Bite is pleased to welcome Gareth Barr to the team as advisor. Gareth has 30+ years of cross-sector international experience, leading technology organizations and driving transformations in roles including CTO at KPMG LLP and Global Head of Engineering for The Blackstone Group. He is also the founder of Oakland East LLC, a boutique advisory and consulting practice; as well as a mentor, thought leader, and contributing author to the National CIO Review.
- What attracted you to Bite?
GB: What really attracted me to Bite is the unique combination of a compelling financial and technology platform, and a highly motivated team with deep industry experience, who are passionate about using technology to deliver a seamless digital experience for investors and financial advisors. I am also really excited with how Bite removes barriers to entry, and gives high net worth individuals unprecedented access to alternative investments, like private equity, that generally outperform most measures of comparable public market performance.
- What has been the most exciting development in the wealth management industry?
GB: I think that the growth and modernisation of client-facing technologies and platforms has had a profound effect, and expect this to continue to evolve, combining the use of cognitive and machine-learning technologies with rich end-user & advisor experiences to provide hyper-personalised data and recommendations, and give clients much greater control of, and visibility into, their portfolios.
- What do you see as the biggest challenge with digital transformation?
GB: From my perspective, one of the biggest challenges in driving a digital transformation is getting organisational buy-in, and overcoming change resistance (“but we’ve always done it this way!”). The digital transformation journey is one of continual change and re-evaluation, and maintaining the pace of change while continuing to engage your teams, and bring them along the journey with you, is a significant challenge for any organisation.
Put another way, the success of any digital transformation initiative is ultimately tied to how well the organisation is able to communicate the need for change, and paint a picture of the new reality in a way that resonates with the whole organisation. If done well, this will lead to strong organisational alignment, and empowered teams that drive towards the shared objectives. This is why organisational change management and education are so critical – our teams need to understand the “why” and fully commit to it, for the change to be a success.
- What are you hoping to contribute with at Bite?
GB: I am hoping to help shape some of the longer-term technology strategy, provide guidance on introduction of new technologies, and help grow the platform and customer base as we expand our markets.
- Any words of advice to companies looking to digitise?
GB: Driving a digital transformation requires a top-down mandate, and a strong strategic alignment between different business units. It may also be necessary to modify incentive schemes (e.g., commissions, profit sharing etc) to ensure that people’s motivations are aligned with the new digital strategy. Although it is common for technology organisations to sell digital transformation as a technology initiative, the real value is in driving cross-functional change across the organisation, reimagining the way that we do business. The objectives of this transformation should be driven by the business. Technology, in this context, is really more of a tool and an enabler that supports our transformation.
 Important Disclaimer and Source: McKinsey & Company. “A year of disruption in the private markets: McKinsey Global Private Markets Review 2021”, April 2021. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
About Bite Investments
Bite Investments provide a seamless end-to-end investment process. Our investor solutions software enables asset managers to provide a fully digital user service to their investor base, whilst our online investment platform allows the full spectrum of investors to invest in top-tier alternative investment funds in a streamlined process.