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E2Exchange Private Dinner with Rhydian Lewis

Throughout the year E2E hosts a spectacular variety of events, from breakfast seminars to private dinners and receptions. These events bring together entrepreneurs, business leaders and policy makers, each with the desire to share ideas and discuss how their experiences can help the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The speaker at our recent dinner was Rhydian Lewis, CEO and Founder of RateSetter, a peer to peer lending company where investors are matched with creditworthy borrowers. Following a successful career at investment firm Lazard he founded the company with the ambition that in time the interest rates set in the RateSetter marketplace will be seen as benchmark rates in finance.

David Telling from Newgate Communications took the opportunity to find out what motivates, inspires and challenges Rhydian and other dinner guests who are some of the most successful entrepreneurs of today.

When you’re starting out in business often there are many people who are willing to offer advice, how do you choose the good advice from the bad advice?

I definitely took the position early on of ignoring everyone and blank it. Don’t be selective about who you ignore, just ignore everyone. That can hold for quite a long time because you have to be quite single minded to not get blown off-course. I think that’s not a bad attitude. Obviously there comes a point where a little bit of wisdom or a bit of objective advice can be helpful. Whether that be putting in a board sooner rather than later, we definitely voluntarily put governance around ourselves at RateSetter much earlier than we might otherwise have done. I would encourage that. But in the very early days just ignore everyone, you’ve got the idea and know how to implement it. Just go for it and try to get people to follow you.

Your favorite book is Gulliver’s Travels; what particular element of Gulliver’s Travels do you hold close to your heart when you’re thinking about your business?

Well obviously it’s a very amusing book. It’s seeing things from different perspectives. You can be a giant in some fields, and a gnome in another, and it’s the same person. I recognise that in business in some areas even RateSetter is actually quite large but looked at from another perspective we’re still absolutely minuet and very young. I find that sort of change in perspective interesting. I also found particularly interesting that Gulliver of course, when he arrives in one of the islands is tied down by lots of little rules and lots of little knots and of course as an entrepreneur people will try and tie you down… It’s important to keep pushing and keep breaking through some of those knots.

David also spoke with Stuart Lucas, co-CEO and Founder of Asset Match. Having spent his career in the city and as an active user and investor in many fintech platforms, he decided to found Asset Match, the first comprehensive electronic platform in the UK for buying and selling shares in private companies.

James Johnson is the CEO of Nicoll Curtin Technology and an award winning entrepreneur and management specialist with proven results in turnaround and growth roles internationally. He spent the first half of his career with Jardines in the UK, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Now he is the CEO of Nicoll Curtin, the global FinTech & Change recruitment agency, which has won awards for customer experience, client service and diversity & inclusion.

These videos mark the start of a new series, allowing entrepreneurs of today help entrepreneurs of tomorrow.