Business wisdom from the desk of SINEAD FITZMAURICE, Group CFO, TransferMate Global Payments, a subsidiary of THE TAXBACK GROUP …
After training as a chartered accountant at PwC, Sinéad Fitzmaurice became a manager and began working internationally. She returned to Ireland at 30, joining The Taxback Group, where she worked closely with the group CEO, Terry Clune. Five years later, she co-founded TransferMate Global Payments. Since then, TransferMate has handled in excess of $5bn of cross-border payments.
DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE: I manage the overall financial risks of the group while assisting the CEO and board in shaping the overall strategic direction. As a co-founder of TransferMate, I was responsible for the global regulatory licence and operational back office infrastructure build. I also drive the strategic growth plan of the firm.
YOUR COMPANY’S BUSINESS PRIORITIES FOR 2016? This year will see us accelerate growth significantly and scale our global sales force. We are embarking on a five-year plan to grow to 18 times our current size.
HIGHLIGHTS AND CHALLENGES? The challenges become the highlights. I joined The Taxback Group right at the start of its significant scale and diversification. Scaling the systems, scaling the talent and managing the risks of a fast-paced entrepreneurial business is always a challenge. My biggest highlight was co-founding TransferMate.
THE ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF? I am proud that TransferMate has regulatory approval throughout Europe, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and 50 states of the USA – no other Irish company has ever secured US statewide approval. We are the only company in the world to have secured approval from the Reserve Bank of India for a particular vertical.
DID ANYTHING IN YOUR EARLY LIFE EXPERIENCE INFLUENCE YOUR JOURNEY TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE? I always had an appetite to “do things better,” and have been lucky to work with entrepreneurs who share the same view as they strive to bring products and solutions to global problems.
WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT? My kids. On the business front – talent acquisition and retention, the constant drive to move ahead of competitors and ideas to accelerate revenue growth.
WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC YOU BELIEVE A BUSINESS LEADER SHOULD POSSESS? Vision. And the ability to communicate and instil that vision in their team. A good leader will also inspire, communicate well, delegate and display confident commitment.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS? Difficult situations are best tackled openly and calmly, and face to face.
WHAT IS THE MOST USEFUL WAY TO ENGAGE CLIENTS? Breakfast briefings or lunches are always good for general PR but to really engage with a client it has to be face to face and one on one.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO GET READY IN THE MORNING? About an hour, but it’s difficult to time in between sorting school lunches and uniforms. With our four children under ten, and one with special needs, mornings are a masterclass in multi-tasking.
YOUR TOP THREE PIECES OF ADVICE FOR WOMEN TO ASPIRE TO BE IN LEADERSHIP ROLES? Grab all opportunities presented to you with both hands, forget you are a woman and be confident in your ability and delivery.
THE WAY I DO BUSINESS
1. STRONG POINTS I strive for the highest possible standards and expect the same from my team.
2. WEAKNESSES At times, my business drive can consume my thoughts.
3. WORK/LIFE BALANCE It’s an “always on” environment when you’re running a global company in different time zones. If your family is getting your attention while you are at home, then, I think you are on the right path.
4. LOOKING THE BUSINESS Workwear should mean business attire. It’s much harder to discipline an informal dress code.
4. PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE I started paying into a pension at 27; I believe employers could do more to encourage a future-savings mindset.
This article appeared in a previous issue, for more features like this, don’t miss our February issue, out Thursday February 4.
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