BFS Capital Hires New COO
BFS announced this morning that it has hired Brian Simmons as its new Chief Operating Officer. The news come as the company is preparing for the North American launch of its tech platform in December, a move that is part of BFS’s vision to become a more customer-focused business.
This planned “journey,” as CEO Mark Ruddock calls it, has been demonstrated in the past with the hiring of Fred Kauber as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer in May.
“If you’re going to be a successful venture-backed company,” Ruddock explains, “you need to think differently and act differently.” And this approach is manifested in Simmons’ history. Having worked in a diverse set of fields, the new COO has previously worked with Openlane, a B2B digital automotive marketplace; Wonga, the peer-to-peer lender where he was Head of Global Products and where he was introduced to Ruddock; and the IATF, or International Axe Throwing Federation, where he was a Co-founder and board member.
Together these experiences form a patchworked career, highlighting different skills and industries, but Simmons affirms that they’ve molded him to fit into BFS. “I think that the overarching theme has been that I’ve always been drawn by innovation,” Simmons explains, noting that his experience with Wonga provided him with a knowledge of financial services that is crucial to his role at BFS, while his time with the IATF benefitted him by endowing an intimate knowledge of the financial pressures small businesses face.
“What’s spoken to me at each turn is the opportunity to be involved with organizations who are at the bleeding edge of what they are doing and just incredibly innovative in their approach to doing business […] I’ve been really fortunate to work with a number of quite successful organizations at different phases in their life cycle and I think that’s given me an understanding of what works and what doesn’t.”
Going forward, Simmons will be managing the progress of transforming lead-loan operational processes and focusing on the company’s transition to a fully digital-enabled lending platform.
“To transform anything successfully is an exercise of effective change management, and there’s a real art to doing that right,” Simmons notes. “It’s not just doing things better, it’s how you communicate to people, how you do it in the right sequencing, how you get the right team together to affect things in the right way.”Last modified: November 13, 2019