Director, Financial Services

Cambridge, MA; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA

Come make an impact with us:

IDEO’s financial services practice focuses on three areas of work, which we call Portfolios. We are searching for a Portfolio Director to join our team and help shape a more human-centered and inclusive financial world and these three topics:

  • Product, Service, and Experience Design: Established financial services companies are contending with the threat of younger, learner startups and corporate ventures that have digital embedded in their DNA. How might we help them center their customers/clients in their business by building design capabilities, not only digital delivery capabilities?
  • Responsible Innovation: For those clients in the financial services industry that have already embraced experience design and design-led innovation as a strategy for differentiation and growth, how might we help them balance people, planet, and profit with the capabilities to do, teach, and scale?
  • Decentralized Finance: DeFi presents a potential seismic disruption to our clients’ businesses. How might they reshape their competitive advantages as the foundational paradigms of financial services shift?

This is an opportunity to use your deep expertise in bringing financial products, services, and experiences to market, and the network you’ve built along the way, to help IDEO’s clients innovate, grow, and pursue systemic impact across financial services.

This role may be based in any one of our three US studios: Cambridge, Chicago, San Francisco, or remotely anywhere in the US or Canada. 

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

IDEO’s been designing more human-centered financial services for more than 20 years - from small ways to save, changing how in-person banking works, and building new offers and ventures. More than ever before, emerging technologies and changes in the way people and businesses think about money have the potential to reshape and remake the financial system, and we will participate and be a prominent voice in this.

You’ll be joining a national, multidisciplinary team of leaders who believe that the financial service industry has plenty of room to grow to become more human-centered and design-led. And, through that kind of transformation, there is an opportunity to make finance more equitable, inclusive, and meaningful to people’s lives. This role is critical to making that vision a reality, through proactively expanding the network of clients and partners we’re working with, to giving our clients the confidence that the work we deliver can be brought to market successfully, to helping to define creative excellence in the industry both inside and outside of IDEO. 

Once here you will:

  • Shape and share our point of view on making financial services more human-centered and explore how we can unlock new paradigms and possibilities, our strategy for realizing these ambitions, and the stories of our impact.
  • Own and collaborate in new client relationships and existing partnerships, framing new opportunities to realize impact with clients, and growing our collective network.
  • Scope and guide design engagements to be both creatively fulfilling and successful in creating the intended outcomes in our client organizations. Grow and sustain key relationships that will help push the portfolio of impact. 
  • Work with the leadership team, and hold shared accountability for revenue commitments, network health, and creative excellence.
  • Inform IDEO’s capabilities to meet market needs, including collaborating with IDEO designers and leaders to deliver new products, services, and experiences. 
  • Contribute to market research on latest trends in Financial Services that can have an impact on our clients or lead to engaging projects with prospects.
  • Build an inclusive culture and community alongside the existing leadership team, leading and mentoring an extraordinarily talented community of people with a wide variety of creative backgrounds. 

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we are also intentional about enabling our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career. 

Some previous work to check out:

American Family Insurance Moonrise

Pacific Life Swell

American Express Pay it. Plan it. 

Last Mile Money

IDEO CoLab Ventures

Relevant experience and mindset:

We are particularly interested in candidates that can demonstrate deep fluency in one or more of the following focus areas:

  • A depth or breadth of 7+ years of experience seeking to improve how financial services work from within the industry, conceiving of, designing, developing, and taking to market new financial products, services, and experiences
  • Successful candidates will bring a network of relationships/contact, and the ability to describe what good work looks like in consumer and commercial banking, lending, insurance, and wealth management.
  • Progressive leadership experience in leading teams and product lines, segments, or lines of business, including integrating insights generation, design, product/service development, and operational excellence
  • Successful candidates will combine rigorous business acumen with depth of knowledge in one or two of: Strategy, Marketing (Product or Brand), Organizational Behavior, Operations, Information Technology, Finance, and Design.
  • Experience in a client-service or consultative role which might include management consulting, creative services, design, finance or operations.
  • A strong track record of business development with new and existing clients
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.


Sound like you? Send us your resume and a cover letter (yes, we absolutely read them) that answers the following prompt:

What are the most important unmet human needs and aspirations that you want to design for in the financial system? 

We will be reviewing your applications on a rolling basis and we can’t wait to hear from you!


IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.



Check out Inside Scoop to get the low-down.

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization and in the world.

Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

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