1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire but I have lived in London now for 15 years. I am married with two boys (Harry 5 and Ted 3). I went to Oakham School in Rutland, and then attended Durham University where I studied Music followed by a masters in composition.
I have been in the FX industry since 2008 and currently run the FX Fund desk at Xenfin Capital in addition to being a founder of NEO. In my spare time, I love cooking (especially roast dinners with massive Yorkshire puddings), cricket, collecting different gins and Liverpool FC.
2. As one of the founders of Neo please tell us about when you all first came together to begin the Neo story.
NEO was partly born from my relationship with Laurent and Emmanuel. They were clients of mine from about 2014 and having decided on what they wanted to build, approached myself and Duncan in 2017 about funding/helping to set up what has now become NEO.
With Duncan, who is the Chairman of NEO and also my boss at Xenfin Capital, we invest in all sorts of companies but predominantly with a strong focus on technology. The concept around rebuilding corporate banking was of massive interest to us. Having worked in the FX and payments space for over 10 years, I have seen day in day out the inner workings of how this industry operates as well as experiencing the frustrations first-hand as the “Siloed” approach that a lot of banks take creates inefficiencies.
Lack of transparency around FX costs, payment costs and the payment process needed to be addressed. This is what we have targeted in the building of NEO by offering our clients IBAN on demand in 30+ currencies, FX trading including derivatives, direct access to SWIFT and SEPA plus multiple LP connectivity for pricing and full reporting capabilities.
There has been a lot of new tech solutions for retail banking however corporate banking seemed to have been overlooked. This is where we have stepped up as we want to challenge this space.
3. Tell us about your role at Neo.
I sit as a Co-Founder and Investor but am also building out the London side of the business for sales and operations. My day is spent liaising with partners of ours who are now utilising the NEO platform to run their own FX business, as well as working with clients directly. I get involved with the marketing and PR side and have recently begun working to build out the London team with new hires.
4. What leadership skills and qualities are important in your position at Neo?
Planning and organising my day efficiently is paramount. This new way of working using video conferences is great as you can fit in lots of meetings each day, however it also means you have lots more to follow up on and manage each day….!!!
5. How has the treasury landscape changed during your time in the industry and at Neo?
Digital has always been knocking on the door ever since I started in 2008. I have used and sold basic online payments platforms previously, but the requirements of the treasurers and finance teams has evolved. Reporting data accurately and efficiently is as important as executing the trade and making a payment. Regulatory requirements have also increased, and rightly so, which also pushes the need for an automated solution for this. NEO solves all of these requirements in one platform.
6. How do you see it changing in the next 5-10 years?
Looking forward, the need for secure but remote working is only going to grow. Being able to run a large treasury team remotely creates a number of challenges. Even before Covid-19 became part of everyone’s lives, NEO had built a platform that allows each user to be given very specific roles and permissions so to restrict the available features/actions. This allows complete peace of mind that employees using the NEO platform are only able to carry out the job functions expected of them, irrespective of if they are in the office or not.