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7 Questions with Casper Wong
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7 Questions with Casper Wong
Name: Casper Wong
Current title: COO & GM
Current organisation: Financeit
Casper is a co-founder and the COO of Financeit.
Financeit facilitates better commerce by allowing businesses to offer fair and transparent payments plans to their customers anywhere. Since launching in early 2011, Financeit has signed up thousands of merchant Partners that process billions in sales per year through the platform. As COO, Casper has worn many different hats over the years and has been instrumental in scaling the business. Casper's current role is focused on leading the Canadian business as General Manager and leading the sales, marketing, operations and business intelligence departments for the company.
Prior to this, Casper was with goeasy, where he was responsible for business development and launching their lending business - easyfinancial. Casper joined easyhome after working in investment banking on the Mergers & Acquisitions team at BMO Capital Markets.
Casper also sits on the boards of ZayZoon and Dwello.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The biggest challenge I've had to face as we grew from under 10 people to over 250 people was learning to be a leader that could empower and motivate my team vs. being an individual contributor wearing multiple hats.
In addition, we launched Financeit in 2011, before Fintech was a word. Raising capital from investors in the early days was very difficult but we were fortunate to attract great investors long term such as Goldman Sachs.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I am a co-founder of Financeit and have been fortunate enough to play a pivotal role in building this incredible business from the ground up.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I usually wake up around 5AM to 6AM so I can ride my bike, eat breakfast and shower before my first meeting. Lunches are usually a working lunch and I always make dinner with my wife then spend the evening with each other. In bed by 930PM.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Learning how everyone has a different preferred communication and leadership style. Also, when I took on the GM role of the business in 2019, I had to really hone my sales skills and roll up my sleeves to work closer with our customers and sales team to drive success. That was not my traditional comfort zone but has been a hugely rewarding experience.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
High Impact Management was one of the best leadership books I ever read. Taught me some fundamental leadership skills such as learning to ask effective questions and learning to empower my teams to drive higher performance through great meetings.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
You have to invest in every stage of the process from hiring, leadership coaching, feedback, performance management and succession planning. There is no silver bullet. It takes a lot of resources and top down focus to build leadership capacity.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I remember a really terrible pitch we made to a VC in the early days (among many). After that humbling experience, I learned how important it is to tie all your data together with a meaningful narrative.