176. Stuart Heatley of Capita Pensions – On Unlocking Unconventional Talent and Watching it Soar

Stuart Heatley is Managing Director at Capita Pensions where he is a Business Transformation and Growth Leader.  He previously held a series of similar roles at AON and Scottish Life.  Based in Edinburgh, Stuart is passionate about creating access to the financial services industry for people of all backgrounds, and is a Mentor with MCR Pathways.

Our conversation starts with Stuart’s own unconventional path, where he turned his back on a typical university path and followed his passions for music (playing bass in a band) and sport before finding a role in an insurance company in Edinburgh.  He joined at “the bottom of the ladder” and spent his early days splitting paper and delivering it around the firm and then moved into a junior administrator role in pensions.  His career progressed from then to leadership roles, and the rest might be said to be history.  Stuart talks about the role that listening, talking to colleagues, stepping up for new opportunities to take responsibilities and other inter-personal skills played in his career progression.

Stuart talks about the importance of being good at problem-solving vs. problem-finding and when discussing what is at the forefront of his mind now as he helps clients navigate the environment for pensions, he mentions the role of digitization as well as the problem of getting beneficiaries to engage.

We turn then to talk about a topic that has been a driver for Stuart throughout his career, which is about offering opportunities in the workplace to “cv-less” talent, that has not come through the normal qualification channels. He notes that there is a talent pool that has been missed for a long time, and details initiatives he has put in place in his workplaces to address this over the years. He cites the importance of support and encouragement throughout one’s career, especially in the early years and the role played by mentoring and coaching.Some of the highs of Stuart’s career derived working with great teams, and we discuss the importance of this and how sometimes leaving a great team can be a low point, but is the normal progression of our work-lives.

Series 1 of 2023 is brought to you with the kind support of HarbourView Equity Partners, a global investment firm focused on opportunities in the entertainment and media space. Founded by Sherrese Clarke Soares, HarbourView is a long-term investor in content with an industrial platform built to protect, optimize, and enhance the legacy of premium IP. With a vision of becoming a true stakeholder in the global value of content, HarbourView believes creators deserve a seat at the table creatively and economically, owning their narrative and maximizing value for all. https://www.harbourviewequity.com/

In celebration of our partnership with HarbourView Equity Partners we have selected a separate piece of music for each of the podcasts in this series.  We hope you enjoy them.