Interview with Ian Duffy - CEO of Accelerated Payments18.07.2018
- When you were younger what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pilot – I am an engineer, so I love engineering, always been fascinated by aviation and I love the complexity and simplicity of flying. I hope to go and get my amateur pilot license next year – that’s on my bucket list.
- Give us a brief outline of your career to date.
It’s been a combination of 3 things: banking (which includes corporate finance and IT Systems), start-ups and high growth companies (involved in over 15) mainly responsible for funding, company strategy and exists
- What does your role look like at APL?
I am the founder and CEO of Accelerated Payments – really excited about the business as I think we can support a lot of SMES that struggle to get finance. We want to be good in the latter end of supply chain financing and bring that expertise to UK, CANADA and the US.
- What motivates you?
I love solving problems and innovating in business. It’s a great buzz, your company can provide a service that delivers tangible benefits. Our SME clients are typically very good at the goods and services they supply, but usually don’t have particular skills to raise finance. If you can provide that piece efficiently and with low credit risk, so that they can expand and grow.
- Why are you passionate about SMEs?
Because they tend to be passionate about their business, customer, products and services they developed. Being involved in that authenticity makes it an exciting space.
- If you could take one thing to a desert island, what would it be?
Pen and paper – I like writing down thoughts, thinking out loud on a page. It’s a matter of having something to keep me sane and hopefully stimulated.
- What are some of the risks of trade at the moment?
I think the trade war that the US has kicked off is significant, a reversal of a global policy which has been eradicating trading barriers successfully. The introduction of tariffs is a retro step in my view and they tend to have a habit of escalation. This can ultimately undo 50-60 years of hard work and sensible policy.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing business in the UK?
Advantages are: significant economy in its own right, open economy and it is multicultural and multiracial – positive. Downside: the geopolitical framework is very unstable and doesn’t seem to be able to sort itself; It’s a really critical time for the UK and strong leadership is required.
- What do you think are the main implications for trade following Brexit?
I think UK export companies will be forced to look at other markets other than Europe. My own view is that it will create negative uncertainty as to where the UK is going economically which will push away investors. I think there should be another referendum – people didn’t actually know what they were voting for at the time, but they will in a few months’ time. At that point they should be asked which option they would prefer given that there should be clarity at that point.