Q&A with Michael Steengaard
This week, we’ve chosen to have a chat with Spotcap New Zealand’s Michael Steengaard. As our senior clients services manager, Michael has been with Spotcap since their inception in Australia in 2015 and is responsible for all of our clients questions and queries about Spotcap and the service we offer. Michael has over 15 years experience working in multi asset class advisory, previously working for over a decade with Macquarie Bank.
The fintech industry has undergone a lot of change and transformation since Michael joined, so no doubt, he will have an interesting take on the current state of the market, the future and changing from traditional financial services to financial technology. Check out what Michael has to say.
What does the New Zealand fintech scene look like at the moment?
In a few words – vibrant and growing. There is a lot of support for the industry and people are just realising the potential that fintechs holds in their community and in the financial market. The push for brand and industry awareness is becoming more evident through realising the correlation between how exposed these services are to small businesses and the rate of growth for fintech.
Fintech hubs are also beginning to pop up around our larger cities meaning that there is a market for these startups. It is so important to foster these relationships with accelerators and hubs to not only develop, but put fintech in the public picture by engaging with various levels of government. It’s environments like these that have really seen fintech accelerate at a rate not many people have predicted.
New Zealand fintech is seeing increased collaborations as an avenue for growth. Do you think this is the future of fintech?
Absolutely, in two ways. Firstly, from the perspective of creating an open, transparent fintech ecosystem, where the public can have absolute confidence and trust in their financial dealings with companies that are otherwise unknown for the everyday consumer. Secondly, increased collaborations allow fintech companies to leverage off different specialities to provide more specific and beneficial outcomes for consumers and businesses.
How has the move from traditional financial service to fintech been?
Challenging but rewarding. Working in a dynamic, nimble environment has been a welcome change from much bigger, slower moving organisations where technology constraints can often dampen the customer experience. Building our own proprietary systems allows for super quick response times with the ability to meet customer demands within a very short space of time. Working in fintech provides far greater levels of individual engagement and involvement over the entire business, with real, tangible contributions to overall business success.
Moving forward, where would you like to see Spotcap?
In New Zealand, I would certainly like to see a lot more businesses become more aware of what we do and how we can help them grow. A lot of businesses struggle to find the appropriate finance for their business and we are there to help them out. Globally, I look forward to Spotcap having strong footholds in all its existing markets whilst also testing our capabilities in other global markets.