Hi Brian, welcome to our first tea time of 2023!
1. Can you round up how 2022 was for you? Anything big happen?
2022 was great! We managed to sign some of the largest acquirers globally and more importantly carried on the momentum from 2021. Some great wins in terms of PSPs but also some great progress with merchants. As we introduced our enhanced offerings around the product in the latter half of the year, our pipeline grew two folds. The pipeline generated by this single product (considering POL is our main strength) is great to see and a testimony to all the work that has gone in.
2. How has your role evolved since joining APEXX?
My role has evolved a lot, from working with BNPL providers & PSPs, the team now works quite closely with merchants, Open Banking providers, APMs, Channel partners and the list goes on. I am enjoying it, learning a lot about different providers, some great referral partnerships are being formed but the focus will still be our gateway merchants and PSPs.
3. Before joining APEXX you worked for one of the largest BNPL providers. What’s it been like joining a scale-up fintech our size?
I joined my previous company when it was going through a scale-up phase (at least in the UK), so I have gone through the rollercoaster ride. The pace of growth is always the key element, this includes being thrown in front of senior stakeholders to run meetings or to execute some crucial deals but constantly hunting. I have always enjoyed it and it has been exactly that at APEXX. The exposure however at Apexx is of a bigger level, more challenging negotiations, and much wider scope with payment orchestration thereby making it even more interesting.
4. What has been the highlight so far of working at APEXX
I would say the involvement I have had in leading this product out to some senior exes in the industry and closing some deals has been the highlights. I must thank our senior management, for having the faith in me to deliver this and of course our product & implementation teams.
5. We talk a lot about the culture and constantly try to improve it. How would you describe the culture, and what’s it like working in your team?
We are at a growth phase now, so when one performs above and beyond what their role defines, it only motivates the entire group. So the working culture internally has always been to strive harder and an unsaid theme in the company has been the support everyone gets from everyone else! So that’s always refreshing and gives you the confidence to do more things and do things better. There is a sense of togetherness (sorry I sound like a football club manager but it's true), a sense of everyone being connected for a common goal.
For my team, I couldn’t have asked for a better set of colleagues.
6. What do the next 12 months look like for your role?
Delivery, in terms of revenue growth & expanding our partnership capabilities.
Delivery – This year the focus is on delivering on all the partnerships we have and making sure the revenue stream is healthy. I am also keen on ensuring we deliver on the merchant side of things, supporting our commercial team to take our product offering to the next level. Our pipeline for 2023 is very strong with some huge brands, so the focus would be to help close those deals.
Expanding partnership capabilities – As a team, we are now seeking newer partnerships which will drive direct revenue for the business, ones that will also influence our pipeline.
7. Are you able to share any exciting Partners you are working with?
Katie, you know I cannot share any names! We are working with some big names and I am sure we will announce some of them very soon. But we are also working with some niche partnerships within the channel space and will be looking to offer open banking. Some exciting new ventures for us, our merchants, and our existing partners. We are now processing nearly 1Bn a month, which takes us as an organisation to another level, so exciting times within the partnership space for us.
8. You do a lot of work outside of work mentoring young people and interns, can you tell me more about that?
I do, I enjoy it. I think I was one of the few lucky ones to find a job right after I left university, be it during the recession but had to find my own way in the industry and had to learn my way through it. It wasn’t until later in my career that I had some good people around me, some good managers who mentored me and guided me. I have always felt that the hunger and knowledge in the younger generation these days are far superior and I look to help in regard to basics like direction and guidance. So I do work with university alumni students to help in the simplest way possible really.
We have seen this in Apexx as well, our interns have done great and even at work, exposing interns to scenarios they will encounter in their professional life is key and I think we do that quite well here.
9. What would your advice be for anyone looking to pursue a career in Fintech?
My advice is don’t pick a role. Fintech is a vast open ocean, try to be the jack of all trades, and learn things around your role, so by this I mean, if you are in product, ensure you learn how the company commercialises the product, how the sales team sell, how we work with stakeholders and how the stakeholders generate revenue. A career in Fintech is always well served when you’re the jack of all trades… so for anyone looking to start their career in Fintech, what are you waiting for?
10. Finally for some more personal questions. When you’re not flying APEXX’s flag, what are you doing in your spare time?
For the last 4 years I have been a busy dad! So I am on dad duties with my little ones most of the time but apart from that, I love heavy metal music (I know I don’t look the part), travel, love conspiracy theories and binge some Netflix from time to time.
11. If you could pick one superpower what would it be, and why?
Multiverse time travel, I’d like to see the Brian’s of different multiverses and what they are up to!
Interviewed by: Katie Williams