FinTech Female Fridays: Annelise Osborne, EVP Factora
Updated: May 3, 2019
Can you talk about your career path and what brought you to become the EVP of Fluidity Factora?
Less luck and timing, my career path was searching out opportunities to learn new things and build on my experience. My first career was commercial real estate in Ukraine and London. My second was rating commercial mortgage backed securities in structured finance. My third was corporate governance board work and building new business lines, both of which brought me to blockchain. Now at Fluidity Factora (previously Propellr), we are creating more efficient securities using blockchain technology.
What drew you to FinTech, and what about this industry is motivating you to stay?
When I learned about blockchain, I visualized numerous securities applications and wrongly assumed they were already being created. There are many efficiencies that can be gained by codifying smart contracts onto securities, which will help decrease the cost of capital and increase the speed and transparency of transactions. I think that upgrading finance is exciting.
As someone who has worked in the FinTech arena for several years, how have you seen it change with regards to the work that you are doing, and with regards to the demographics of the companies?
My experience was initially commercial real estate and then finance. I believe the adoption of technology has been slow in both industries, especially when we realize how technology has changed so many other aspects of our lives. In the past few years, I am seeing many more ‘experienced’ people leave corporate jobs to join technology companies which will aid in the adoption and successful creation of standards in the highly regulated world of FinTech.
What advice do you have for women who are looking to enter FinTech?
My advice to women entering FinTech is to search out mentors (both female and male), informally or formally, to use as a sounding board and to ask for advice. Also, I would encourage you to show up at events, be approachable, and work on building out your network. Networks are an investment and a support system that prove invaluable as time goes on. As a side benefit, I have made amazing and long-lasting friendships through my business network.
What has been your biggest challenge in your career thus far, and how have you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been internal, “how do I succeed when I don’t fit in”? I chose a career paths that see limited women - real estate, finance and technology. Getting over my mental block, I have used ‘not fitting in’ as an advantage. As the only woman in the room, people knew my name. I worked hard, early, and late and took on complicated projects. All of this gave me the basis to grow confident in my opinion, my decision making and my expectation that I deserve a seat at the table. Speak up, be respectful, and stay authentic.
Reach out to Annelise on LinkedIn.