At Cardiff Blues we are incredibly fortunate to work with an abundance of brilliant companies from the likes of our Principal Partner The MSS Group, to FTSE100 companies like Jaguar Land Rover and LexisNexis Risk Solutions to local SMEs.
But why do these companies join the Cardiff Blues family and who are the people we deal with on a daily basis?
In the second of our new Meet the Partners series, we speak to LexisNexis Risk Solutions' Managing Director Steve Elliot.
- Can you explain who LexisNexis Risk Solutions are and what services and products you provide?
We use technology and analytics on large data sets in order to provide organisations with certainty about who their customers are. Put another way, we help ensure that financial service firms, utility companies, estate agents, vehicle rental firms, retailers, and many others, are certain of who they are dealing with during every online interaction. Providing this assurance ultimately allows businesses to give people faster access to services, process payments quicker and better protect their businesses and society as a whole against fraud and financial crime, as well as giving more people access to the financial and credit services they need.
- What is your role in the company and how did you get involved in the industry?
I have taken an unusual route to my role as the Managing Director of the business in the UK and Ireland. I started my career as an officer in what was the Royal Hong Kong Police, prior to the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule. After my time there, I joined various financial service and global trade firms to oversee financial crime, security, controls and then operations, before moving into Managing Director roles in consulting and outsourcing.
Whether it’s used for combatting corruption in global trade, investigating fraud by organised criminals, or providing consumers with access to services, the power of data is transformational. We are entering an age in which big data firms will provide society with greater trust, enabling people to gain access to services that meet their needs better and do so faster, all while making it much harder for fraudsters to exploit the vulnerable. I got involved to help deliver some of this change.
- What is your biggest success in business?
Businesses are obligated to provide shareholders with value, but I am acutely aware that every organisation exists within a broader social context and so, in my view, each organisation has a moral obligation to provide benefit to society, too. It is a view that is shared by the RELX Group that owns our business, which means we receive strong support in our efforts to create opportunity, drive diversity and be inclusive of the many types of characters it takes for us to create a successful community. I consider my biggest success, therefore as keeping our focus on developing an inclusive culture that enables our teams to flourish, while also supporting the community around us.
- What is the key to leadership and creating a good culture?
There are way too many books on this topic; some are …. strange … others are contradictory. My personal view on this is that leaders exist to provide the team with clarity on what needs to be achieved, but after that point, the role of a leader changes to one of support. By this, I mean that setting targets and demanding performance is not sufficient – leaders must understand their teams’ needs, if they are to succeed. This demands honesty, transparency and inclusivity all of which are necessary for a culture that enables success.
- Are there any lessons or transferable skills you take from sport, which benefit your company?
Sport provides a great example of the importance of clear goal setting (e.g. win the next match, etc) and of the necessity for developing an effective strategy that enables the goal to be achieved. But more than that, it also confirms the criticality of understanding the contribution that different individuals make, and of creating the environment that enables them to play to their strengths.
Clarity of focus, strategic planning, operational execution; all are critical skills that will result in success, whether in sport, managing security events around the world, combatting financial crime, or just generally succeeding in business.
- Why did LexisNexis get involved with Cardiff Blues and how has the relationship developed
Cardiff is the home of our UK & Ireland business, and so it was right that we should support the local team – the Blues. We are proud to be associated with the Blues and have found it to be a useful way to introduce some of our colleagues from the US to a real sport. In fact it’s resulted in several of our colleagues around the US sporting their Blues shirts on some of the very many Teams calls we’ve had during the past twelve months.
- How does your company benefit from working with Cardiff Blues?
The involvement helps us to make clear to our colleagues that despite being part of a much bigger, global group, we have a home in Cardiff that’s not just our UK base, but strongly connected to the local community.
- When did you first become involved in rugby?
Many years ago, as an occasional player in the Hong Kong Police, my favoured position was Second Row.
- What is your earliest or fondest memory of Cardiff Blues?
Having been born in Wales, but with many of my wife's family in Gloucester, I can't help but smile each time I remember the Blues 50-12 victory over Gloucester in the final of the 2009 Anglo-Welsh Cup. Or, when I remember the Blues 31-30 victory over Gloucester in the 2018 European Challenge Cup Final. Happy days.
- What makes Cardiff Arms Park special to you?
Easy question – the history. It is the home of such passionate support. Through everything from the incredible highs of a win, particularly when unexpected and hard fought, to the lows of a gut wrenching, unexpected defeat. It is the emotional attachment to history that can drive us on to deliver success in the future.