How does one move from insurance supervision, to lobbying, to crypto?
I have never been one of those persons able to write down 5 or 10-year goals and stick to every step on the way. And yet somehow, although my journey may appear atypical, in hindsight it all makes sense. It tells a story of someone thriving in an ever-changing world - and this is exactly what led me to join Januar last year.
My career in the financial sector began when I joined the French financial supervisory authority in 2014, an exciting time as the insurance market was preparing for the entry into force of Solvency II.
As most of the companies I was supervising were SMEs, I had the chance to get a broad picture and interact with senior management and board members, rather than being secluded to a very specific area of expertise, as it can be the case with the supervision of large groups.
For 4 years, I painted my own vision of what worked well in this very sophisticated regulatory framework, and what worked less well.
In 2018, I joined Insurance Europe in Brussels (the European insurance industry association), where I lead industry initiatives on a number of regulatory initiatives. This included, to my greatest pleasure, the review of Solvency II on topics such as governance, group supervision, and a crucial issue already dear to my heart: proportionality.
My boss was an empowering mentor with high expectations and my colleagues experts in their respective fields. I had the privilege to interact with the most knowledgeable and respected stakeholders in their field, among national member associations, european authorities and european institutions.
But I was beginning to feel a personal call from the North and the Scandinavian culture, and I moved to Denmark joining a big banking group within regulatory compliance risk assessment.
The challenge resided essentially in instigating change with a slower-paced environment and long-established regulations, which was not in line with my aspirations at that point in my life.
This is when I discovered Januar
The job description was almost too good to be true! Because my background was so peculiar, and timing (or planets?) aligned, it seemed like a perfect match.
Already living in Denmark, I was visiting my family back in France for a few days.
As I just read the confirmation email, I announced the big news: very soon, I would be compliance manager in a payments start-up specialised in crypto business.
My dad had about a million different jobs in his life, including owning multiple businesses, which is why I didn’t expect his reaction: “A start-up? In crypto? This sounds risky! What will happen if it fails?”.
My immediate response was “And what if it succeeds?”.
I had very little concern, as Januar was already the owner of a first-of-its-kind license with the Danish FSA granted to a payment services provider specialized in crypto, and it was all over the news that it had just closed the largest seed round in Danish history for €6 million.
I have now been with Januar for over six months, and each day confirms that this was indeed a great decision.
At Januar, I found a balanced mix of highly-skilled professionals from the banking world such as my inspiring manager Marcus Mølleskov or my colleagues in Compliance, Gitte Martinussen and Rógvi Nolsøe, and several crypto geniuses, all working towards a common goal.
The most exciting part of my job is that I am back where change is happening.
Payments regulations are still undergoing changes, and most importantly, the MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) regulation is coming, together with other initiatives targeting the crypto world.
I find myself screening hundreds of pages of draft regulations, closely following the ever-changing timelines, staying in touch with my Brussels network, and collaborating with all Januar colleagues to make sure we are fully compliant way ahead of the application date.
This is definitely where I thrive!