The Wealth Scene spoke to Moneycorp CFO, Nick Haslehurst this week to ask him about the company’s plan to restructure its business model and its decision to seek financial regulation in Spain in response to the recent Brexit vote in the UK.
Hi Nick, could you start by introducing yourself please and giving an outline of your career to date and your role within Moneycorp.
I joined moneycorp as Chief Financial and Operating Officer in 2012. I oversee all moneycorp’s support centre functions, from financial control and accounting, planning and analysis, treasury, technology, compliance and legal services.
Prior to joining moneycorp, I was Global Finance Director at MasterCard Inc’s Prepaid Debit Card Division and Travelex Ltd. I’m very familiar with revamping and implementing business strategies, to help streamline largescale operations and organisational structures.
Why does the company feel it needs to seek regulation outside of the UK now and within an EU country? How has Brexit impacted on your business?
We will continue our operations in the UK, headquartered in London, but we are also in the process of building a replica business out of our Madrid office, which will give us passporting rights into Europe, post-Brexit.
Our growth ambitions remain unchanged following the EU referendum, and our position post-Brexit will remain the same. We’re pushing ahead with our plans for international expansion and we are fully prepared for every eventuality, be it a “soft” or “hard” Brexit. Pre-referendum we went through careful contingency planning to prepare for either outcome and we are now in a good place to continually adapt and eventually implement this plan as the negotiating landscape develops in 2017.
Taking into account the Brexit situation – why Spain? Why not a more stable country in the EU such as Germany? Spain has financial issues of its own (EU Bailout and Catalan independence) does Spain not pose the potential for an out of the frying pan and into the fire scenario?
As our EU-domiciled company, the Madrid office will allow us to grow our international corporate business and help service SMEs and mid-cap corporates in Spain and across Europe. We already have a presence in Madrid, so it makes sense to build and grow a business from our established office. While we currently have a small number of employees in Madrid, we will look to staff the business with new Spanish-speaking hires from the local area.
A mirror business in Spain makes the most sense for us. In line with setting up our EU-domiciled company, we are also looking further into the future and our plans for international expansion. Latin America remains a priority for moneycorp growth and so the common language will help with this transition.
Can we expect transaction costs to rise for Sterling related transactions?
We don’t see this as a near term risk for moneycorp customers, the technology and automation in our business are critical to providing low cost FX Payments and risk management solutions and this is not going to change. The dependency of markets across the EU to trade with the UK, and vice versa, will ensure our services remain critical to importers and exporters in multiple jurisdictions across the EU.
In general – what does the future hold for the pound as the harsh reality of Brexit takes place? What advice would you give long term to offset any potential volatility with the pound?
As ever removing as much uncertainty and risk in the future is critical to our clients, and we would recommend anyone with currency exposure to talk to someone from our team. The pound will remain a key trading currency for the foreseeable future and whilst its value at present is in part dominated by political factors, as much as economic ones, this is creating volatility that our FX risk management solutions can help reduce.
Thank you for your time today Nick and good luck with the expansion plans.
For more information contact: www.moneycorp.com