A Female Leader Embodying Brilliance and A Growth Mindset
Driving innovation, creating employment opportunities, embodying resilience, serving as role models and contributing to the betterment of society, modern-day entrepreneurship standards have incredibly evolved. The contribution the present-day entrepreneurs are ensuring extends beyond economic prosperity, enriching the social fabric and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Hence, entrepreneurs like Edyta Knizewska forecast a better future for mankind. Be it challenging the status quo or introducing innovative perspectives, female entrepreneurs like Edyta have stimulated a major shift in the societal mindset and proved their prowess and competence at the forefront.
Being a businesswoman as well as a mother, Edyta has become a role model to all those females out there who strive to create their dream life whilst balancing parenting and the challenges of the ever so demanding banking and finance industry. And through this incredible success journey, she happens to draw inspiration from a multitude of remarkable individuals. Within her industry, she has encountered numerous exceptional women who have inspired her with their courage, resilience, and determination.
However, it is her son who truly embodies the essence of life inspiration for Edyta. At only 16 months old, he possesses extraordinary positivity and a belief that miracles can happen each day. Drawing from his outlook, Edyta embraces the same mindset and remains open to the endless possibilities that life can bring.
From a personal and professional growth standpoint, Edyta looks up to Vishen Lakhiani and his Mindvalley platform which has changed millions of lives. Vishen’s ‘s teachings and philosophies have had a significant impact on her, offering guidance and motivation both in her personal life and professional endeavours.
In fact, the conceptualization of her very first business venture, FIT Legal Solutions and the subsequent creation of the Derivatives Lab platform, is a testament to Edyta’s entrepreneurial spirit, which draws inspiration from the insights and principles shared by the Mindvalley tribe. FIT Legal Solutions is well-renowned to offer a specialist legal and business consultancy, born out of over a decade of the buy-side and sell-side experience.
Choosing The ‘Untrodden Path’
Edyta was born and brought up in Poland. She says that witnessing her parents’ unwavering commitment to their family’s future was character shaping and has installed a work ethic and drive in her she is really grateful for today. Additionally, Edyta observed that the women in her family put forth a tremendous amount of effort despite performing tasks that were stereotyped and limited by socially imposed gender standards. This epiphany spurred her ambition to break out from conventional women’s roles and pursue global chances, carving up a career outside of those restrictions. She was aware that her path would not be without difficulties, and that in order to thrive in a fiercely competitive environment, she would have to adjust and make many sacrifices.
After winning a scholarship to study International Relations at the University of Plymouth, Edyta’s career brought her to the UK. On the strength of this, she made the decision to pursue a legal degree and finally obtained sponsorship from the neighborhood law firm Foot Anstey. She completed rotations in a range of legal specialties along the way, including intellectual property, corporate M&A, and family law. Despite the challenges she faced, Edyta’s tenacity paid off when she qualified for commercial litigation, becoming the only woman on the team while challenging gender norms.
Having recognized the limitations of the rigid private practice, Edyta discovered her innate entrepreneurial drive. After taking a year off to pursue her passion for travel, she found herself yearning for the dynamic atmosphere of the corporate world, leading her to relocate to London. Drawing from her litigation and corporate background, s Edyta became fascinated by the dynamic nature of a career in the investment banking industry and actively pursued opportunities that piqued her interest. It was during this process that she stumbled upon a niche of lawyers specializing in trading agreements and derivatives negotiations— a distinct type of lawyers with a very unique skillset. As her aspirations took shape, the vision of becoming a legal counsel for a global investment bank became an achievable goal.
The Moment of Epiphany
With newfound clarity, Edyta decided to enter the derivatives industry, eventually heading up cross-jurisdictional legal derivatives teams for well-known companies like Man Group plc, the biggest listed hedge fund in the world, and Credit Suisse over a period of time. The limitations of the corporate setting, however, only strengthened her resolve to make her own name known in the derivatives industry.
Edyta thought the timing was perfect to launch FIT Legal Solutions since she had more than 10 years of practical experience in the legal, banking, and financial sectors. She invested herself in extensive industry study before stepping away from her corporate role in 2019 to better understand the industry, master the trading documentation, and the nuances of successful fund launches from conception to execution. Having built a very strong foundation, she was able to develop a dynamic approach within her professional practice and carve out a unique niche for her firm. With Edyta’s commitment to provide unparalleled services and bespoke approach to clients, FIT Legal Solutions now provides highly personalized business and legal solutions to market players globally.
Business Ethics at A Glance
“I stayed committed and four years on, I am now running my own successful boutique business. The corporate landscape has changed in so many ways since the pandemic and many clients are choosing a more bespoke personalized service that we are able to fulfil due to the flexibility of our business offering, which has been tried and tested over the years. As such, I have grown my client portfolio to include global asset managers, insurance companies and asset allocators, and I’m also building a strong team around me as FIT Legal Solution is becoming a platform for talented consultants globally,” stated Edyta.
Despite encountering many challenges along her journey, she firmly believes that every experience serves as a lesson and an opportunity to develop resilience. The realization that she has the power to make decisions that shape her professional path fills her with confidence and a sense of purpose.
One of the most significant hurdles Edyta faced was the decision to step away from the comfort of the corporate world and the security of a steady monthly salary. She reached a critical juncture where she recognized that without taking bold steps, she would never fulfil her true potential or achieve her dream of working for herself. Remarkably, this pivotal decision coincided with the onset of the global pandemic. However, Edyta remained focused and resolute, dedicating herself to providing remote support to her clients during these challenging times. This experience served as a profound realization of the power of networking in the business realm. Throughout her years in the banking, finance, and law sectors, Edyta established an extensive network of contacts. This network, combined with the ability to access a diverse range of industry experts globally, proved to be invaluable in navigating the new remote landscape.
Edyta’s ability to stay focused, adapt to changing circumstances, and leverage her extensive network demonstrates her resourcefulness and strategic mindset. She continues to thrive by embracing challenges, utilizing the power of networking, and providing exceptional remote support to her clients.
Traits That Enriches Her Personality
As they say, life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. During her path of self-discovery, Edyta came to the conclusion that the secret to her success is to embrace authenticity rather than always attempting to project perfection.
One of Edyta’s biggest assets is her capacity to adapt, which allows her to succeed in the constantly-changing, high-stress atmosphere of the business world. Her charismatic personality and inherent propensity for making connections and people skills have also been crucial in helping her develop a larger network of contacts and enduring business partnerships. Edyta is aware that each successful company’s endeavor revolves around its customers. She consciously prioritizes people and actively attempts to build new connections and learn from individuals she interacts with, whether she is drafting formal trade agreements or working on complicated derivatives arrangements.
Edyta is a leader with a difference as she holds compassion for the people she works with. She is driven by a deep-seated desire to mentor and develop the upcoming generation of legal professionals, negotiators, and business leaders in the field of banking and finance and asset management. Edyta wants to encourage and mentor people through the Derivatives Lab platform, inspiring them to leave their comfort zones, seize new possibilities, and have faith in their capacity to succeed as leaders and skilled negotiators regardless of whether they’re at tier-one banks, sizable asset management firms or smaller corporate companies. Edyta is dedicated to paving the road for ambitious professionals in this area by sharing her distinctive views and knowledge garnered from years of experience in the financial services and asset management industries. She actively coaches and mentors young, aspiring people as part of her commitment to giving back. “I truly believe that women can have successful and rewarding careers in banking and finance without having to compromise on their values or work-life balance. We have a unique voice, one that brings a different perspective and “, says Edyta.
The Golden Feathers On Her Cap
Within a short span of time, Fit Legal Solutions has amazingly created a huge impact in this competitive marketplace and garnered coveted accolades since its inception. “I am particularly proud of winning CIO Today’s Most Visionary Women Leaders Making an Impact, 2023 award, as FIT Legal Solutions and Derivatives Lab was born out of my vision and drive to not only build my own business but also to inspire others to realize their own potential,” says Edyta.
Moreover, the list of recognition/awards is pretty lengthy but a few of the worthy mentions are:
- Lawyer Monthly awarded her with, Women in Law Awards – Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year 2021, 2022 & 2023.
- She won Corporate America Today Annual Awards 2022 – Best Founder of the Year – UK.
- Been announced a finalist for “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2020 by Lawyer Monthly
- Shortlisted for “Women in Investment Awards” in 2021 by Investment Week.
Overcoming Challenges, Shattering The Stereotypes
In 2022, Edyta came across a study conducted by Deloitte, which revealed that women held less than 25% of leadership roles in the banking and finance services sector in 2021. The study projected that by 2030, this representation was unlikely to exceed 28%. This data highlights the persistent underrepresentation of women in boardrooms, despite their proven ability to generate stronger returns and cultivate better working cultures. However, there is a positive aspect in the form of a growing emphasis on improving diversity and increasing the overall percentage of women entering the industry.
Throughout her career, Edyta, as a woman, has encountered various challenges. From being the sole female presence in rooms dominated by decision-makers to facing skepticism about her capabilities, she has navigated through these obstacles while striving to strike a work-life balance and showcase her competence in a male-dominated environment. Overcoming these challenges requires a delicate balance of self-esteem, confidence, persistence, and resilience, especially in the non-traditional realm of the banking and finance industry. In her legal work, Edyta frequently advises and collaborates with senior management at the C-suite level, adding another layer of complexity to her role.
In Edyta’s path, confidence has proved to be a major game-changer. “I truly believe that women can have successful and rewarding careers in banking and finance without having to compromise on their values or work-life balance. We have a unique voice in the world, one that brings a different perspective and enriches discussions.” says Edyta. She aspires to motivate and encourage the subsequent generation of women in the derivatives industry by modelling the same work ethic as the female role models in her family and career. As part of this commitment, FIT Legal Solutions assists ambitious young women through Derivatives Lab, a cutting-edge online learning environment. As an online resource, the company put forth in-depth knowledge about the banking and finance sector, notably in the legal area. It gives you access to a plethora of knowledge, advice, and tried-and-tested methods for understanding derivatives documentation and excelling in this area as a professional.
A Capsule of Motivation Shared by Edyta
“Don’t hold back. Be raw and clear about what you really want, and think about what kind of business and career would best suit you, your personality and your desired lifestyle. Don’t look for perfection look for progress instead and keep it simple – complexity is the enemy of execution.
Communications, networking and client relations are key, so speak to as many people as possible connected to your industry of choice and take advantage of all the resources out there, including our Derivatives Lab if it’s a career in the derivatives sphere you are seeking!”