Mar 20, 2024

Aiviq Insights Thought Leadership Series Interview with Celia Fraser, Co-Head of Business Data, Analytics & Tools at Capital Group

Celebrating Women’s History Month we sat down with Celia to discuss her journey in asset management, client data trends

Marie Weidlich
Marketing Manager
Aiviq Insights Thought Leadership Series Interview with Celia Fraser, Co-Head of Business Data, Analytics & Tools at Capital Group

As the co-leader of the Business Data, Analytics & Tools (BDAT) team, Celia Fraser plays a vital role in delivering and defining Capital’s Group Insights & Analytics strategy. She also oversees the implementation and enhancement of the company’s client analytics platforms, including Seismic and Salesforce CRM, while shaping Europe and Asia Client Group's (EACG) ongoing technology and data requirements.

Celebrating Women’s History Month we sat down with Celia to discuss her journey in asset management, client data trends and how she sees the industry evolving in the years ahead.

By Marie Weidlich

Marie: As the Co-Head of Business Data, Analytics & Tools (BDAT) at Capital Group, could you share insights into your journey and role within the company?

Celia: My coverage started with a focus on Europe and Asia-Pacific, and in the last 18 months has grown beyond such borders to increase collaboration across the globe on key projects.

From my joining as a sole contributor, Insights & Analytics (I&A) grew to four associates covering the four strands of the Client Group: Sales, Marketing, Product and Operations. Many aspects of the EACG Long-term strategy require investment in data, analytics, and tools so a dedicated team, BDAT, was established in 2022 to drive the formulation and implementation of these requirements. In 2023, I moved into my current role as BDAT Co-lead with a team now comprising 10 associates across Europe and Asia.

Marie: In your position, you shape technology and data requirements for the Europe and Asia Client Group (EACG) at Capital Group. What are the emerging trends in client/digital insights you are focusing on and what new capabilities are your users asking for specifically in these regions?

Celia: What we are hearing from clients is that they want a seamless, global partner that can offer products and services including market insights, thought leadership, local expertise, and interactive tooling. They want it quicker than they had it before. Whereas previously static whitepapers/PDFs were the norm, podcasts, videos, and infographics are in increasing demand as ways for people to digest information quicker and/or on the go. Clients want a more personal experience: there’s no shortage of information in the ecosystem, but they want somewhere to get what’s most relevant for them and/or for it to be available/sent to them on demand. This demand is present across multiple markets, and this is something we are actioning globally.

Marie: You recently had the fantastic opportunity to spend three months working in Los Angeles, alongside colleagues focusing on global client data insights. What strategies do you employ to build alignment with diverse client data requirements across different regions?

Celia: Yes, I was based in LA before Christmas, which is a great time to visit for anyone considering it! We are focused on opportunities to add value to our clients through better leveraging of digital capabilities, internal and external data and more seamless orchestration.

One of the key challenges is that here in Europe, and Asia, we cover over 10 core markets, each with their own data landscape, languages, regulators, etc. As such, it is impossible to provide a one-size-fits-all capability. However, there are similarities in our CG strengths globally, in some of our global clients’ needs, and in the market demands - thus we can look for key themes here that can scale cross-market.

Marie: How do you perceive opportunities in technology and data trends within asset management? Are there any areas where you see potential for growth and innovation?

Celia: Data and technology sit within every aspect of our business. Our deep global research capabilities and insights into the companies we invest in are vital factors in enhancing our competitive advantage.

We use data and technology to amplify our ability to deliver superior investment results in our interactions with clients. For us, the ability to create additional competitive advantages means concentrating our efforts on business issues and challenges where innovation can have the biggest impact on us and our clients. We continue to strengthen the operating technologies that sit within every aspect of our business.

Photo: BWAM Forty Under Awards

Marie: Being recognised as one of the BWAM (Black Women in Asset Management) 40 under 40, could you share your experience as a leading woman in the data/tech industry within Capital Group? How has your identity influenced your journey and approach to leadership?

Celia: BWAM is a fantastic organisation, and I am so honoured to be recognised! I’m extremely proud to be a Black Woman in Asset Management within the realms of data/tech.  I have always been proud of my culture and heritage; both of my parents were born in Jamaica and their parents came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation. The opportunities afforded to me come through the sacrifices of those who came before me. Within Asset Management, then layering on my data and technology focus, I have often been the only Black woman in the room. Thus, I give back where I can, whether it’s through mentoring or charity work because I’ve experienced first-hand what happens when people are willing to share their time, knowledge, and network.

Marie: We’re interested in your perspective on fostering a more inclusive environment. In your view, what can be done to actively encourage gender diversity within asset management technology and data teams?

Celia: We recently celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) at Capital Group and this year’s theme was #inspireinclusion. Inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. Data/Tech + Asset Management are both areas known to have fewer women, particularly from under-represented groups, be it ethnicity, LGBTQ+ or socioeconomically. Visible representation is vitally important but ensuring leadership are accountable is what moves the needle. In more recent years, companies have made a push forward in their DEI strategies. Diversity is one piece of the puzzle, but the culture must be willing to actively include and develop this talent, or else the efforts to attract this talent will not be as fruitful as hoped.

When people post quotes on social media for IWD, that’s okay, but what’s more valuable is asking yourself what you have done to support and develop women in your teams. I am lucky to have had 2 great managers since joining Capital Group who recognise the importance of DEI. Up until recently, I revamped and led the Black Network (Capital Associates of African Descent) in Europe for CG. I am committed to supporting our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) which play a vital part in providing communities and resources for underrepresented talent and allies in our industry. Ensuring that I play my part in moving the needle in the direction of progress is important to me, and it is inspiring to see the impact made and success stories, but we know there is more to be done.

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