TrueTalk with Brenton
Meet Brenton Charnley – road cyclist, dad-to-be and TrueLayer's CEO for Australia & New Zealand.
Tell us about your role.Back in 2020, I was the first person the company hired in Australia and I've been responsible for launching the business here – localising the product and building the team. We now have 22 TrueLayeristas locally, with more joining soon… plus we’re still hiring!This growth means that my role has changed a lot in a small space of time. Even though there's a big time difference between Sydney and London, the support of the London-based TrueLayeristas has been phenomenal. It’s exciting to be across all facets of the business, including technical, product, compliance, commercial, operations and people.
What brought you to TrueLayer?The thing that first piqued my interest was TrueLayer's API-first strategy and their trusted intermediary role, connecting incumbents (banks) and innovators (fintechs). That business focus resonated strongly with me because I’d already experienced its power in the insurance sector. Previously, I’ve held senior executive positions in strategy, finance, commercial and operations for technology scale-ups in insurance and AI – and I love working in the innovation ecosystem.TrueLayer has a phenomenal reputation as a global open banking pioneer, so I knew there was a superior product that was proven in-market, and a great team. I was also impressed that the co-founders, Francesco and Luca, were still highly engaged and hands on, building a team around them to scale globally.
Describe a typical day.My day is usually divided into two parts: the Australia day and then the UK day. I work late a couple of nights a week and, on those days, I flex my time to start a bit later.For work-life balance, I like to fit in a bike ride or walk the dog to get coffee if I’m working from home, which most days I am.I’m currently the Sales Lead for the Australia & New Zealand business, so my days are a mix of talking to clients, checking in with team members, planning for marketing events, and liaising with industry associations and policy makers.
What's the best thing about working here?That has to be our mission to open up finance, including banking, payments, digital identity and more. The benefits of this for consumers and businesses will be enormous and there's a sense of community and pride that comes from being part of a global team delivering that. We're already having an impact, but we're really only getting started. It's amazing to be part of a company that is shaping the future of financial services and has been there from the early days as a pioneer.
What are you most excited about for 2022?In 2022, we launch our local data and payments products to help Australian consumers (and businesses) leverage the power of consented open banking data. And that’s exciting because it is, after all, the consumer’s data right. In 2022, intermediaries like TrueLayer will play a critical role in moving consented consumer data in real time between banks, fintechs and others.
What keeps you motivated?Seeing the team grow and get their groove on, has been really rewarding. That keeps me motivated to keep elevating our sights. The support from London HQ, and the whole team around the world, has been unbelievable. I’m strongly motivated to deliver TrueLayer’s global capabilities and mission to open up finance in Australia. There has been slow progress on action initiation and open banking payments over here, but there are green shoots. We’re working hard with all parties to make it happen and, when it does, our products will be the market leaders.
What would you say to someone considering joining TrueLayer?When hiring for Australia and New Zealand, we’ve been deliberate to build a diverse and inclusive culture to support the right people in the right way.I’m stoked that our team members – who are individually excellent in their fields – have decided to come and ride the Consumer Data Right train with TrueLayer!So, if you’re interested, take the next step – reach out to see if we're the right fit for you.If you want to join a company that is at the forefront of technology and is changing the future of financial services, where you can be empowered to do work that you love, this is your place.
Where might we find you when you're not at work?
Outside of work, you’ll probably find me on the road… literally! I’m a keen road cyclist and loyal member of the Sydney Cycling Club. There’s a nice social element to cycling and I find it’s a really positive daily habit. My wife Shelley and I got a cocker spaniel puppy, Pippen, during lockdown and we've enjoyed seeing him grow. We both enjoy cooking up a storm in the kitchen and soon we’ll be welcoming our first baby!
Any books, podcasts or films you'd recommend?I really enjoy the a16z podcast which discusses tech and culture trends, news and the future. I'd also recommend Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.
Words to live by?
“The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed” is a quote by American fiction writer William Gibson. It alludes to the fact that the things that will become the norm for everyone in the future already exist for some of us today. Most of what will constitute change, at least in the short term, is simply the mass adoption of these new things.