Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. Members are successful leaders from world-class financial companies, each bringing a wealth of experience to the table. In this spotlight series, we profile our incredible members and share their advice with you. This week: Mark Højgaard.
How did your career as a finance executive take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
I have been lucky to get involved in many exciting opportunities during my career from low tech to high tech, and the last 10 years have been within the Fintech. After my first ventures at the age of 20, I quickly realized that building up companies is what I do best. My passion is pioneering and disrupting whatever I am doing and learning the hard way.
How do you keep yourself motivated and driven by your work, regardless of how busy you are day to day?
One of my main motivations is building businesses internationally on a global scale and traveling all over the world. Thanks to this, I have a global network of friends and strong business relations from all cultures of the world who broaden my mindset as a businessman and on a personal level.
I also participate in several non profit startup communities – helping other global startups. These communities are significant sources of motivation and inspiration. I really recommend Forbes members do the same.
What do you see as the future of the financial world?
I believe that the financial world has taken the first step in a long journey of true transformation.
The upcoming changes in financial regulations will make space for many interesting financial products and services, giving traditional banks some healthy competition.
Today we are experiencing the first wave of innovative Fintech products arising in the market, and there is much more to come in the future. The next step is the entrance of big social media and retail as dominant financial players in the market, such as Facebook, Starbucks, etc. But more importantly, I foresee that the whole underlying financial ecosystem will undergo a change of a magnitude that we have not seen in the past 50 years. This will result in a new wave of Fintech companies entering the industry and cutting chunks from the existing leading industry players, delivering reduced costs, adding transparency, and understanding behavior and frictionless experiences. This will be a crucial moment when the dominant actors in the space will get stronger (by clever M&A strategies), and the rest will join the club of Nokia, Kodak, Blockbuster, etc. that never adjusted in time.
What is your best finance-related tip for businesses?
Failure is an option.
I support and practice this mantra. When scaling your business, you need to take chances and make some radical moves. You cannot predict all outcomes of your choices within the disruptive financial landscape. There are simply too many new technologies arising, and many new changes within regulation. Even the disrupter can get disrupted these days.
Always minimize your risk, but don’t become a deer in headlights. Just keep walking, learn from your mistakes and transform your learnings into actions.