Seeing and seizing business opportunities in a regulated worlds with Fiona’s ComplyFirst

The Finterview - Fintech Exposed episode 5

As a daughter of entrepreneurs, Fiona never planned to become one herself.

But the secret sauce of being a good entrepreneur is about identifying opportunities.

And seize them.

Looking back it was obvious from the get go that Fiona’s career was never going to take a ‘typical’ trajectory. Fiona started her career out of university (after studying law) working at Goldman Sachs, in the compliance department. A perfect fit really since they were targeting lawyers for their natural understanding of the regulations at the time.

This started Fiona’s passion for the niche of financial regulations and her inner nerd, who loves the latest regulatory updates as her bedtime reading, flourished.

From here Fiona moved onto City Bank before deciding she wanted something more purpose driven and flexible. Not something you can find in a role with big investment banks.

So she moved on to work at Transfer Lab. As a young startup themselves at the time, this meant Fiona wore many hats and got to have a taste of many of the different aspects of being a founder.

She saw the 10,000 foot perspective of working in a small company and loved it. It was very exciting for her.

In this episode we walk through her story and the things she saw from a corporate position, with an entrepreneur view.

The importance of having immense passion as a founder

If you start your own company, you will spend a tremendous amount of intense hours in whatever you do. Because there is no way around.

This is what getting a company off the ground means. It gets a lot of energy to kick things off, and it doesn’t stop when you start being successful.

Therefore, if you are not totally sold on your vision, things might not play out well.

Many entrepreneurs look back at when they started and realise how little they knew about the troubles they were getting into, which would have probably restrained them from beginning in the first place if they had any idea.

But this is what you need as a founder, believing in your vision, with sometimes an inch of boldness.

Big risks can work out, and it is ok they don’t.

You can either spend your life waiting to be perfectly ready, analysing the nitty gritty details of the problem you are trying to solve and never get started.

Or you can take the plunge.

Sometimes this also means you need to take the risk that could pay big.

Just bear in mind that failures are only learning opportunities. As is common to hear from founders, it is thanks to their previous companies that the one they are known for is a success.

Fiona decided to take the risk of getting out of a corporate career and found ComplyFirst.

Solving a problem is much easier than finding the problem you have solved

Too often founders are going the opposite direction and have a solution that they are trying to reverse engineer the problem for. According to Fiona it is much wiser to start from the problem and then find a solution.

ComplyFirst came from Fiona recognising the pain point that all founders experienced trying to keep on top of the FCA regulations and requirements. The immense hours needed gathering data from different silos and collaborating with so many different areas could be done so much better. So Fiona set about finding a way to reduce this discomfort.

Taking her extensive understanding of the regulatory requirements, Fiona broke the information down into plain language everyone can understand and codified it to build it into the ComplyFirst platform. Ready to help new founders struggling to swim upstream in amongst all the confusing regulations from the FCA.

Why ComplyFirst has decided to team with up with Integrated Finance

Giving back to the next wave of founders in the industry is their responsibility, having benefited so much from the learnings and knowledge of the founders before them.

This is why the team backing Integrated Finance are so passionate about seeing the next generation succeed.
Not only is there the potential for some epic new ideas and solutions to come to fruition, but they thrive on the opportunity to help and support new founders in the unknown world they were once in themselves.

“Pay it forward” is a given in Silicon Valley. And this is an attitude that Fiona and Amar share, as well as more and more founders of the ecosystem.

Listening to this episode, you will also get first-hand insights and experience on the FCA regulations and how Fiona thrives into this world.

Listen to Fiona and Amar discuss the FCA and the hurdles they make founders and Fintechs jump to succeed.This is your opportunity to learn from the experts how to survive in this world of regulatory pain.

And to hear about their views on the FCA, what’s working and what is... not. Sometimes the FCA’s desire to avoid consumer harm can result in a stifling of Fintechs, so how does Fiona see this improving? Listen here 🎧or in your favourite podcast app👇

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