Meet the team — Marius, Head of Business Development
We had a chat with Marius, our Head of Business Development, in which he shared his story and his experience at Finoa.
Marius was born and raised in Denmark, did a Bachelor’s and Master’s at Copenhagen Business School with exchange trips to both Hong Kong and Madison, Wisconsin in the US.
In 2017, he had the opportunity to make his way into the professional world at Google. As he explains, “when I was close to finalizing my studies, I was offered the opportunity to go work for Google in Norway. So, I moved to Oslo and worked as an intern in a team of analytical consultants focusing on research for players mainly in the financial services industry. After the internship, I moved to the Google EMEA headquarters in Dublin, where I worked as an Account Manager consulting some of the largest clients in Scandinavia on how to get the most out of Google’s marketing and tech platforms.”
After about two years, Marius was offered the opportunity to work in Berlin — a former Googler was building out a Partnerships/Business Development team at the rapidly growing neo-bank N26, so he made the move, joining as a Global Partnership Manager.
After working at Google and N26, Marius was ready for a new challenge. “I had the pleasure of meeting the Finoa founders Christopher May and Henrik Gebbing, who convinced me to come on board. I was impressed with what they had already built and immediately saw the product-market fit. I saw growing interest from institutional investors who wanted to engage with digital assets, but who were often held back by a lack of regulation and security — a challenging but solvable problem. I was drawn toward the opportunity to work in a young startup with people who were passionate about shaping both crypto and traditional finance.”
Marius joined Finoa in July 2020 as a Senior Business Development Manager and is now the Head of Business Development. “When I joined Finoa, Business Development meant a lot of different things, and in a young startup you tend to wear a lot of different hats. My role and responsibilities broadly encompassed anything relating to the company’s growth — whether it be sales, partnerships, marketing, or setting up the right structures to support inbound and outbound efforts. Now, with the significant growth of the company, we are formalizing these processes, and we have new hires focusing on those specific areas. My role within the company is, and will always be, to seek out new business opportunities, and now with the help of a great team, I can now focus my efforts even more. There are a lot of interesting things happening in the crypto ecosystem and many new ways for institutional investors to participate with digital assets. For example, we explore how to bring emerging protocols or yield-generating activities into our platform. In the traditional financial world, we see an increasing interest from institutions and institutional investors seeking to enable their clients to achieve crypto exposure via new products. There are many different offerings emerging today, which create interesting partnership opportunities for Finoa.”
At Finoa, no two days are the same, and Marius appreciates this aspect of working here. “I am very grateful to work in a dynamic environment — it makes working at Finoa a lot of fun. I usually start my day getting up to speed on the latest crypto and finance news. I typically have several client calls throughout the day, and in between have to coordinate internal and external projects — Business Development is a very cross-functional effort. Towards the end of the day, I try to formalize my team’s research and conversations into concrete business opportunities and initiatives that drive further growth for the company.”
For Marius, moving from a structured work environment to a young start-up was a big shift. “I came from a relatively corporate background and joined Finoa at a time when the core team was around 15 people — certainly a much more dynamic environment than I had experienced before. Naturally, that meant being thrown into a lot of tasks where I had no prior experience, and being solutions-oriented and creative became a necessary part of everyday working. It can be challenging to have such a steep learning curve, but it creates a lot of valuable experiences. If I could have done something differently, I would have joined a company at a similar growth stage even earlier in my career.”
Being close to developments in the digital asset space has also changed Marius’ perspective on opportunities in the wider eco-system. “Before joining Finoa, I was up to date on some of the things going on in the crypto space, but I wasn’t participating other than with a few small investments. Working at Finoa has convinced me that this is the most exciting industry to be in. I have no doubt that crypto and blockchain technology is fundamentally changing the world we live in today, with implications that will certainly go beyond just the financial services sector. I believe there is a wide range of use cases that are making the world a better place.”
While the future looks bright, Marius also foresees many challenges ahead. “We are in a space where innovation happens at an unprecedented pace, and it is difficult for regulators and traditional institutions to keep up with these developments. Fortunately here in Germany, legislators have passed regulations that provide guidance while accommodating innovation, but globally there are still vastly different opinions about what regulatory a framework should look like. There are many interesting challenges ahead, and many hurdles will need to be overcome in order to realize blockchain’s full potential and ensure its legitimacy on a global scale. While we’re still in the early days, I am certain that this technology will pave the way towards a future that’s more financially inclusive and agile, and I am incredibly excited about the wider societal implications of our work.”
Finally, we asked Marius to describe Finoa’s culture to potential candidates. “I’ve always thrived in environments where ‘a curious mind is the key to success, and I believe that a challenging and dynamic environment is key to retain and attract a diverse team of curious individuals. Finoa, while still a young company, has managed to create a playing-ground where the learning curve continues to be steep — meaning that people are offered an opportunity to continuously learn and develop over time. The organizational structure is very flat, and you have the opportunity to take ownership from day one, leading initiatives with immediate impact. From a personal learning perspective, I couldn’t think of a more interesting environment to be in. It’s amazing to work with top talents from all over the world who challenge your assumptions and broaden your understanding, both of crypto and in a more general sense. The team has grown a lot since I started, but it has remained very diverse and the environment remains young and dynamic. We’re now a team of more than 20 nationalities, from a range of academic and professional backgrounds, making for both a socially and intellectually stimulating workplace. I couldn’t think of a more interesting place to be: by working on custody and staking, we’re building one of the fundamental pieces of the blockchain industry, and we’re having a lot of fun doing so.”
Interested in joining Finoa? Check out our open positions.
Finoa is a regulated custodian for digital assets, servicing professional investors with custody and staking. The platform enables its users to securely store and manage their crypto-assets, while providing a directly accessible, highly intuitive, and unique user experience, enabling seamless access to the ecosystem of Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Reference customers include the world’s most renowned Venture Capital firms, large corporations, and financial institutions. Finoa was founded in Berlin in 2018, has received a preliminary crypto custody license (§64y Para. 1 KWG), and is supervised by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).