University of Brighton Alumni Association

Picture of Nigell Todd smiling against a painted background

Business school alum nominated for prestigious award

Hear from School of Business and Law alum Nigell Todd who has been nominated as a Black British Business Awards finalist in the Senior Leader, Financial Services category.

We caught up with International Accounting and Finance graduate Nigell Todd shortly after the fantastic news of his nomination. A brilliant achievement and is a testament to his hard work and leadership skills.

He tells us about his fond memories of Brighton, his career successes to date, work as a diversity and inclusion champion, and shares insightful wisdom for current students.

Positive and practical experiences at Brighton 

“Personally, my experience in Brighton was life-changing. I guess in your young adult years you begin to learn about yourself while living away from home with greater independence. 

“I lived amongst many international students so while this environment was all new for me, I was able to share the same experience with so many other students. Peer support and connections were necessary which is why we are still connected almost 30 years later.   

“Professionally, the experience at Brighton was built on solid foundations and the discipline of learning. One of the distinguishing features of the degree was the international exposure opportunities. Even today, I remember my case studies in Krakow and my semester abroad at Villanova University. The opportunities opened my mind to wider cultural awareness, empathy, and resilience.

“A positive memory during my time at Brighton would be my coming out experience and finding a supportive LGBTQ+ community.  I am lucky the experience was positive as I know this isn’t always the case. The hardest part was being away from home during this time, however my closest friends were my rock.” 

Career-to-date and proudest achievements

“I am currently Head of Global FX Trading at Fidelity International. I started my career with Fidelity in 1999 at our Head Office located in Bermuda. In 2002, I moved to Ireland and have enjoyed an almost twenty-four-year tenure with various Treasury/FX roles at Fidelity. I currently manage all FX Trading activities and lead a small team based in Dublin and Hong Kong. 

“There are many proud achievements, however the common theme is around recognition for leadership and influencing progress around diversity and inclusion within the industry and community.   

“Going the extra mile, getting outside of my comfort zone, getting involved because I am passionate about a cause, which has always been in my mindset. Doing the bare minimum just to get by, or just to tick a box will not build your credibility or serve to be a quality for a legacy that I wish to leave behind. 

“I am also very proud of the impact I have made in my volunteering efforts and being actively involved in a befriending programme. The aim of the programme is to reduce isolation and loneliness and to provide support with integration in Irish society. 

“Most recently I am thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected as a Black British Business Awards finalist in the Senior Leader, Financial Services category.  The external recognition amongst so many influential peers has been such an achievement.  The awards ceremony will be held in October, I look forward to celebrating the achievements with all the other finalists. 

“Success is about learning, making an impact, being kind and being my authentic self.  It’s ok to learn from mistakes and try again, this is how we develop and build resilience.   

“Sometimes I find myself alone speaking up, or alone fighting for a cause – but I know if I don’t do it, who will?  Time is very precious and limited, however that makes my actions more intentional, and I personally commit to making an impact in anything I do.” 

Active diversity and inclusion champion 

“I have held various roles within Fidelity’s many D&I networks.  My active involvement has been as a member of the LGBT Global Action committee, Disability Strand Lead and currently Co Strand Lead of Cultural Diversity Network.   

“I was named in the Top 100 of the 2022 EMPower Executives List and Top 100 OUTstanding LGBTQ+ Executives List.  I very much feel honoured to be named in the list alongside so many other inspirational future leaders.  The inclusion in the list motivates me to do greater things and seek to continuously make an impact. 

“In 2020, I was also recognised as a LGBT Great: Project 1000 Role Model.  Again, truly honoured to be recognised in the industry for the contribution I’ve made within my organisation. 

“Through LGBT Great and OUTstanding I have been an external mentor to various LGBT+ individuals both in Ireland and the UK at external financial services firms. 

“I’ve been strongly advocating for an increase in the number of individuals of ethnic backgrounds to participate in talent development programmes and am involved in a working group to increase cultural diversity in decision making committees and Boards.”  

Advice for current students 

“Don’t be afraid to ask the question because if you’re going to ask the question, then somebody else probably wants to ask the same question.   

“Trust your instinct, most times that feeling in your gut, you’re probably right to question or pause for future analysis or investigation.   

“Be inquisitive and curious in learning, not just siloed in your thinking and network. 

“Join a network or community, a great way to meet other students and build your knowledge and understanding other communities. 

“There is no shame in asking for help, use the support available and speak to someone who may be able to assist. 

“Add value by providing your own genuine and authentic opinion. This is something that automated technology can’t fully replicate as AI isn’t able to provide a context of an individual’s lived experience, emotion, culture, and background. There may come a day when there is an abundance of artificial / synthetic content being readily available and people begin to value authenticity and therefore maybe willing to pay a premium.” 

Alumniawardawardsbusinessbusiness schoolleaderleadershipsenior leaderUniversity of Brighton

Alex Petrovic • September 27, 2023

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