Interview: CEO of MoneyHub Sam Seaton
We caught up with Sam Seaton to discuss all things money and the power of embracing Fintech.
Sam Seaton is the CEO of Moneyhub, the market-leading Open Finance customer-centric intelligence platform. Sam was named 2020 Fintech Woman of the Year at the Professional Advisor Awards and is a true pioneer in the financial industry as a whole.
Sam is passionate about the power of technology to help consumers achieve better financial outcomes and is equally passionate about encouraging more women into the world of finance. One of the few passions that resonate with what I stand for, and so when I meet up with Sam, she never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Sam was the first guest on the Your Financial Journey Podcast, and I also shared the stage with Sam in celebration of MoneyHub’s International Women’s Day.
In this interview, we explored the journey of Sam’s success, challenges, passion, and desire to drive change in the financial industry.
“Enjoy the journey! We often get so focused on the end result that we forget to enjoy the journey on the way.”- Sam Seaton
1.Tell us about MoneyHub?
We launched Moneyhub Financial Technology in Feb 2018 after the successful completion of our Management Buy-Out. We are a B2B Open Finance technology platform that enables all companies, both in and outside Financial Services, to switch on finance-as-a-Service to benefit their customers, businesses, and community. Moneyhub’s mission in life is to enhance the lifetime financial wellness of people, their business and their communities.
2. When did you first realise you wanted to run your own business? What gave you the impetus to start?
This is my second significant business and is by far my favourite! The ability to build a business that makes such a positive, tangible difference to people’s lives is rare and completely aligned with how I am motivated and energised. I didn’t need any more impetus than that.
3. What scares you most about the next 12 months, and what excites you the most?
I’m not scared easily, so perhaps frustration about not going fast enough is the best emotion I am experiencing in that department for the next 12 months. I am most excited by the opportunity and “turning point” our industry faces due to recent legislation cohabiting so beautifully to deliver informed consumer consent-driven decisions that have not been easy to accomplish to date.
4. What has been your greatest financial challenge so far?
Lumpy income makes it difficult to forecast in the short term, and there is no escaping the saying that “cash is king”. However, there is no denying that shifting a business from a revenue stream of £67k per annum pre MBO to generating millions per annum is no mean feat, particularly with Covid kicking in for the world to grapple with. It is important to achieve this growth to demonstrate just how aligned Moneyhub’s product is with the direction of travel in the B2B marketplace. It gives everyone confidence in a fast-changing world full of disruption when it is needed most.
5. What did you learn about money growing up, and how has this impacted your financial journey?
It is almost worth looking at what I didn’t learn to really appreciate this question. Despite taking Economics as a subject of choice at school, money was still not a topic for discussion. At home, my parents definitely thought the finances were for them to concern themselves with, so again, money was not a topic for discussion at home. I wonder even today, how many children at school know how much of the home they live in is owned by them and how much of it is owned by the bank, and for the part that the bank owns, how much that costs each day and how long it will take to pay back? I’d be really interested to know the answer to that question. Equally, regarding credit cards and investments – especially their parents’ pensions – how much do they know, if anything at all, before the age of 18?
6. How do you maintain a balance between your finances and wellbeing?
Being an entrepreneur and balancing your finance and wellbeing is a mindset because you can’t help but make the most amount of risk possible when starting your own business. It is difficult to “have your cake and eat it too” in my experience. So, if you want to start and run your own business, you have to get your head around the “worst-case scenario”, evaluate just how bad that is and then, if you can cope – get on with it. 95% of what we worry about as human beings never happens, so there is a very high level of probability that the worst outcome possible just won’t happen. When I quit what was without a doubt an excellent job with a fantastic company to move to the UK from Australia to compete with my horse on the professional eventing circuit at a great financial cost, I had to think through what was the worst thing that could happen.
For me, at that time, the worst thing that could happen is that I ended up with a bank balance of £0 and back at home in Australia living with my Mum or my brother and relying on them financially until I could get another job. I asked them both if they thought that was OK, and when it was fine with them, I kicked on and moved lock, stock and barrel to the UK with my horse! I never needed my fall-back plan but knowing what, for me, was the worst possible outcome and that it wasn’t so bad made the risk I needed to take “doable”. So, my advice is to have a “worst-case scenario fall back plan” that you are unlikely to ever need but should give you the confidence to move outside your comfort zone.
7. What has money done for you?
For me, money is an enabler. An enabler of education, job choice, sports and hobbies throughout life. Knowing how to make the most of your money enables more than perhaps it might of is the missing link.
8. How do you define success? And how has it changed who you are as a person?
Success is, being at your absolute best all the time. As I have got older, I have most definitely got wiser. I feel most of us will need to live our lives two or three times over to achieve all that is possible, so I am a huge advocate of learning more but super-fast! That way, you might achieve all you should and can achieve in one life!
9. What gets you out of bed every morning and keeps you striving for success?
Making a difference
10. What three tips would you give to someone starting their financial journey?
1) To always look at the bigger picture.
2) To understand compounding – not just compound interest but compounding more broadly. Understanding that what you do now – today – has a compound effect and that you are in control of the compounding effect on your life. –
3) Enjoy the journey! We often get so focused on the end result that we forget to enjoy the journey on the way, and yet the journey is what will take the most time and effort. The result will often come and go in the blink of an eye!