CEO Changing the Future of Finance
AdviceRobo applies psychographics, behavioural data and artificial intelligence to discover patterns that predict consumer credit risk. It’s risk robot revolutionizes both onboarding as monitoring of risk in in lending. AdviceRobo’s CEO, Diederick Van Thiel, was recognised as London’s CEO of the Year by CEO Monthly Magazine. We spoke to Diederick to find out more about his drive to succeed in this notoriously competitive business arena.
Fintech is on the rise. As brick and mortar banks double down on traditional practices, the market opens up to disruptors who are eager to capitalise on swiftly changing consumer needs and demands. In the case of AdviceRobo, they have cornered the market in the utilisation of machine learning technology to predict and prevent consumer and small business credit risk. It is, by all regards, a novel adoption of the technology, helping everyday people and businesses responsibly gain access to the funds they need. In an age defined by innovation and evolution, AdviceRobo stand apart from their peers and competitors, and forging their own path in turn.
In his opening comments, Diederick offers a brief overview of his firm and their work revolutionising the fintech market. “AdviceRobo have been developing a risk robot that predicts credit risks of consumers and SMEs on an individual level. The software robot aggregates psychographic and behavioural data and applies artificial intelligence to recognise risk patterns and to generate risk scores and profiles. AdviceRobo’s customers grow their sales with 15% and reduce their default rates with 20%.”
Diederick continues, emphasising how AdviceRobo’s company culture inspires proactivity and future-centricity. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower! Crucially, our principles and values drive our culture. We are the good guys, helping people and entrepreneurs to build their lives and businesses. AdviceRobo’s culture is defined by passion, and we aim to be passionate in all that we do in our lives. We focus on the details to deliver the best product and experience in our class. We believe that there is a solution for everything – you only need to find it. Equally, we aim to be truly accountable for everything we do, and finally, we focus on customer value and keep costs super low.” “He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks!”
Ultimately, AdviceRobo was created to take the human element, the uncertainty and the subjectivity, out of the equation. Their risk robots consider big behavioural data, most notably psychographic scoring – non-financial data – to give a fair continuous representation of a consumer’s true credit risk. It’s certainly different than what has come before, and it offers a peek at the future of credit risk: one that considers multiple factors, without limiting themselves purely to financial data.
As CEO of AdviceRobo, Diederick holds the reins to a technology that is changing the face of lending, and, by natural extension, the entire finance industry. With this in mind, Diederick shares his responsibilities as CEO, and how he ensures that the company’s ethos is maintained at all times. “AdviceRobo is all about people who think out of the box to use data and technology to improve people’s lives and to create things that make a difference rather than get a job done!” “My key responsibilities are to define and guard our principles, to define our vision and strategy and to facilitate my brilliant co-workers in making a difference. I also manage product design, finances and many other things. But they are less important! What matters most is my faith in people, that we work with the good and smart ones and that I facilitate them to do wonderful things! My leadership style reflects this, offering inspiration and control when required. At the end of the day, my role is to build a world class team, inspire it to create a new wonderful world, monitor progress and facilitate people to outperform expectations and goals.”
“The key to success is passion, preparation and the mentality to always find solutions.
The conversation soon turns to the advice that Diederick would offer someone who wanted to create a success similar to his own. His answer further reinforces the unstoppable drive that has spearheaded AdviceRobo to impressive success in just five years of operation. “To quote Walt Disney, “If you dream it, you can do it”. If you believe that your idea is going to work, make it work and do not let anyone or anything stop you. In doing so, spend the appropriate amount of time on the execution to drive your business model. Most brilliant ideas crash because entrepreneurs lacked the essential focus on execution and therefore are never capable of attracting value from their products and services. Execution eats strategy for breakfast!”
As we come to the close of the interview, Diederick offers some insight into AdviceRobo’s plans for the future. AdviceRobo is on earth to financially help people build their lives and businesses and to reduce risk globally “Currently, as the European leader in alternative risk scoring, AdviceRobo services customers in ten countries. Very recently, KPMG acquired a minority stakes in the firm, and they are going to sell our risk robots globally. Also, we will start a joint product development stream to enter in new product market combinations. With global partners like KPMG and Microsoft, we are hoping for rapid global expansion in the upcoming years, with plans to open offices in the USA, South East Asia, and South America, complementing our existing offices in London, Amsterdam and Paris.”
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