Coffee Club with Carmela

05 Jun, 2024 . 4 minutes

Hello Readers!

We are excited to present the latest edition of our Coffee Club Blog, with our SVP Finance, Carmela Borrotzu-Evans! We are pleased to speak with Carmela as she shares her experiences and insights with us.

Please can you introduce yourself and describe what a day in the life as SVP Finance looks like?

  • Hi Everyone, I am Carmela! I work in the position of SVP Finance at APEXX, where I lead the global Finance function. I recently joined the APEXX team in January, and have worked on numerous exciting projects since! Describing what a day in the life of SVP Finance is quite tricky as everyday is different. One minute, I will be concentrating on financial analysis, preparing board packs and our pipelines for the next couple of years, to organising day-to-day financial processes and constantly looking to improve our function. This position is strategic where I collaborate with all departments, which is great as everyone is so friendly.

If you describe APEXX in a single word, what would it be?

  • I would say soaring - we collectively come together in order to reach the peak of the mountain, following the ‘APEXX’ legacy.

As our newest member of the EMT, what’s it like working with the Team?

  • I would say that the EMT is very diverse, we all have different backgrounds with experiences and approaches to situations, making collaboration really interesting. The variety of perspectives brings out engaging discussions and debates promoting the development of innovative solutions that are tailored to specific needs. We recognise that a singular approach may not always be optimal, and therefore, strive to develop adaptable solutions that achieve effective outcomes.

What was the transition period like moving from a huge company like Planet, to a scale-up Fintech?

  • It was interesting to see the contrast of processes, procedures, and the layers of management from a large company, to a scale-up Fintech like APEXX. For a scale-up, you have the freedom of making decisions more easily due to less complicated communication channels, which can overall make the environment feel more collaborative. This approach ensures that decisions are made with a comprehensive understanding of the organisation's goals.

How long have you been working in the Finance domain (in a Fintech), and what made you consider it as a career?

  • I have accumulated almost 16 years of experience in the field of Finance, with 8 of those years specifically within the Fintech sector. My interest in Finance was sparked during my Marketing degree, where I was drawn to the financial aspects of the curriculum. Viewing Finance through a business lens allowed me to blend my comprehension of consumer behaviour and analytical skills with my passion for the financial sector. This has helped my understanding of Finance beyond its conventional boundaries.

Alongside your degree in Marketing, what other qualifications have you acquired throughout your career journey?

  • After graduating, I pursued the CIMA Accounting qualification. Recognising the value of practical experience, I opted for a graduate programme that allowed me to qualify whilst working in a commercial role. Choosing CIMA over a traditional Accounting qualification was a preferable choice, due to the emphasis on business acumen and strategic thinking skills. This helped my desire to develop a career that goes beyond pure Accounting, and allows me to be a valuable partner within the business with additional exposure.

What key soft skills would you say are the most important when starting out a career in Finance?

  • I would definitely say that listening is a key soft skill when starting out a career in Finance. Your day-to-day can vary dramatically, so it is so important to listen and keep a notepad on you at all times. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure of anything, this is key.

How do you juggle the responsibilities of overseeing an entire Finance function while also being a mum to two young girls?

  • Haha! I would say that I am a very organised person, however, I tend to use spreadsheets and lists to map out my key priorities both in work and in my personal life. I think also preparing that my schedule will change, and making sure I am able to jump on urgent things at any time. I also aim to map out my week on a Sunday evening through my task list. It makes me feel ready for the week ahead.

How do you typically unwind after a busy day at work?

  • Definitely coming home and catching up with my daughters, seeing how their day went. Also, I think any form of exercise, which could just be a walk around the block, is so good for the mind and body. This definitely allows me to unwind.

Now for some fun questions…

What’s one thing on your bucket list that you hope to accomplish in the next year?

  • Master the art of balance by holding a handstand for a full 60 seconds.

If you were to have a theme song, what song would you choose?

  • I would say any song by Taylor Swift Ha!

If money was not an object, what outrageous luxury item would you add to your house?

  • Definitely a digital wardrobe. It would be so easy to wake up, and be able to select different outfits on a screen. You’ll never have to worry about planning outfits!

Thanks for your time Carmela, it’s been great chatting.

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