Meet Rob Szasz, CTO, To Learn How He Is Driving Finsmart’s Innovation Agenda
The engine room of the fintech is embodied by the CTO. Here we explore how Rob is driving Finsmart’s innovation agenda for DCM that delivers impactful results.
Q. What is your role at Finsmart?
I’m CTO for Finsmart so I’m obviously responsible for everything technical, but as a member of a small startup everyone wears multiple hats!
IT security is an immensely important part of my role and critical in the industry in which Finsmart operates.
Our main focus currently is DealPro. Whilst Sotiris and Guillaume take the lead on shaping much of the vision and prioritising requirements, I wear the product hat, guiding how the features come to life.
Q. Why do you think Finsmart is unique?
We’re like many of the boldly ambitious startups out there trying to bring about change and being brave in the face of challenges. We believe that change in Debt Capital Markets is inevitable and that it will happen at an exponential pace. Finsmart is ‘one to watch’ because we’re navigating the uncharted waters of Primary Capital Markets with a clear vision on how to deliver change.
Q. What do you personally bring to the table?
With grand visions and big aspirations and a huge to-do list reverberating around the virtual office, I like to think I bring some pragmatism in moving Finsmart forward at an ambitious but achievable pace.
Q. What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?
Focusing on the primary issuance process, I think the challenge is that whilst there are many areas where technology can help and many places in the process that could be improved any effort to deliver this needs to be adding value on day one, otherwise adoption won’t happen.
Q. Where do you see Finsmart today, 5 years, 10 years?
Finsmart is uniquely placed in the market today having already started to challenge current thinking of both the DCM and the issuer teams on primary issuance transactions.
In 5 years we will be established with banks and issuers, transforming the way participants in primary markets interact and collaborate.
In 10 years, we will be using data to deliver insights beyond what we currently think is possible, and seeing market participants collaborate in a way they could never have imagined.
Q. What are you working on at the moment and why?
Today we are working on supporting DCM teams to enhance their use of technology. We fundamentally believe that by improving collaboration between banks, issuers and investors, making processes more efficient and bringing structure to the qualitative data gathered during the issuance process, we can establish a foundation of technical change in this space. This, we believe, is a critical forerunner to delivering seismic change.
Q. What is your vision with DealPro?
DealPro will dramatically transform the Issuer experience of today and spearhead the digital transformation of the primary issuance process, benefiting all market participants.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself
I started my career at a large consultancy, working in their defence division and worked on a precursor to the battlefield digitalisation programmes. I went on to work as a developer for many banking teams and naturally moved into tech-lead and architectural roles. I work best when I’m problem solving, so the start-up environment is perfect for me!
Q. Why did you join Sotiris and Guillaume to launch Finsmart?
Sotiris and Guillaume both inspire me and their passion for making a change in Debt Capital Markets was compelling!
Q. What are you most proud of?
Getting to our first MVP target was hugely gratifying as it took a lot of effort building our platform from scratch. We had to make some difficult decisions, as you would expect, along the way to reap the rewards.
Q. What’s it like working with Sotiris and Guillaume!
Working well together during the lows is key to survival for many situations, and an absolute must for surviving the rollercoaster ride of a startup!
Sotiris brings the relentless drive and focus, Guillaume the impassioned insights to real life in Debt Capital Markets and injects humour to keep us all balanced!
Q. What do you like to do outside of work!
Family and friends keep my very occupied outside of work and I enjoy DIY, cooking, cycling, playing pool and photography.