Fast emerging insurance and financial technology company URICA has built its success on securing some of the brightest young European talent – more than 70% of its staff are non-British. However, Managing Director Ian Fitz-Harris fears that Brexit could scupper this strategy:
”I believe Brexit will seriously disrupt our ability to hire the best talent for our industry, an industry that needs in-depth finance and technology knowledge and expertise. This is why we hire the best people from around the world but now I’m seriously concerned we will be faced with a lot of issues around immigration given what we have been hearing from the politicians. To counter these risks, we are opening an office in Paris.”
URICA’s latest additions from the continent are two very experienced directors.
Xavier Lang has left CODIX, an international software firm which boasts clients such as Euler Hermes, Atradius, Societe Generale and GE Capital, to take up a new role as URICA’s Operations Director.
Mr Lang brings 16 years of experience working in both the financial and technical sides of the fintech universe. He’s also fluent in five European languages.
“Just like URICA, I’m a bit ‘fin’ and a bit ‘tech’. I’ve worked for finance companies and IT companies around the world,” said Mr Lang. “I can bring this experience to a start-up that’s going to shake up the supply chain funding market.”
So what attracted Mr Lang to URICA? “I’ve worked with Ian Fitz-Harris and Jean-Francois Diaz before and we were very successful,” explains Mr Lang. “Ian is a serial entrepreneur and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to work with him again, so when he called me to explain the URICA proposition, and ask me to be part of it, I didn’t hesitate. It’s a great product, giving clients quick access to cash and invoice-by-invoice flexibility.
“URICA owns its technology and it’s at the top of its game. The client front-end, the processing back-end and the broker CRM system that sits in the middle integrate brilliantly and it means we don’t need to involve an external product provider.”
URICA’s Chairman, Lindsay Whitelaw believes they’ve hooked a top talent, “Xavier ticks all the boxes. His experience is everything URICA needs right now to really kick on and make a huge impact in this market.”
Arriving hot on the heels of Xavier Lang is Raphaël Maginot, who has left his role as technical director at French software company Eudonet to become URICA’s Digital Director.
Mr Maginot brings with him 25 years of experience and global CRM know-how, which will enhance URICA’s offering enormously. Mr Maginot’s first task will be to heighten user experience of URICA’s web applications and take URICA’s platform technology to another level.
“URICA already uses the latest technology. For example, our partners can already link their own web applications with URICA’s in a matter of days.” comments Mr Maginot. “Our web applications offer our customers security and a great user experience but what’s great today can still be better tomorrow. Looking ahead we will introduce enhancements such as electronic signatures and we are also working on technology that will enable our customers to predict accurately their cash-flow needs.”
When asked what attracted him to URICA, Mr Maginot said, “Imagine if a guy called Mark Zuckerberg called you back in 2003 to ask you to get involved in an idea of his that he was calling Facebook. Now imagine how you’d feel now if you’d said no thanks. This is how I feel about URICA. When Xavier Lang explained the URICA project to me, straight away I saw the business potential and the technical challenges. The URICA team already contains some very talented people who are doing some really innovative work and I wanted to be part of that team.”
“We are delighted that Raphael has decided to join us,” said URICA’s chairman, Lindsay Whitelaw. “Raphael is a huge talent and he will help us take URICA to the next level.”