In Accelerated Payments latest Time Out With… we caught up with Neil McMillan, who started his finance career in Glasgow, Scotland. Neil took his career to England, then eventually to New Zealand and Australia before moving to Canada. Neil’s career has taken him pretty much around the globe.
After working in SME financing for more than two decades, I realized that the sector needed fresh ideas, technology and thinking. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the old, outdated ways of doing things. When I met Ian Duffy, the CEO of Accelerated Payments, he told me about all the innovation that AP had brought to the table. It was exactly what I was looking for. I was intrigued by its technology and cross-border funding and captivated by the culture that AP promoted.
I have a number of responsibilities as the Head of North America. Principally, I support my staff (Sales and Operational). My chief responsibility is to ensure that these departments are functioning properly. I also spend a lot of time in either online or face to face meetings with referral partners and brokers. We are fortunate in that most of our business referrals come through the business community. So, I spend a lot of time trying to promote AP as well as building relationships in the business community to drive business to our door.
One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing the team flourish. I believe that success breeds success. When new clients come onboard, everybody gets a boost. This creates a positive ripple effect where the team is energized to do more.
Culturally, Europe, Canada, and the United States are quite different. I find that Canadians have a different risk appetite because they are tied to traditional providers. Businesses need to be persuaded to leave their banks in favour of alternative financers.
In comparison, consumers in the US are eager to change for the right cashflow solution as they often have a far more fragmented financial system.
When it comes to work culture, since living in Canada, I have learned that Canada is quite relaxed. Canadians are naturally friendly and respectful, and business is conducted in the same way.
Working from home is something I really enjoy. However, I am a people person who thrives on social interaction. I like to leave my home office at least twice a week to attend some social events. I also network extensively in the business community. Fortunately, I’ve known many of these people for a long time, so I basically get my social and business fix at the same time.
I see Accelerated Payments becoming the number one Independent Invoice Finance provider in North America. This will be achieved by leveraging the skills and exceptional global experience of our team and our technology (which is exceptional). I truly believe our product is best in class. So, if we continue to increase the amount of noise in the marketplace about what we do, I believe we will easily get there.
I enjoy doing a mixture of things. Hiking, biking and camping are just a few of my favorite things to do. My partner and I decided to spend our free time camping across Canada because we were new to the country. So this week, instead of flying to fancy hotels, we’re driving to a fancy camp! At the same time, we also plan to attend a jazz festival.