In our next team profile, we chat to JJ, our Bizops wunderkind, in-house Dr Doolittle, part-time rally driver and aspiring global social entrepreneur…

JJ joined Seccl straight almost exactly a year ago, and in that time he’s been instrumental in transforming the operational processes that underpin our service – and has charmed us all with the seemingly endless background of farmyard animals he’s been enjoying the company of during lockdown. (Well, that and the fact he’s a pretty nice guy, too).

So let’s find out what makes JJ tick.

This is your first job from university; tell us a bit about how you got here.

Yep, he’s definitely a wally

Yep, he’s definitely a wally

That’s right, this is my first ‘proper’ full-time job. Before Seccl I did a masters at the University of Bath in engineering management, and an undergraduate degree at Oxford Brookes in computer science and business management.

After my masters I was going to enrol with a graduate scheme, but I stumbled across the opportunity at Seccl and it seemed too perfect to miss out on. The job spec said that Seccl was a company that was unhappy to stand still (which I never can – I’m pretty fidgety…), and was always looking to improve processes (which is what I studied…). Serendipity!

So what is a Bizops analyst, then?

It’s not a role that many people outside of the tech industry are aware of. My mum still doesn’t understand what I do!

Put simply, Bizops involves using data to improve, streamline and automate a business’s operational processes. The dream state is a system that runs, and learns from, itself – and in that sense our mission is to work ourselves out of a job!

How do you describe what Seccl does to your friends (or you mum)?

We’re a software provider that helps financial services firms – particularly financial advisers and fintechs – to become more efficient and innovative.

And by helping them to save on costs, we remove some of the barriers that make financial advice out of reach of many people.

You’re clearly a highly driven person. What does success look like for you?

I’ve spent a lot of time in Africa, and I’d like to end up somewhere like that, helping people to build new services or even new markets.

Personally, all I want to do is build processes and systems that help people – which is why I find the work we do at Seccl really exciting. Ultimately, we’re here to be a catalyst for innovation – helping the firms who are thinking big and working to improve people’s financial lives.

JJ's spent a lot of time in Africa before joining Seccl

What are your standout moments from your time at Seccl so far?

Honestly, the biggest highlight for me is how far we’ve come – especially in Bizops. My boss, Henry, and I, joined around the same time and we’ve definitely gone on a steep learning curve together.

We know so much more now that we did six months ago, and I’m excited by how much more we’ll know in another six months.

Sure, we’ve made mistakes along the way (sometimes it feels like that’s a key part of my job description…), but we’ve learned from them.

You’ve spent half your working career forced to work from home. How’s that been?

Well, I definitely miss working with people. For me work and play go hand in hand – so I’ve got through the isolation by trying to chat with people about non-worky stuff, too. Luckily, everyone’s sense of humour here is great, and our co-head Sam in particular cracks me up.

I’ve spent a lot of lockdown with my parents, which has been really nice, too. They live on a farm and have a menagerie of animals, so my work calls have been frequently interrupted by a parrot, new-born chicks, or the odd goose trotting through the kitchen. All of them definitely have their own take on the financial services sector!

JJ's animal adventures...

What about life outside Seccl? Are there any hobbies or passion projects you’ve been working on?

Pre-lockdown I was playing a lot of volleyball, and I’ve been getting back into that now that restrictions have eased a little. I also do a bit of rally driving with my dad from time to time – The Lombard rally starts here from the Bath Racecourse, we’ll be taking our Lancia Delta Integrale out for a spin in that mid-October.

Where JJ and his Lancia go, animals seem to follow…

Where JJ and his Lancia go, animals seem to follow…

There are a few projects I’d like to do more on. My dissertation was on crowdfunding possibilities in Africa,and I truly believe that the continent has so much potential. But I don’t believe the answer is charity. I’m interested in helping build businesses – online and physical – that allow individuals to empower themselves and shape their own careers. Currently I’m working with designers to build a platform that allows them to access a global market.

You’re someone who doesn’t like to stand still or settle for the status quo – so what would you change about Seccl, if you could?

We’re changing so much all the time, as a team and as a business, so if we aren’t happy with something that doesn’t last long. There’s a lot I will change eventually, but we’re on a path to doing that already. And that’s part of what keeps Seccl so interesting.

Right. Enough of all that. Who’s the funniest person at Seccl?

Oh, that’s a toss-up between Henry, Sam Rogers or Rhymes. They are all very different but have me in stitches on a daily basis.

And who’s the go-to Bear Grylls of Seccl?

Sam Handfield-Jones. He does triathlons for fun (though Ben, our former Paralympic triathlete guide would surely blow him out of the water), is super fit, and would definitely pull his weight in a life-or-death scenario.

Finally, whose house party would you clear your diary for?

Definitely Rhymes. His stories and rock and roll past make me intrigued to see the man in action as a host.

Want to be part of a business that’s more ‘Funtech’ than Fintech – and work alongside people like JJ who come up with bad puns like this on a daily basis? Check out our careers page to see our open roles. And don’t worry if none of them look totally right. Just get in touch with Rebecca at people@seccl.tech – and start the conversation!


Stuart Sheppard

Stuart’s responsible for Seccl’s brand and tone of voice. He enjoys crafting words that are (hopefully) clear, engaging and interesting – and using content to build a seamless, satisfying user experience. Got feedback or an idea? He’d love to hear from you.


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