FinTech Australia Podcast

Ep 04: Stuart Clout - Thedocyard

March 11, 2020 Tier One People - Dexter Cousins Season 1 Episode 4
FinTech Australia Podcast
Ep 04: Stuart Clout - Thedocyard
Chapters
FinTech Australia Podcast
Ep 04: Stuart Clout - Thedocyard
Mar 11, 2020 Season 1 Episode 4
Tier One People - Dexter Cousins

Stuart Clout is CEO of ASX Listed Fintech, thedocyard, a global platform that is gearing to be the Atlassian for corporate advisory teams. Listen to Stuart share his thoughts on building a global platform and being CEO of an ASX listed startup.

https://thedocyard.co

The FinTech Australia Podcast is brought to you by Tier One People - Australia's leading Fintech Executive Search firm.

Thanks to our partners FinTech Australia, a member-driven organisation that is building an ecosystem of Australian fintechs to advance the global economy and culture.

We share their mission to build a strong community, foster connections and support innovation. To become a member go to https://fintechaustralia.org.au/join-now/

Tier One People is Australia's leading FinTech Executive Search firm.
If you are looking to hire game changing talent contact [email protected]

If you would like to sponsor the show please contact [email protected]

Show Notes Transcript

Stuart Clout is CEO of ASX Listed Fintech, thedocyard, a global platform that is gearing to be the Atlassian for corporate advisory teams. Listen to Stuart share his thoughts on building a global platform and being CEO of an ASX listed startup.

https://thedocyard.co

The FinTech Australia Podcast is brought to you by Tier One People - Australia's leading Fintech Executive Search firm.

Thanks to our partners FinTech Australia, a member-driven organisation that is building an ecosystem of Australian fintechs to advance the global economy and culture.

We share their mission to build a strong community, foster connections and support innovation. To become a member go to https://fintechaustralia.org.au/join-now/

Tier One People is Australia's leading FinTech Executive Search firm.
If you are looking to hire game changing talent contact [email protected]

If you would like to sponsor the show please contact [email protected]

spk_1:   0:04
Welcome to the Tier one people. Podcast Fintech Game changes brought to you in partnership with Fintech, Australia. I'm your host, Dexter Cousins. Today I'm joined by Stuart Clout, CEO of air SACS listed Fintech Dockyard. Stuart shares his Storey of going from lawyer to Fintech CEO on how his team is tackling a huge issue of complaints and security for investment banks and law firms with Global Platform the dockyard. Hi, Stuart. Welcome to the show

spk_0:   0:38
tonight. Thanks for coming along, Stewart. To put our listeners a tease. We haven't made a pivot inter ship building, But you're from a business called the Dockyard. Would you like to tell our listeners what the document is? Yes, We're definitely not in shipbuilding. I could give you a little bit of information about the genesis of the dockyard. Has a name and a brand in a moment. But we are a software as a service technology company and we are in the deal to allergy wreg Tack and Fintech space. Great. And so when you say deal technology, could you members give just a little bit more kind of info around? What? That What that involves? Yes. Oh, by deal I mean a capital or commercial transaction. So in a transaction and I, po capital raise venture capital and private equity type transactions through two large commercial transactions, such as major projects and infrastructure on insolvency type work. So the sorts of things that lawyers and bankers and big corporate CE and funds typically do every day. And that's the teal piece. The technology pieces our technology makes. Doing those deals easier, better, simpler. Traditionally, those deals have bean run on e mail, and email is technically a piece of technology invented in the seventies, and the deal industry has never really moved beyond thie. Humble email isn't key piece of tech that's used to get things done. Eso were really attacking that problem, right? So you had some real experience of this recently and that you listed on the air sex. Would you like to tell us about that experience? Yeah, I would thee not only because of that transaction in and of itself, but I spent 15 years as a capital markets lawyer. Both partnership level in a large professional services firm and also in house for a Fortune 500 company doing transactions. So my trade is doing transactions, and that's kind of why I realised they needed to be done better. Andi certainly for five weeks ago. We are Opo got away. I had the privilege of ringing the bell down at the sex, and that was it was a really a really grand day for us for a business. We got to celebrate where we've got to so far. But it's also a new gateway for us to go through in terms of it's a whole new platform on which for us to grow and particularly to take our great Australian homegrown technology into the global markets. All right, so where's what's the plan for Australia right now? So the plan in Australia has dramatically changed post IPO. We're still attempting to engage with everyone that works on deals, so everyone in that ecosystem, as I said, the lawyers, thie, investment bankers, the corporate finance advisers, the Corporates themselves and the funds everyone that's in that ecosystem. We're looking to engage with them and to say to them simply there's a better way to run your deals. There's there's a safer way to run your deals. There's a a much nicer way to run your deals and our technology is aimed at that on then in terms of the global market so moving, particularly and initially into the UK and the European market. Thie, the strategy is, is similar to the extent that it's about engagement and awareness and then getting the technology in the hands of those doing deals. Because I can tell you I've done thousands and thousands of demos. Dexter and never once has anyone that's ever worked on a deal seen the dockyard and not said, Where has that been all my life, right? It's just about getting it out there for us. So what is it that you would say is so unique about the dockyard and the platform that you've built? So it's It's unique to the extent that were really bringing together five or six different tools or features that exist disparately across other products that deal advisers and their clients air using every day on we're bringing them together into a very kohi geant and hold fulsome platform that allows everyone to execute the transaction in one secure space. And so, for example, what are the various and disparate pieces of technology that typically are being used? You've got the email we've talked about. We've got the Humble Excel spreadsheet. We've got the word table. We've got secure file sharing tools, which range from your Google drive drop box up to the higher end virtual data rooms that exist in the corporate finance and emanate space. You've got a project management tools ranging from Microsoft Project through to them or retail trail owes of the world. And they're all being used in some way or form to try and sticky tape together. The thing called a deal on the deal's just a project starts. Stuff happens in the middle. People do that stuff. People will know where that stuffs up, too on, then ends. And if you think of it in that way, which I did, I looked at what other project based industries do. So I looked at software development. Suffer development is project based work and what at last you have done for them. I learned that what a connects have done for the construction management industry, and they have applied good work Flo project management collaboration and file sharing technology into one Cho Hee Jin digital secure space. And that's what the document is video So it has all the hallmarks then of a business that you would look at that hits unicorn status. I certainly believe so. That's certainly, you know, on our pathway. We've got a giant addressable market and somewhat of a green fields in front of us in terms ofthe the solution that we're delivering to the market. There's a lot of deals happening out there every single day all over the world, and they're all being done on email, on post it notes and on spreadsheets. And if you, if you leave even productivity, efficiency and waste to the side for one moment, even if you say they're nice toe, have I tell you what our nice perhaps I'll tell you what I absolutely compelling must have on that is data security and compliance. Those two things are not negotiable. There's not a single fund, corporate bank or deal advisor in the world worth its salt. That's not thinking about how do I keep my data more secure? And how do I stay calm? And the question I often ask people is, Do you believe in 2025 that people will still be using email to send confidential information around or the alternative is. Do you believe if you're a deal advisor, a lawyer, a banker, a corporate finance adviser Do you believe your clients will let you use email to send there confidential information around in 2025? And I think the answer is absolutely not. I mean, I'm freshly minted as the CEO of a publicly listed companies, so I've got I've got plenty of plenty of miles to run on this journey for me. But it already is on my mind about what are my obligations to my company. To my shareholders, when it comes to keeping our data safe and sending stuff around on emails, no one agrees is the right way to be doing it. So, given 100% of deals are done on email and emails not going to be any good anymore. What's going to replace it yet? The answer. Dexter is the dockyard. And how did you come up with the name the Dockyard? Not many people ask me that, actually, so there's obviously the play on Doc. There's no K for the listeners that zoc. So the play on Dr Documents of Underpin and Create and record transactions and but the dockyard in and of itself. I actually looked at what the document in the shipping senses, and it's actually an inter motile space. You've got the connective ity off global trade and boats arriving. And then there's getting picked up by trucks and put on highway networks or trains or arriving. And it's an engagement space where various parties and stakeholders are coming together into this one common spot and commerce is happening. And it's a lot of different players or doing different things. And I actually quite like to the analogy with the way the deal works, you think about a deal. It's got multiple parties or doing different things and bringing different things to the deal. You got a buyer you're going to sell. Are you going? Abayas adviser, You're going to sell his advisor got investors on DH. You know, they all come into this one spot to get the work done and move on. So we've talked about the technology and the platform on the problem that you're solving. I guess the other equation for you is a CEO is the people part and the business and the culture that you're trying to build. So what are they? I guess what are the philosophy is that you're bringing into this role as CEO and his founder of the business that you really want to kind of instil within the values and the culture. So this is probably the most important part of my job for the next five years, at least, if not more, on DH. So I'm you know, I'm listening a lot. I'm trying to learn from what other good businesses do. Another good and impressive leaders across different businesses do in this space. I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers at all, but there's a couple of things that really underpin what we do at the dockyard. We talk about being authentic. We talk about being humble and so humble means for me it means moving your ego and yourself out of the equation. It's not about me. It's not about, you know, the dockyard. It's about our customers and solving for them what they need solved. Because if we do that well, day in, day out, well, we'll win our customers when we went to, because it will be a great company. A lot of people use the following phrase or adopt the following phrase No, B S s Oh, it is a little bit. It's almost become one of those startup buzzwords or buzz phrases like pivot and all these things that gets overused journey. I may have even used you any myself already, but no B s is really a true value for us. It's like just get to the point. Get keep it simple. Stop trying to pretend you're smart on DH. Just help people solve problems and ownerships. The last piece I own stuff the phrase and anyone from the dockyard is listening to This will roll their eyes because I say this a 1,000,000 times a day. That leadership is not a rank. Leadership is a behaviour, and I say that all the time it worked because leadership is a behaviour, it's about owning things, and everyone has an obligation of leadership at the dockyard. It's not a thing that just the CEO of the C suite or, you know, the head of engineering does. It's something that everyone has to dio. You walk past something and it's not right. Pick it up, own it, get some help with it and deal with it about five years back, I remember reading the lane that perfectly summed up May thoughts on culture. Everything that I've seen in 20 years of doing Executive search on the lane is that the culture of an organisation is determined by the worst behaviour the chief exact tolerate on I thought s so true of every business. See, no matter what's up on the wall, if you're not a CEO, if you're not living and breathing those values, then they're just words. I really like that extra Thanks for sharing that with me. Actually, that's good. I've also heard the behaviour walk past his behaviour. You condone it is a similar concept and we don't know it's about behaviour and about living. It's not about having a fancy sort of statement and values stuck on the wall that ever walked past every day but doesn't take any notice off. And in fact, that's worse because if you're not going to live it, don't put it up on the wall because actually, that's disingenuous. And that's when people get disengaged and think, you know what? This place isn't standing for what I wanted to stand for, and they go elsewhere, and it goes back with a no B s value as well. Yeah. And you know what? You can have the greatest idea in the world. You can have the greatest strategy in the world. You could even be really good at execution, which is really one of the key things. But if you haven't got good people, you've got nothing. So talking about the people, you're still a startup. What are the qualities that you look for in the people that are successful at the dockyard? Grit is one of them, actually. Determination not not being, you know, overly consuming. You know, the Kool Aid or smoking the peace pipe, however you want to put it, but also being bored into our mission being brought into our purpose. I mean, now our mission is to make doing deals a dream, you know. And, you know, we we have set ourselves the goal of being the number one deal technology in the world by 2025 and we think we're going toe romp it in, and we So I want to find people that I work with, people that are up for coming on that run with us getting in the boat and saying, All right, cool, let's grab it all and pull on it and let's all go because there's going to be There's heaps of work to do. They'll be good bits and then the bad bits. They'll be ups and downs, of course, because that's called business. But people who really are you want to use. The document also was a platform. Teo. Push them to where they want to go nest, right? Like you know, you've got to make you gotto make your environment one where people can become better at what they do and better as a person, whether my business directly benefits from that or not. And you've been able to bring together a really impressive executive team on order advisory team. How are you being able to attract people in those early stages off the Culebra? Yeah, thank you. And you are right. I've got some amazing people already on board. I like to think it's charm, but it's probably not. It's probably it's probably a mix of a couple things. I think anyone who's in the corporate finance transactional Finn fintech legal tax space whenever they hear what we're doing they immediately identify with and recognise holy moly. This is actually a great opportunity. This is a business which is filling, fulfilling a real problem, and there's not a lot of people that approaching it the way that we're approaching us. I think they just get attracted to the opportunity more than anything, because they themselves are good, have a good eye for a good business and a good opportunity. They wantto that's what gives them above. And then I think it's actually just having clarity of purpose and saying, Here's what we're going to do if you if you're up for that, come on, because I need all the help I can get, you know? And I think make in fact our our board chair said to me very early on, I won't work with CEOs who won't listen to me. They don't have to always do what I say, but they've got to at least listen to me and I think that's a least one thing. Maybe I get right if I was going to choose something that I think I get right is always happy tohave someone's opinion. I'm always happy to change my mind if I think it should be black. And then someone says No, it should be read for these reasons. I go. You know what? You're right. Read it. It's There's nothing worse than just being stoically attached to concepts and ideas Just cause you came up with that dumb look. What are your thoughts on how you tackle lack growth? Not just here. Domestically, what you've talked about Global is well, And if there are, we've got a global audience. People in the US and the UK What would be the, I guess, the approaches that you would love to see and take in those countries and how you would elevate the business and move it to that next stage. Yeah, one of the things that I'm really exploring quite heavily. Dexter is applying consumer technology habits and rituals to an enterprise SAS business. Because enterprise SAS is still pretty clunky in the main. It's still pretty manual. If you think about howto, I've become a customer of a well known enterprise, SAS Brandt. It's hard to imagine one where I don't have to fill in some forms. Still, Lori don't have toe have a long engagement with multiple meetings. It's really difficult, and I've got a few brands in line, but I have no idea who's listening, so I won't say any of them. But Enterprise SAS is still actually quite clunky, even though the delivery mechanism the SAS spit is obviously significantly optimised over the old on prime model. So we look at good consume attack, and a lot of it hinges around. Use a self provisioning and use the self help. And we're looking how we apply that to an enterprise SAS model at scale globally so that someone can start using the dockyard. If there is a guy or a girl sitting in Kansas right now, who's just got a mandate to do an M and ideal, they should be able to start, and they will be able to start with the dockyard without talking to the dockyard. They can get going on, become a customer, and then we'll engage with them. We'll make sure they're happy that they're safe, that they're getting the most out of their time, getting value for the money that they're spending with us. That's the model that you look at the good consumer SAT businesses have, and that allows you to scale your reach in your sales and your customer acquisition is significantly more. And that's something I'm really focused on and what we're at. An inflexion point in society. There's a lot going on. Corona virus markets have tanked. There seems to be a view out there, and perhaps Corona virus is the cut list for remote working and for a complete change in how the workforce operates, right? So what? We're a virtual workspace for the deal. We're a virtual space in which all the participants in the deal participate and get things done. Update people transfer information, share files or done from Well, they could all be at home in quarante self quarantine thieve virtual isation off. The work is, you know, is not a trend that we've started with. The trend is away that we've joined. Absolutely. That's the case. I think it was so goes a little bit beyond that as well. Which is? The reality is that people want the flexibility to be able to do what they want, where they want more so than ever in the past. And so technologies like owls in our vertical, which is deal Facilitate that. You know what if you want to be a corporate finance advisor or a lawyer and do it from a beach in Bali. You know what with the dockyard you can, but eso certainly we're taking a lot of those boxes. But there's Mohr compelling global trends around transmission of confidential information, which I think the dockyard addresses, which is data security and compliance. And everyone no. No. One, in fact, is going to argue that compliance is on a trend up and up and up, and that won'T and, um, in Australia, particularly financial services post. The Han Royal Commission is ultra sensitive right now on banks are clear customer of ours. So they transact everyday. They lend money, particularly in the corporate space. Not so much, well, not so much focused on the consumer lending but on corporate lending. Every day they're lending and they're doing it on email. It's unsafe, and it's a notable, and this is an industry that's just been through a royal commission. It's astonishing in the only ways and our technologies out of the box and console of these problems for them right now. So, Stuart, if we look, I guess it for this next 12 months what do what do you have planned for the dockyard and what are some of the exciting things that you can share with us? So the opening of the London offices eyes one of the big material items for us, which is giving us boots on the ground in the UK and therefore thie European market on DH. That's really exciting. We've got some very big and impressive anchor clients in the UK already, and we're going to grow off the back of that. The UK and European deals market is significantly larger, un controversial to say that the Australian New Zealand market, where we've where we've grown our technology on DH, cut our teeth. The wonderful thing about being an early stage tech company in Australia New Zealand market is that it says sophisticated and fast moving as thie America's and the European and U K Markets. It's just a little easier to handle, You know, there's less zeroes on some of these deals, and it's easier to get in and see people and to get access to people and understand what they really need and get the feedback loops going. But if I can impress a partner of a law firm in Sydney. A corporate finance adviser in Melbourne, an investment banker in Perth. I can impress the same humans in London, in New York, in Chicago, in Mildred, wherever on DH, where were proudly Australian. But we're definitely a global company and I think there's a misperception, particularly from people in the UK that Australia is five years behind. That might have been the case 10 years back. I've had a number of my contacts who are very well respected in the industry, who said that in areas they wreck tech compliance payments. Australia's ahead of the curve, certainly of the UK, and I can assure you of that observation because I fly between the U. S, the UK in Australia a lot and talk to my customers all over there. And s o I would add fintech and legal tech to that list thie adoption of technology in Australia and New Zealand as well. Let's not forget our cousins across the water is phenomenal. There is an innovation in the DNA down here that makes organisations that typically conservative braver and they get on and start doing stuff which really raises eyebrows and the rest of the world. And so it's actually where at the frontier of it out here. So, in fact, we're going to be exporting that to the rest of the world over the next couple of years. So I'm looking forward to that. Well, sure, we wish you every success with it. Sounds like you've got a fantastic platform on DH addressing a global market in a global problem. Thank you very much for being on the show. It's been a real pleasure to speak with you, Jackson. Thanks for having me.

spk_1:   23:21
People approach announce that we're working with Dockyard is our exclusive recruitment partners. If you want to get on board the rocket ship, please contact talent a tier one people dot com That's talent at tier one people dot com.