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VIDEO | Fitch CEO: We Are Very Much an Analytical Firm

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(US and Canada) Paul Taylor, CEO, and Heidi Lanford, CDO of Fitch Group, speak with Salema Rice, Global Data & Analytics leader, Global Managing Director, Applied Intelligence, Accenture (and CDO Magazine Editorial Board Member), about the key success factor for Fitch and introducing the CDO role in the organization.

Taylor describes the Fitch Group as a combination of companies with credit ratings as the core business. Over the years, it expanded into other information and data-driven products focused on fixed-income, financial markets, and credit.

According to Taylor, Fitch is very much an analytical firm and requires underlying information data sets for creating information and opinions for financial market professionals.

Sharing her views on the fairly new CDO at the organization, Lanford says that the most fascinating part is that data is the raw material of the critical ingredient for all of the products, services, and opinions that Fitch produces. She adds that the pace at which financial markets change and evolve and the breadth of Fitch’s coverage is compelling.

Taylor says that a trigger caused the CDO role to be introduced or elevated to the C-suite. He explains that things were getting complicated as the organization grew. It generated a lot of data and led to the need for a new role. This would help the organization go to market sophisticatedly while providing better solutions to customers.

He further says that it was clear early on that the organization needed a senior person with the specialist knowledge and skillset but also the communication skills to come on board. The CDO would lead the effort and build the team within the organization.

Concluding, he mentions that introducing the CDO wasn’t just his individual decision. It required buy-in from the senior team across the organization.