Oliver Huggins, COO of Rates Services at London Stock Exchange Group, grew up in the Suffolk countryside and went to Bristol University before beginning a career in the City in the mid-90’s. He’s got twenty years’ experience in financial markets, initially on the trading floors of large investment banks as a quantitative analyst and financial engineer, then building financial risk teams in the insurance and financial infrastructure sectors. Now he is at the London Stock Exchange working on developing new products and services across the interest rates and FX markets.
We talked to Oliver about doing good and supporting charities..
Why did you become a Rainmaker?
I am part of the Rainmaker Foundation because it gives me the opportunity to provide practical support to the wonderful charities on the Accelerator programme, and to learn from the incredible people who run them. The small but hardworking team of Rainmaker have a wealth of knowledge and experience and can provide immediate practical assistance. But their biggest asset is being able to leverage the Rainmaker network. Anyone in business – big or small – knows that the most important thing is the network effect. Rainmaker provides small charities the opportunity to network together, to learn and feed off each other. Furthermore they can benefit from the network of Rainmakers (the supporters of the Foundation), and their own professional and charitable networks. It’s amazing how someone you know will always know someone else who can help!
What is your favorite charity so far?
It’s hard to pick just one! I am particularly moved by charities which provide opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and also ‘second chances’ for those who have an unfortunate history. My wife and I have been privileged to work with two of the Rainmaker charities over the past year – The Girls’ Network, which connects girls from the least advantaged communities with mentors; and the Centre for Criminal Appeals, which works for the reform of the British criminal justice system. I’m also on the Board of a wonderful organisation called The Liberty Choir which provides a ‘through the gate’ programme of singing and social development for people who are serving custodial sentences. It’s run by two doughty and inspirational women who are great fun to work with. And I love singing: like all City workers I secretly think that in a different life I perhaps could have been an artist or entertainer!
Does London Stock Exchange Group support charities?
Yes, absolutely. Our LSEG Foundation supports charities in the UK and around the world with a focus on opportunities for young people. For example, LSEG’s partnership with Unicef has supported the Zambian Girls 2030 programme which will help more than 11,200 girls gain the skills they need to succeed in business. And dozens of other charities are also supported directly through the LSEG Foundation and the employee matching programme. We recently held the Rainmaker Foundation Festive Fundraiser here at the Stock Exchange, where over £40,000 was raised to support a range of charities. We are the ‘home of fundraising’ and one of the oldest Stock Exchanges in the world, so it was a fitting place for the event to take place. An opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate that the City is not just about making money, but also about using that money to do good and support our society.
What piece of advice can you personally would give City people supporting doing good?
Get stuck in! If you spend too long trying to work out whether and where you should get involved you will sink into ‘paralysis by analysis’. Choose your target well and invest your time generously – who knows where the journey will take you.