Helping deliver the FinTech solutions of the future

Mariquit Corcoran

Our colleagues drive innovation and change daily, impacting the way we serve our customers and how we work together as colleagues. However, success is not just about what you achieve, it’s about how you achieve it. Our Chief Operating Office (COO) recognises the value our colleagues bring, not just to their roles, but our culture and values. COO have recognised a number of exceptional women who have made a difference within Barclays, the industry, and the wider community through their impact and passion for change. Mariquit Corcoran, Managing Director, Head of Partnerships and Programmes, in our Group Innovation Office is a great example of how our colleagues support technology that will influence the future of technology.

Mariquit has contributed to the success of Barclays through her role in innovation, leading the execution of the Barclays Accelerator programme world-wide. Her line manager, John Stecher, Chief Innovation Officer, told us a bit about Mariquit’s role within COO: “Mariquit is an exceptional role model for all our colleagues. She is committed to advancing the careers of those around her, determined to leave the firm in a better state, and consistently turns what appears as seemingly abstract problems into finished solutions. She is a strong advocate for gender diversity, and takes this seriously when driving the Barclays Accelerator selection process to ensure that the companies that we select represent founders from all walks of life.”

Francesca Romero De La Rocha, a Compliance Graduate, spoke with Mariquit to find out more about her role and time at Barclays:

Tell us a bit about your career at Barclays

My main responsibility lies in driving the strategy and execution of the Barclays Accelerator around the world. The Accelerator is a 13-week programme designed to fast-track early stage FinTech businesses through mentoring and business development, and to date we have over 140 alumni. These companies have not only provided Barclays with a unique pipeline of potential investments, but with opportunities for us to apply their innovative solutions across the organisation. Additionally, I am responsible for building relationships with partners who can benefit Barclays, either by enabling us to expand our offerings to Rise residents and Barclays Accelerator companies, or by sharing financially in key initiatives. This is especially exciting as the opportunities are limitless.

What do you feel has been your proudest moment during your time at Barclays?

My proudest moment at Barclays took place whilst visiting Tel Aviv, where I was invited to speak on a panel about my view on the Israeli FinTech market. Not only was I accompanied on stage by local, subject-matter experts, but there were over 400 attendees in the audience, so I was taken aback by the welcoming and enthusiastic reception I received. The reputation of Barclays, Group Innovation, and the Rise brand in Israel was evident. Everyone wanted to hear what I had to say, and after the event I was approached by dozens of attendees, from investors to entrepreneurs and senior executives who all wanted to build a relationship with Barclays, and partner with us on our initiatives within Rise. The excitement was incredible and clearly indicated our global reach and ever-growing reputation as an industry leader in innovation.

Could you share an example of how you have brought our COO values to life?

All of the work I do is tailored towards our value of Customer Obsession – always focussing and delivering the best outcome for our customers. When evaluating potential companies to work with, a key focus of mine is finding those with solutions that can positively impact our customers. In addition, we are currently in the process of launching Rise Client Connect - the Client Innovation Club, and I couldn’t be more excited to lead its development. By enabling our clients to tap into our innovation network, this offering will put them at the forefront of emerging trends and technologies, and will thereby help to strengthen our client relationships. I’ve witnessed first-hand the power of Rise and the opportunities it can provide. It differentiates Barclays in the market as the only Tier one global bank providing hubs to connect, create and scale early-stage companies. Rise Client Connect will leverage these capabilities and networks, benefiting us as a firm, as well as our clients and customers.

How is Barclays Innovation delivering value to customers, clients and Barclays as a whole?

The Group Innovation Office (GIO), which forms part of Barclays Execution Services, collaborates with both BUK and BI to amplify the innovation mind-set across the entire organisation. In doing so, we deliver the right environment, tools and talent to enable us to constantly look for solutions to improve our services and products for our clients and customers. This does not always have to be large-scale, transformational technology, but can be simple offerings that assist us in doing more things for our customers, in a better and more efficient way. The GIO has been pivotal in positioning Barclays as the industry leader in digital innovation.

Is there a woman who has particularly inspired you? If so, who and why?

There have been many women who have inspired me, both at a personal and professional level. Most predominantly, though, is my sister, who has battled 3 different types of cancer (and won). Every day I am amazed by her strength. Being a young child when she received her first diagnosis, I spent a lot of time in the paediatric oncology ward of a hospital. This gave me perspective from very early on in my life and reminds me that everyone is truly tougher than they think - we simply channel that strength when we need it.