To hear about her experience as a Chief People and Culture Officer at Riverty – a fintech company that offers a new perspective on financial solutions – we sat down with Alexia Röell. Alexia has worked in HR for over 20 years in various roles, developing global HR strategies and driving change processes within international businesses.
Before joining Riverty she worked at a leading global corporate bank where she led large and complex change programs across people, strategy, and technology. At Riverty, her focus is on leading the people and culture function to accelerate growth and transformation within HR.
We couldn’t wait to dive into her role as a people leader and how she aspires to grow a workforce that is retained, engaged and empowered. As Chief People and Culture Officer at Riverty, Alexia is responsible for developing a holistic HR strategy that supports our vision of becoming a truly human-centric fintech. Understanding the importance of a culturally diverse workforce, she focuses on recruiting, empowering, and retaining engaged talent regardless of external factors.
“Together with the people leaders at Riverty, I create an engaging environment where all employees understand how every one of them contributes to our mission of creating the next. As CPCO, I drive our corporate and leadership culture by integrating new behavioural anchors that have emerged from the transformation of our business”.
Riverty is a fintech business that makes a difference, where everyone is in control of their own financial story. With a team of more than 5,000 experts in 13 countries, we’re finding smarter, simpler, seamlessly connected ways to manage your finances. From flexible payments to accounting and collections, our holistic solutions empower everyone to live their best financial life ringing in a new era of financial freedom.
Can you tell us about your career to date?
For more than 20 years, I have been passionately working in HR. I have held various roles in developing global HR strategies and driving change processes within international firms. In the past, I worked for several international companies such as Sony, Cisco Systems and Office Depot.
“I have held various roles in developing global HR strategies and driving change processes within international firms.”
My last role before joining Riverty was at Barclays where I led large and complex change programs across people, strategy and technology. In October, I took on my next challenge at Riverty, leading the people and culture function to accelerate our growth ambitions and transformation within HR.
Why did you choose a career in HR?
Born in Africa and raised in Asia, I have always had a strong international outlook. I believe that only by coming together with motivated people from different backgrounds, we learn to take on new perspectives which enable us to drive changes that truly make a difference. That is also the reason I really like working in international organisations – people coming together with different stories, to foster a common goal.
“Coming together with motivated people from different backgrounds enables us to drive changes that truly make a difference.”
What drew me specifically to a career in HR was that it is one of the most influential functions within a business. By focusing on HR as a strategic business partner, we can actively contribute to the overall direction and success of the business. It’s a 360-function providing a holistic view of the company’s needs and objectives. Knowing that we bring together the strands of a business, we in HR can foster positive change and guide individuals and an organisation to grow and flourish.
What have been your greatest challenges and how have you overcome these?
Throughout my career, all my roles have been closely linked to transformation and the impact of technology on businesses. I have always been fascinated by how to bring the entire business along on this transformational journey.
“Each business requires a unique approach tailored to its specific needs and circumstances.”
Despite this common theme of business and people transformation, I find that the journey is never the same. Although the challenge of effecting change persists, each business requires a unique approach tailored to its specific needs and circumstances. Even with my extensive experience, I understand that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution.
My experience has taught me that reinvention is essential. No two journeys are the same, so you constantly have to look at things from a different perspective and think outside the box. In essence, it is about adapting your thinking to the needs of the business and its culture. Embracing change and constantly reinventing yourself is the key to successfully navigating these transformational journeys.
As a people leader, how do you inspire your direct team and the wider workforce?
By being authentic, open and transparent about my decisions. But it’s not just about leading a team, it’s about being an active part of it. After all, I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. We rely on each other. This means that I inspire my team in the same way that they inspire me. I motivate them, challenge them, and help them grow.
“We don’t only focus on the mountain that we have to climb, but how far we have already come.”
I also always try to integrate fun into our daily work. Especially in the busy weeks, we need to take the time to laugh and celebrate successes. We don’t only focus on the mountain that we have to climb, but on how far we have already come.
Professionally, what has been your biggest achievement to date?
My most significant achievement to date has been successfully transitioning from a local to a global role within a company. It goes beyond recruiting talent from other countries – instead, it involves adapting to an entirely new culture.
“I had to navigate and consider the complexity of different cultures, incorporate diverse perspectives and respect the unique history and traditions associated with each region.”
Moving from a local to a global context, challenged me to consider multiple dimensions. I had to navigate and consider the complexity of different cultures, incorporate diverse perspectives and respect the unique history and traditions associated with each region.
“Being able to foster an environment where individuals can thrive and reach their full potential has been one of my most fulfilling experiences.”
On a more personal level, witnessing the growth and development of my team is also one of my biggest achievements. Being able to foster an environment where individuals can thrive and reach their full potential has been one of my most fulfilling experiences. Seeing my team members develop both professionally and personally and knowing that I played a role in their growth, is the true reward.
What advice would you give to aspiring HR leaders?
View HR as a commercial function with the power to shape, drive and transform. It is critical to understand the goals of your business and ensure that every HR initiative and action is aligned with those goals, avoiding operating in isolation.
“View HR as a commercial function with the power to shape, drive and transform.”
Emerging HR leaders must stay on top of the latest trends and developments in the world, including the strategies being implemented by other companies as well as technological advancements such as AI that will shape the future of work.
By proactively staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the evolving landscape, aspiring HR leaders can position themselves as strategic partners who make a tangible impact on a business’s success.
If you’d like to discuss this or anything else, please feel free to complete our form below.