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Scott Eaton

Scott Eaton, CEO at Nivaura

About Nivaura

Its name reflects its purpose: Niv means flow in Sanskrit. Aura refers to energy.

Nivaura addresses challenges of highly manual and fragmented capital markets processes, that are burdened by complex data and document management activities. With Nivaura, you can build digital and automated workflows that enable seamless flow of information and interaction between your internal and external users.

Q: Can you give us a brief introduction to your career background?

A: I am an American lawyer by education but started my career as a bond trader. I did practice law for a period of about five years, representing large investment banks mostly, but returned to a trading role when structured products began to take off in the mid-’90s.

Many banks and many years later, I was recruited to be the chief operating officer for MarketAxess Europe, effectively running the international business of MarketAxess (a US based, publicly traded company). That lead me into the world of fintech, where I happily reside now.

The big questions

Q: What's been your biggest success within your career?

A: My biggest career success is either its sheer longevity or the fact that I have been able to continue to enjoy and learn (and truthfully, maybe both things combined).

Q: What has been your biggest challenge within your career?

A: I am embarrassed to say that the biggest challenge in my career has been myself, with two self-inflicted shortcomings. First, there have been times that I didn’t take an opportunity presented because I was afraid that I couldn’t do the job. And second, my temper has not always been my friend (although I feel that I have that largely under control now).

Q: What's your biggest regret?

A: I am largely fortunate in that I don’t really have any true regrets other than not addressing the challenges mentioned above sooner. That lead to either missing out on certain opportunities or not comporting myself in a manner that I should have.

Q: What has been your biggest learning opportunity?

A: That is tough because for me, most days are learning opportunities. However, if I had to narrow it down to a single one, it would be managing a firm through a significant downsizing because it forces you to firstly, prioritize needs over wants, and secondly, appreciate that a job is not just a task but also a means for people to both earn a living and have an identity, thus people’s lives are impacted.

Q: Who/what have you learnt most from?

A: The most influential people in my professional career have been a couple of noteworthy bosses – Glenn Barnes, who taught me that almost any deal is possible and to let the teams around you follow their muse. And Jakob Groot, who taught me that a combination of daily enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity can make every job interesting.

Q: What's the biggest challenge in your marketplace at the moment?

A: Convincing our clients that it is in their interest to move towards adoption of technology as it is applied to capital markets origination sooner rather than later. And this is combines with the notion that software is not easy nor cheap to develop (despite what internal software teams will tell you).

Tips from the top

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

A: Say “yes” more often – to the opportunities presented, to your kids, to everyone.

Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring CEO?

A: Read everything you can; read broadly; listen to your team; empower your team.

Q: What do you think is key to managing a successful team?

A: Honestly, I think it is really about empowerment. I learned a long time ago that I had a limited skill set and that the team around me is usually far better at what they do that I could ever be – so I need to get out of their way and let them work their magic, providing them air-cover along the way.

Q: What's your top tip for managing work-life balance?

A: Start your day with an early morning run!

Future gazing

Q: How do you see the CEO role changing in the next five years?

A: It will become more important to balance all of the stakeholder interests rather than just focusing on driving bottom line growth.

Q: What technological advances do you foresee within your role?

A: Role specific ones are probably around delivery of ancillary services (HR/Legal/Accounting).

Q: What do you see as the future of work in the UK?

A: I think the future will be as the recent past – more of a work from home/office hybrid, which will drive efficiency and choice.

Q: What do you love most about your role?

A: I work with some of the smartest people around and I get to learn from them every single day!

Q: What does your average Monday look like?

A: Starts with a run, then coffee and then straight into Zoom meetings for the remainder of the day (the downside of a distributed work environment).

If you are looking for a talented accountancy and finance professional for your business, or looking to find your next role, contact one of our specialist consultants today.