to become a Junior Portfolio Manager. Suddenly, what had been merely an exercise in bill-paying had become my life. Despite my politics still remaining firmly on the left, I found I was enjoying what I was doing and, in time, became good at it.

My focus was always on the operations management side of things and I found my real strength in the scalable management of portfolios: ensuring more transparency for the clients and less portfolio manager bias by bringing similar clients together into the same model. However, the ability to enact great change in a company of that size was nigh on impossible and I found the pace of things just too slow.

One company reorganisation later and I was looking at my options. I didn’t want to start again on a different career path; I’d learnt too much for that. I wanted to take my skill-set and apply it to a company I really could believe in and where I could make a tangible positive difference.

WealthKernel could not have come along at a better time. A company that aimed to look after the clients that the large corporate institutions were now trying to push out as they weren’t big earners. One that worked on an agile basis and thus put all its focus on constant improvement and development; where you could see the changes being made week by week and find your place in adding value.

It’s been a big change with a more flexible approach to work and getting my head out of the corporate mind-set about the way things should be done. One of the biggest challenges in heading up operations is to avoid just repeating what I’ve known in the past and instead build something that is innovative. We have a unique and exciting opportunity to do things in new ways here at WealthKernel; in better, more logical ways that utilise the cutting edge technology and developers we have at our disposal.

It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s quite a lot of fun.

I never intended to work in finance. But I’m glad I do now.