Roberta is a highly experienced advisor with a diverse background encompassing finance, project management, sales, and emerging technologies. Driven by her dedication to fostering startups and scale-ups, she strives to apply her abilities and viewpoint to create positive influences on businesses through advisory roles.
Then I went to a startup of 30 people, and actually the smaller I go, the more I enjoy it. I like for the roles as they have got more breadth and I like the enthusiasm and energy vibe that there is in a startup and scale up environment.
How did you transition from an executive career to a portfolio career?
My executive career is quite broad. I made the decision quite early on to go for breadth rather than specialization. So I started in finance, then I moved into project management, doing re-engineering. Then I went into new product development. So I did quite a lot of project management and product was very important.
And then because I was working in a commercial area of American Express, I decided to have a commercial role. So I went into sales. From there, account management, which was my first very large leadership role. Then I was headhunted into a travel tech where I had a very large commercial strategy as well as sales operation role. And it was one of the best roles in my career.
I left there to go into FinTech called Contis. The first role was product. Then I took over the account management team, and then the last role was the other very, very nice role that I had in my career, which was the account development team with all the operations teams. So basically every touch point the customer had, the clients had with the company from contract signing, I had those teams and it was really great. And from there I moved on to a WealthTech to have a very similar role. It was chief Customer Success Officer, but it was a smaller scale and now I'm looking for my next executive role.
Why did you join Connectd?
My main reason of joining Connectd was that they approached me while I was already with another network, and I was dissatisfied with that network was to found that the pitch that Connected had with me was very appealing because of the focus on startups and scale-ups.
What is your experience of working with the Connectd team?
Yes, so far my experience with Connectd is positive because they are very focused, as I said, and they say the things they're going to deliver. It's not promising too much. Very focused promise, but then delivering on what is promised. And for me, that's the most important thing. So far I found that what Connectd has done for me has met my expectations.
Where does your passion for working with scale-up and start-ups come from?
The last two roles that to executive roles that I had were in a scale up and then in a startup, and my career was American Express, like a hundred thousand people. Then they fire it down to 50,000. Then I went to three and a half thousand, which was a mid-cycle operation, and then I went to a scale up 110 people. Then I went to a startup of 30 people, and actually the smaller I go, the more I enjoy it. I like the roles, as they have got much more breadth and I like the enthusiasm and energy vibe that there is in a startup and scale up environment.
How have you found working with start-ups on Connectd?
So far I've only worked with one startup in the Connectd network, Pin Money. They are a FinTech in the money transfer sector and I've enjoyed working with them so far and today I've been appointed their advisors. So all good, very happy.
What is it like working with the founder?
I am really enjoying working with the founder of Pin Money. He's trusting me in what I have to offer. He's open, he's full of ideas, he's got lots of enthusiasm, he's got clear plans of what he wants to achieve and I feel excited of being part of that journey.
What are your future career plans?
My future career plans are quite clear. I'm looking for my next executive role and if I choose, well, that should be my last executive role. While I will have that last role, I will keep on working on two roles. So I've already got a trustee role in a charity and from today and advisory role in a FinTech. So will continue to have at least two roles and then within four years I can retire from full-time executive career and just pick up maybe another couple of roles in a board and just focus just on my portfolio career.
What do you think are the biggest challenges for FinTech board advisors today?
First of all is compliance. No doubt about that. Secondly, it's going to be trying to, and I don't think it's just FinTech, it's probably in a lot of startups to trying to focus the founders into a precise brand rather than spreading themselves too thin. So that's a theme I think for every startup and specifically for the FinTech sector in the UK. I think Brexit has posed some challenges and I don't think it's worked out completely how to move on from there.
How would you describe Connectd in three words?
I would describe Connectd as fresh, focused, and connected.