Formerly Group Innovation Director and COO Digital Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, MD of Paypoint.net and Director at PayPal
Your background, how did you end up doing what do you now?
I was trained as a Civil Engineer and I earned my first salary as a coder but I quickly went back to my profession, building roads and rail lines in West Africa. I got into financial services after business school by joining GE Capital. I got involved with digital in the late 90's, just before the dotcom crash of 2001.
After GE, I joined a VC-backed incubator followed by several leadership roles at PayPal, PayPoint and more recently at the at the Lloyds Banking Group.
I have recently set up The Pacemakers to enable me to work with both Startups and very large businesses. I mentor the first group and I advise the second group on how to build profitable digital offerings to complement their existing activities. I am sector agnostic but I see that I focus a lot of my time on FinTech, payments and financial services.
What does a digital change agent do?
In my businesses I help organisations understand and (hopefully) benefit from digital change. Every business is different and at the core of each one is a number of hypotheses. I work with each business to understand, refine and sometimes transform these hypotheses into propositions and eventually business plans that can actually be implemented.
As I work with both start-ups and very large firms, I often see myself acting as a bridge between two different ways of doing business – the entrepreneurial, creative and bold world of the start-up and the organised, layered and complex world of the big business.
What you do sounds like a lot of fun (as well as challenging), do you have different approaches for them (startups versus large businesses) etc?