Prior to joining Nucoro as one of the founding team, Nikolai spent a number of years as a management and political consultant, gaining extensive experience across European bluechip clients and international organisations. He has spent the majority of his career focusing on operational excellence and process optimisation projects. Nikolai holds a dual Bachelor of Management from Hanze University Groningen and ESSEC Business School and an MSc in Political Economy from LSE. At Exo, he focusses on the operational aspects of the business which include Customer Support and Excellence, Operations and Integrations, Compliance, Finance and Legal.
What is it about FinTech that excites you?
I love to see the typical pattern of disassembly and reassembly that is exemplary of how technology disrupts the world. How hundreds of firms take an entire industry apart, look at the individual pieces and ask themselves “what can we do better here?’ – and then the improved parts of the puzzle get put together again into vastly improved propositions. It’s like magic.
What do you envisage being the biggest development in FinTech in the next 5 years?
Bundling and re-packaging of propositions across sectors and industries. Tech will move into financial services a lot more, players from one vertical will create offerings in other areas (think an insurance firm moving into wealth), challengers will continue to take business and operating models apart and reassemble them in different ways. A lot of blurred lines to come.
What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work?
I love cycling and do it as much as I can in the city and outside!
What is the biggest change that you have witnessed in the sector over the past 12 months?
A certain modesty is starting to emerge around valuations. And a reality check has set in for some business models to shift from user growth and perceived innovation to actual revenue and value creation.
Who would be your top 3 dinner party guests and why?
- Peter Thiel – To learn from his phenomenal success as an entrepreneur and investor.
- Jonathan Haidt – To hear him talk about the philosophy and science of happiness.
- Christopher Nolan – To make sure he eats well, stays healthy and never stops making movies.