Alexia has spent her career at the intersection of technology and financial services. After working at Deutsche Bank, she joined Anthemis Group SA, an early-stage venture firm. After Anthemis, she focused on global financial services investments at private equity firm Apis Partners before joining SBIA. Alexia has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Tufts University and a [master’s] from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
What were some of the lessons you learned early in your career?
I learned hard work really pays off. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s exceptionally successful who doesn’t work exceptionally hard. I’ve also learned that this is a very relationship-driven business, so taking the time to make sure you have good relationships really makes a difference. Finally, don’t believe everything everyone tells you. It’s best to double check.
What areas are you most excited about right now?
I’ve spent my career focused on fintech and financial services, and that’s my focus at SBIA as well. More specifically, I really like businesses that focus on new payment modes. We’ve seen an increase in account-to-account payments, so there’s a bit of a disintermediation happening on the payment side. I’m also quite interested in embedded finance. Pretty much any type of enterprise should be able to incorporate financial services into their offering.
What do you think will be the biggest change in fintech over the next five to 10 years?
I think the biggest change is going to be what you consider to be a financial services company. It's no longer just going to be your bank. It’s going to be where you buy your phone, for example. Manufacturers and tech companies will be able to provide the financing and the insurance in addition to the product itself. The experiences might feel similar to the consumer, but by providing financial services on top of their existing businesses, companies will be able to make a better margin.
How would you describe your style when you work with companies?
I learn a lot from listening. I’m open and transparent, which is something I find most founders appreciate, even if it’s not exactly what they want to hear. I’m also quite collaborative.
What do you look for in a founder?
I really appreciate founders who are creative. You might start off thinking a product is going to look a certain way, but externalities change. The best founders can pivot their businesses quite a bit, and do it fast. They don't get too scared of failure, will work with what they have, and will ask for help.
What values do you live by?
You can’t really compromise on honesty and integrity. I have two young kids, so family is also very important to me. That’s priority number one, even though work is quite time consuming.
What qualities do you admire in other people?
I value people who are resilient, who are doers, and who will execute. There are many people out there who talk a big game, but rarely do you find people who get off the couch and execute on what they want to do.