How long have you been working at Siepe and what is your role?
I’ve been at Siepe for about a year working in business development and outside sales for Siepe’s managed services. My primary job, as an IT Sales Representative, is driving new business by identifying and facilitating conversations with the right people to help the company grow.
The second part of my role is to act as a fractional CTO to help guide clients through their IT projects, especially when their firm reaches a certain size that requires someone to manage and stay on top of where its systems should be. Businesses need to understand the value of keeping one foot forward otherwise they risk going stagnant – and that’s really where my role comes into play.
Having previously worked in the managed services space for SMBs, Health Care and Government, how did you find the transition to working in the capital markets and working with Siepe?
The process for delivering managed services hasn’t really changed. From the world I was previously in, there were a lot of standards and regulations that I was required to deal with such as FINRA, PCI, HIPAA, SOC and ISO9000. But now, for the most part, it’s meeting the rules and regulations of the SEC. This made the transition simpler, although there is a lot to the SEC, having to deal with one set of regulations has allowed me to really focus on what’s changing in capital markets technology to deliver the best services to our clients.
However, change is coming and the SEC is looking to close the gap with regulations in other spaces. This is going to be quite the wake-up call for many firms if they have not properly prepared. For example, Verizon’s 2022 breach report found that ransomware attacks increased by 13% year-over-year and 82% of all cybersecurity breaches involved a human element. The SEC tends to follow the trends analyzed in these reports and make changes to its regulations, which may require firms to prove their compliance. Unfortunately, many SMBs will struggle to keep up if they don’t have a proper compliance system in place.
What challenges are involved when trying to identify new clients for Siepe? And what makes them a good fit?
Everything that we do for clients is a challenge in its own right. All businesses have their own unique requirements that they need our solutions to solve. The industry is also very cost-sensitive and some start-up funds lack the initial financial backing to adopt comprehensive managed services solutions.
Therefore, when trying to identify new clients, we tend to look for clients in the hedge fund space who really value their infrastructure. Accordingly, when Siepe makes a recommendation, they’re going to understand the benefits of what our services can provide.
How does Siepe help businesses decide what services customers require? And how does this process work?
When customers come to us with an IT setup that needs to be upgraded, we try to start with the perspective of “What is the minimum requirement for the SEC?” and then work our way upwards from there. A brilliant part of our public cloud setup is that clients are scalable from one person to ten thousand. So it doesn’t matter how many people or how much AUM they have, the framework is the same. From there we evaluate “Access vs. Security”, because the more secure something is, the less available it is and vice versa. Lastly, we evaluate the location(s) where the employees work.
We take their basic infrastructure requirements, along with their business and SEC requirements, and combine them to define and create the Siepe solution.
Have you seen any trends for IT and managed services solutions over the past year that more customers are looking into/using?
We’re seeing a lot of people starting up a fund without a brick-and-mortar office. Office space is not necessarily a need or priority anymore; instead, it’s more of a luxury. Remote working environments have made it so that location is less of a focus for hiring new employees. The remote environment also creates a 24-7 working dynamic where their workforce essentially doesn’t stop working. The fund is focused on portfolio performance and hiring staff to facilitate their growth, while we are working to deliver the solutions to support their business model.
In your opinion, what is the key differentiator between Siepe’s managed services when compared to other vendors?
People are the differentiating factor at the end of the day – regardless of what space you’re in. It’s been like that for every service provider I’ve ever worked with, and it really comes down to two main things:
- What is your approach?
- How do your people respond to it?
They say sales brings you in the door, but delivery is what keeps you there. If you don’t have great people working for you it’s not going to take long to drive customers away. Customers who invest a lot of money in your solution need high-quality customer service, and Siepe delivers that. That’s what makes us different: our people deliver on the promises we make to our clients.
What’s the best part about working at Siepe?
I am consistently blown away by the technical expertise of the people at Siepe. It is incredible getting a front-row seat to watch how these people work to deliver top-tier products for our customers. Every time I bring something up to our team, I can sit down with them for five minutes and learn so much about their process and the way everything at the company works. It’s pretty awesome.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I don’t even know where to start. I am an aviation nut. Out of high school, I had gone through the process of entering the Air Force, but I had to make a choice because I was also drafted by the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball. So I had to choose if I wanted to play baseball or become a pilot. I chose baseball but unfortunately had an elbow injury that limited my pitching career. But years later I had the opportunity to tap back into my passion for aviation: I had the opportunity to do a fan fly in an F-15 fighter jet with an Air Force pilot out of Colorado Springs. How many people can say they’ve been supersonic in an F-15 fighter jet at 40,000 feet? That’s one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done!