1. As a relatively new provider in the Fintech space, which solutions do you offer and which types of customers do you target?
What we do? In one sentence I would say “Intelligent Process Automation for Payments, Finance & Treasury”. What does that mean? We digitalise, sanitise and aggregate internal and external relevant sources of information to automate tasks that are still very much manual, like reconciliation, cash allocation, payment orchestration, detailed booking, cost control, regulatory reporting, or forecasting, to quote a few. We re-engineer broken financial and accounting processes to avoid manual data crunching. We use the word “intelligent” as our system is much smarter and robust than RPA, and uses Digital Contracts, Machine Learning and AI. The benefits for our clients are real-time access to reliable data, accurate reporting, the ability to focus on taking the right decisions, scalability of operations, but also the ability for them to deploy very quickly -at a modest cost compared to tweaking their existing ERP- new solutions. Our system is an industrial strength Platform as a Service that can be used via a set of public APIs and/or dedicated micro-services. Our clients are blue chips institutions in the payments or FX areas, financial institutions, and international corporates. We are planning to deliver soon “off the shelf” advanced but affordable treasury services for SMEs.
2. How does Fennech differentiate itself from players such as Payment Service Providers (PSPs) or Payment Orchestrators?
We are completely agnostic about the Payment Service Providers our clients use, PSPs or Banks. We connect and interact with all of them worldwide. We would differentiate ourselves from the typical payment orchestrators because we cover a much wider value chain, from digesting and sanitising detailed raw data at the source to best in class cash forecasting at the end. We offer indeed a comprehensive pre- and post-payment platform that overlays and complements existing IT stack like ERP, accounting, CRM or TMS. We ensure that all non-added-value tasks performed by humans on excel for instance are fully automated.
3. How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted Fennech (e.g. positively, negatively, neutral)?
We truly sympathise with those that have been suffering personally and professionally from this pandemic. We have been impacted as well naturally, but we are not complaining.
Overall, this crisis has been probably positive for us. Indeed, from the inception of the company back in early 2017, and because we were physically located in the UK, France and Canada, we have built all our systems and internal processes in a truly digital way. From day one, we have been able to operate wherever we physically were, so working from home in lockdown time has not changed anything in the way we operate. Also, this Pandemic has shown to our clients how important it is to have access to reliable data in real-time and robust processes to continue operating wherever people are and on whatever device, within a secured and controlled environment. Particularly important when we are talking about movement of cash, isn’t it? Therefore, clients have been much more receptive to what we are offering.
I would like to add two additional points as regards to social responsibility in this pandemic time: Firstly, we have been able to continue to operate without furlough and without taking any support from any state. We didn’t want to abuse systems that are important for those who really need it. Secondly, we launched a program called “LaunchPad” targeting those people who lost their jobs because of the current situation, those entrepreneurs or startups that can’t afford anymore to invest in robust IT, graduated students who are not going to find a job in the short term, etc. and we offer them the use of our platform to build their solutions and quickly go to market with a two year complete waiver of license fees.
4. What are your hobbies? How do you spend your spare time?
I am passionate about dressage horses, aviation, and opera. I am currently renovating a 14th century house in south west of France, and I truly enjoy the ability to spend more time with my four kids around that family project. Also, I am working on my next ventures.
5. What are your long term personal goals?
Be more socially impactful. First for my family that I hardly saw when I was in banking, for my few close friends that I almost lost of sight, my colleagues, but more broadly for all those people that I could help to make a living and help make our society better and safer going forward.