Since Seccl was acquired by Octopus in September 2019, we’ve grown our headcount by around 200%, from 13 to 40. It’s been something of a recruitment drive.

What’s more, a staggering 75% of that growth has happened since the beginning of lockdown. Thanks to our fully digital service proposition, the Covid-19 crisis hasn’t impacted our day-to-day operation, or our desire to grow – even if it has made the experience for new joiners, well, a bit different!

We’ve hired at all levels and in nearly all functions – though with particular focus on our crucial engineering and product teams, where respective heads Adrian and Paul have been experimenting with some new processes to help us scale.

And I’m really pleased to announce three more senior hires, who we’re sure will have just as much impact on our future growth.

Chris, Thomasina and Ty – our new heads of Proposition, Compliance and Operations – bring with them a combined 70+ years of experience in established financial services companies like Quilter plc, Embark and Ascentric.

But it wasn’t their ‘big brand’ experience that caught our eye. No, what set them apart was their shared desire to do things differently, to avoid bureaucracy and to move quickly. These aren’t traits you see often in financial services…

Let’s see what they’ll each be getting up to, and what attracted them to Seccl.

Chris Smeaton

Chris joins Seccl as Head of Propositions from retirement solutions provider, Embark Group, where he was Head of Commercial Marketing. Prior to Embark, he spent nearly seven years at adviser platform James Hay, most recently as Director of Commercial & Strategy.

His role is one that mixes strategy, creativity and procedure; he’ll be supporting the product and engineering teams in designing and developing new solutions, and taking charge of ongoing product governance.

“As a young business that’s free of legacy tech, Seccl is uniquely placed to innovate”, he says. “We have big ambitions to build cutting-edge functionality and exciting new product lines – and I’m thrilled to have a hand in their development.”

Thomasina McGuigan

While Chris is tasked with innovation, Thomasina – or Thom – joins as Head of Compliance from Quilter plc, where she spent four years as Group Head of Regulatory Advice.

Compliance teams don’t always have a reputation for thrill-seeking… so what is it that lured Thom away from a behemoth like Quilter to join Seccl’s more nimble ranks?

Well, that very contrast, as it happens – and a desire to disrupt a stagnant market. “Our industry is crying out for a shake-up – thinking is siloed, decision-making is slow and creating change can often feel like wading through treacle.”

Thom will oversee Seccl’s regulatory duties, and build out a leading risk and compliance function – an exciting and ambitious task, for sure. “The opportunity to forge a best-in-class compliance function within an organization that acts with agility and pace was incredibly attractive.”

Ty Conybear

With Seccl’s product innovation pipeline and regulatory grounding squared away, Ty – our new Head of Operations – will be helping us navigate the challenges of growth.

As well as leading the day-to-day output of the company’s growing operations team, he’ll be preparing us for scale by for refining our internal processes – with the aim of creating an efficient, scalable, and highly automated operational engine.

As he puts it, “retail wealth management seems to have operational inefficiency stamped in its DNA – and I’m excited by the work that we can do to streamline the outdated, clunky processes that still define our industry.”

And he should know. He brings with him nearly 35 years of financial services experience, most recently as Head of Business Readiness at Ascentric. We’re excited to be able to call on his experience as we enter our next chapter of growth.

Today’s hires mark another really important milestone in our journey to scale, and we’re convinced that they’ll add enormous value. Welcome Chris, Thom and Ty – we’re delighted to have you!

If you’re interested in working at Seccl, 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!


Sam Handfield-Jones

Sam is co-head of Seccl. He’s passionate about fintech and the role that technology can play in opening access to financial services – and is vocal champion of financial and digital education.


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