Fresh out of college I studied Automotive Engineering but was swayed by the idea of making lots of money so dropped out and worked in the motor trade moving to Volvo looking after their national B2B sales. I briefly dipped my toes in the advertising world of billboards before I was saved by Erica (AP colleague) who persuaded me to interview with Accelerated Payments, goodness knows I’m thankful I got it – and I’ve been here for 2 and a bit years now – part of the history! From beauty to cars to fintech entrepreneur – three big passions of mine.
Now that is a question! When I joined AP they were at an early stage, only being a year old, so it was a case of being involved in lots of different areas of the business and understanding everything from client needs in marketing to how to get deals over the line in credit.
More recently I’m working on our process for system and partner referrals making it very easy and fast to check a credit limit or apply for funding for a client. Normally I work a hybrid role between business development and client management. When a client comes into Accelerated Payments, I make sure that all the relevant documents are gathered and packaged up nicely before the deal is sent into the client management team. This can be varied, each client has special requirements so could be in the form of release letters, or exceptions – it gives me a chance to get to know the individuals both deals and clients.
We are now in a high growth scale-up phase where we are recruiting a lot of new people – there is still so much to do and it is great to be part of this transition whilst having an understanding of the business as a whole. Innovation never gets boring particularly on the tech side!
The product remains the same in all countries we work in, but the markets are quite different. I think that the UK are slightly more relaxed and patient, whereas Irish people want things done yesterday!
The thing I love about the UK market is that when we are assessing a client it is so much easier with Companies House and Credit Safe having a lot more information than in Ireland. I have all the relevant details at my fingertips rather than having to look around. We have our own version in Ireland but there is limited publicly available information and integration capabilities.
Pre-Covid a lot of the clients we were speaking to initially came to us because their payment terms had suddenly been extended. They might have just won a great contract with a big blue-chip client, so whereas before they were happily working on 30 days end of month, suddenly they are having to plug a much longer capital gap. Requests were coming in out of frustration to agree to lengthy terms to not lose contracts. The clients would say things like “We don’t want to turn down a contract just because they’re extending payment terms because it would look like we are not a mature enough company to have the contract in the first place.” It is a little like keeping face in times of growth.
A lot of our enquiries also came to us as they did not like the idea of having a charge over their business, which was a challenge when trying to find funding in the market. Often, they had been turned down by their mainstream funders because their balance sheet was not that strong, or that they were a young company. So, they really liked the simplicity and flexibility of our product where the emphasis is on the strength of the debtor. To be honest this is still relevant today especially with the effects of Covid and now that business is starting to ramp up again and take on new contracts.
That would have to be our €100m celebration karaoke night which was in November of last year. We got a karaoke machine into the boardroom, all the team at that time were there so there was a fantastic atmosphere. People got into the spirit of it, somewhere there are lots of videos of duets which may or may not make it to our social media feeds – a particular rendition of Frank Sinatra with Colm Devine springs to mind.
During Covid we have tried to bring all the different global offices together and was great fun – the cocktail party was something we pulled together quickly. We are hoping that when restrictions eases a little, we can organise mini pods of employees who are local to each other to meet in person and have a meal paid for by AP so it’s not all virtual!
I have always been obsessed with cars. My grandfather worked in the motor trade for years and he brought me into it – not your stereotypical hobby for a beauty school drop-out! I bought my first car when I was 14, it was a wreck which I fixed up and sold before I could even drive! Ever since then I have been obsessed. Ryan, my partner, and I were trying to write down and count how many cars I have had so far, and we got to upwards of 54 since I was 15.
I currently have two in process of doing up: a Beetle and then the Figaro. The Beetle needs a lot of welding work done to it, I rebuilt the engine over lockdown, took it all apart, cleaned it, replaced the filters and gasket, and put it all back together. Any time I have a spare 5 minutes you will find me on the internet looking at reviews – I love it!