Brexit who? Despite much uncertainty surrounding the state of the UK in the recent months, Trustly is forging ahead in the exciting market. Our London office is growing quickly and the team there is working hard to form a focused commercial strategy for our payment products. We caught up with Ciaran O’Malley, the new head of commercial strategy at Trustly, to learn more about his background and how he plans to approach his new role.
Hi, Ciaran! Can you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before coming to Trustly?
I was born and raised in Essex before going to university in Durham. While at Durham, I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics, although I probably spent more time rowing and running a nightclub business. Since graduating, I’ve held several roles in investment banking. I worked for two years as a risk quant/dev at Credit Suisse and then jumped across to financial institutions (FIG) M&A at SocGen. Most recently, I spent two years in Nomura’s FIG team advising on everything from the £3.5 billion acquisition of a specialist UK insurer to Icelandic bank IPOs.
Now you’re the Head of Commercial Strategy at Trustly. What exactly do you do?
Perhaps the only way to answer this question is with more questions! Here are some things I’m trying to answer: What type of merchants should the sales/account management teams focus on? How do we convince these merchants that Trustly generates real value versus other payment methods? How do we build a commercial organization with processes that can efficiently generate faster revenue growth? And how do we capture, utilize and monetize information in the organization?
Sounds like you’ve got your hands full! What do you like about your role so far?
Firstly, the people at Trustly have been extremely welcoming. There is a real positive buzz here that’s infectious. Secondly, the role itself is great. It’s very broad and challenging, which is what I was looking for.
What attracted you to Trustly?
The real pull was the opportunity to help build a business with a strong product but a relatively new commercial team. Also, having worked with Johan Nord [Trustly’s CCO] at SocGen, it was a no-brainer to come to Trustly when I decided to leave M&A.
What interests you most about FinTech?
In my view, FinTech isn’t an alternative to traditional finance; instead, it is the only way for financial services to remain relevant to increasingly digitalized customers. I’ve worked with firms going through this process across financial services: banking (digital banking), insurance (telemetrics), wealth management & brokerage (robo-advice), and more. Nonetheless, most traditional financial service businesses are held back by poor legacy systems, and that’s why working in a focused FinTech firm is so exciting — there’s nothing to hold us back!
Can you tell us more about Trustly’s London office? How is the environment different from places you’ve worked before?
The office is London has a great atmosphere but it’s very small! It has been a bit of a shock because I’ve always worked in very large offices. Here you have to get in early otherwise you might not get a desk and the meeting room is the staircase! But the team is working hard to find a new office, so we have exciting times ahead in London.
What’s the best tip you can give to someone visiting London for the first time?
Go to Primrose hill, take some Pimms and hope for sunshine.
Thanks, Ciaran! See you around the office!