I was born and raised in Siberia, Russia, but relocated to Barcelona ten years ago to pursue a career in finance. I started my career in accounting, where through learning about the struggles businesses have with payments, FX reporting and banking, I quickly became interested in technology and how it could transform the finance industry. This led me to work in fintech, which I have done for the last five years with talented people who are all searching for a better way to manage treasury.
I’m an avid reader and whenever I have a spare moment, I like to spend it reading about psychology, business, and product design, or reading memoirs. I started the year reading Barack Obama’s “A promised Land”, which revealed common misconceptions about the presidential function.
My other interests are mindfulness and meditation – I believe modern society has a lot to learn from the life of humble monks! I’ve also spent the last two years learning Chinese, just for fun!
2. Tell us about your role at Neo
As we are a small team at Neo, most people assume more than one role, which means I work as an Operations and Product Manager. I believe that managing clients’ daily operations as well as assisting with support queries makes me a better Product Manager. It also means that I understand users’ needs better and I can translate this knowledge into features.
I feel lucky to work in an exceptionally skilled and dedicated team, and for a company whose values are aligned with my own: integrity and client focus.
3. What leadership skills and qualities are important in your position at Neo?
One of the most important qualities to succeed in any start-up is self-motivation. It is crucial that we improve and grow every day. This is why I take the initiative to repeatedly troubleshoot our processes, prioritise what is important for us as a team and always looking for ways that we can improve. I also think that learning about the industry is key, which is why I’m constantly educating myself by undertaking a variety of courses, reading research and news and listening to podcasts.
4. How has the treasury landscape changed during your time in the industry and at Neo?
I have seen that the era of fintechs only focusing on being cheaper and more transparent than traditional banks is coming to an end. More and more clients are looking for a reliable long-term partner to support their growth sustainably, rather than just provide the best rate. I think fintechs now realise that the only way to build trust is to constantly deliver on the promises you make. As a result, they are increasingly becoming focused on offering their clients the most value within their field of expertise.
5. How do you see the industry changing in the next 5-10 years?
I believe both B2C and B2B consumers are looking for a one stop shop packaged in a single platform, and open banking has to be at the core of any future change. It goes without saying that in the next 5-10 years instant payments and full payment traceability will be the new normal.
For B2C users, I am convinced finance will become more accessible to non-professionals, with users being able to get valuable suggestions and simplified data by a provider of their choice to (hopefully) make informed decisions with just a few clicks.
In the B2B world, in the next 5-10 years we need to see basic tasks like data input, invoice payment, and reporting, among other things, being fully automated. In the future, we will see two main differentiation points between providers: those who can provide a variety of business solutions in one place and those who can provide the most useful KPIs, historical data and realistic forecasts to the decision makers.
That being said, we are living in a time when investing in your personal Instagram account may bring you a better ROI than a lifetime of investing in S&P500. I think traditional investment strategies and instruments will eventually fall behind in a race with the unleashed creativity people are demonstrating by monetizing ordinary and extraordinary things. For example, the other day I read about an Italian artist, Salvatore Garau who sold an invisible sculpture for 15,000.00 euros – the sky is the limit.
In 10 years’ time the change in the industry will be beyond what any of us could imagine right now.