Greg Cox is the CEO and co-founder of Quint Group – an award-winning FinTech company with headquarters in Macclesfield, Cheshire which also has operations in London, America, Poland, South Africa, China and Australia. Here Greg tells us more about the FinTech giant’s beginnings and triumphs, as well as his role in achieving all of this.
Tell us a bit more about your career path, prior to founding Quint Group – what attracted you to the financial technology sector?
After learning to code at 16, I worked in a range of businesses areas, some online, before focusing in the consumer finance industry. I’ve always had keen creative inclinations (both parents are designers) and an entrepreneurial approach which, when combined with a computing background, seemed to be a successful recipe for building a business like Quint.
How was the idea about Quint Group born?
I was a passive investor in a consumer finance business in 2006, which subsequently failed in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008. When the business failed, I was asked to investigate and summarise to other investors why the business was unsuccessful and what our options were. While completing this report I started to look at the market in detail and it became apparent to me that consumer finance was primarily delivered to customers over the phone and on paper, which seemed crazily outdated. I could not believe how far behind the consumer finance industry was in terms of online technology application – this realisation prompted me to start Quint. Upon launch in 2009, my aim was to build businesses in the consumer finance space that focused on online platforms and technology.
Despite your countless responsibilities, you are still involved with the day-to-day technology developments of the business – how do you ensure you are directing the company in the correct direction, form a technological point of view?
I have lots of talented people around me that are experts in tech and product delivery. Those people work across our three separate tech hubs, allowing me to take considered views from three independent groups of experts. This is helpful and means I get a balanced perspective. The experience gained from making good decisions and the lessons learned from making bad decisions historically are also very valuable in my current decision making progress.
Do you look at others in the FinTech industry as competitors or do you take a different view?
Yes and No. As a Group, we do not have single direct competitor because we have multiple business channels combined within one group. However, we do have competitors to some of our individual businesses, although my perspective is that everyone in the sector is someone we can potentially work with and learn from. Across the Group, a competitor of one of our businesses might be a potential client or supplier of one of our other businesses, so our outlook is necessarily collaborative and perhaps more relaxed to competitors than most.
To what extent is Brexit going to affect Quint Group?
That is a very good question – I don’t think anybody knows the answer to how Brexit will affect their business! We do not import or export goods and have limited exposure to currency fluctuations so certain aspects of Brexit may not affect us in the same way they will other businesses. My feeling is that Brexit and other economic and political challenges we have ahead of us, could result in an economic downturn, which could have the potential to negatively affect the UK economy. All we can do is prepare as much as possible, diversify to mitigate risk and react timely to changes in the socio-economic landscape.
What goals are you working towards with the company? What do you hope to accomplish?
Our company is ultimately consumer focused – our greatest successes are derived when we put the consumer’s needs at the heart of what we do and this ultimately drives our commercial success. In terms of revenue, our short-term goal is to grow to £100M GBP annually and successfully develop our international territories. Our long-term goal is to create Europe’s most successful group of FinTech businesses.
What is your advice for successful leaders in the modern tech-focused world?
Focus on the medium to long term and worry about getting that right. The medium and long term will soon become the now and if you take a long term approach, you will get long term results. It can be easy to get distracted with the day-to-day, so I mindfully set aside time for strategic planning on a regular basis. Another key area for me is keeping laser focused on real profits and revenues as opposed to users or other tech intangibles. I’ve witnessed too many people give away valuable services for free because they feel user volume is more important than traditional metrics of success. I think this approach will result in many businesses failing in the coming years.