In essence, we are witnessing mass infantilism among adults in both their financial behavior and their general lifestyles. The only way of overcoming the waves of bankruptcies and incessant monetary troubles that people are incessantly complaining about is learning how to improve individual financial standing through sound judgment and budgeting. Life goes on and immediate material satisfaction through compulsory consumption will only hinder the achievement of a better life in the future if the current financial situation of an individual is restrictive of immediate pleasures.
As a part of my series about strong female finance leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anna Vladi, the COO of Everex US. Over 20 years of experience in Operations, Strategy and Complex Programs Implementations at AIG, Janus Funds and Lazar Consultants, Anna Vladi is a consensus builder and motivational leader responsible for operations and compliance. During her last job with Accenture, Anna was supervising Blockchain in the energy sector. Prior to this, she was Vice President of Operations and Systems at AIG and has also served as a founding partner in a boutique management consulting firm. Apart from this, Anna also leads a non-profit project on the side, called Women4blockchain. She has taken upon herself to educate the masses about Blockchain through a number of immersive hackathons.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Banking/Finance field?
The main reason I started working in blockchain space was my willingness to quit 20 years in the corporate world. Most recently I left a very lucrative job at Accenture to join Everex to help solve the problem of expensive transaction prices in the payment space.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occured to you in your career so far?
There is little amusement in the corporate world. It is rather amusing in its obtuseness and rigid nature. The amount of bureaucracy is comic. Though the people working in the sector have been solidified and ossified by the system, those who have worked in the corporate sector for long enough and left it, can look back with a fresher outlook and realize just how inane everything is. That is why Everex attracted me so much with its concept. Our strategy for the US, where the corporate sector reigns supreme, is domestic payments, completely rehauling the technology behind the traditional finance system by making it affordable and fair. We want to help merchants get fixed and low transaction rates. The lower the rates, the lower the end prices are for the buyers, which directly correlates with economic growth and higher purchasing power.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
The one project I am currently working on the most is Everex US. It is a venture project of Everex Singapore and BlocX, a merging of 2 technology companies, 2 minds and 2 visions to help build a fair and equal financial infrastructure.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Everex was one of the first wallets when Ethereum was just getting started and the goal was to help the unbanked with remittance and low fees. We have evolved since then and are now venturing into domestic payments in the US and want to restructure the US financial system for the better, cut the fees, cut the middlemen and cut the time that it takes for the merchant to get paid.
Wall Street and Finance used to be an “all white boys club”. This has changed a lot recently. In your opinion, what caused this change?
In my opinion, technology has a tendency of being gender blind. If you have the brains to get a job done, it does not matter if you wear a skirt or not. The more finance started relying on technology, the more women started venturing into the industry and the boys’ club had to make some more room for the skirts. The glass ceiling is still there, men still make more money for the same job, and yes there is more work to be done. But I think good progress has been made in the industry over the years already and we will see improvements in inequality in the future.
Of course, despite the progress, we still have a lot more work to do to achieve parity. According to this report in CNBC, less than 17 percent of senior positions in investment banks are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and /or c) society to support this movement going forward?
Unfortunately, it is the nature of women that gets in the way of more women climbing to the top of the corporate world. We need more women who are not afraid to hire women who are smarter than themselves to mentor and propel others to the top. That is the only way personnel relations should be, that is how talent is nurtured and human resources are fashioned. Women need to be more inclined to help other women succeed. Mutual support is what drives civilizational growth, not cutthroat competition.
You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive things one should do to become more financially literate, what would you say? Can you please give a story or example for each.
The most important lesson is learning to budget. That includes examples of getting a lease on a car, paying off credit card debts right away, or spending less than you make. Those are the main pillars of sound financial literacy, something far too many adults lack in the modern world. In essence, we are witnessing mass infantilism among adults in both their financial behavior and their general lifestyles. The only way of overcoming the waves of bankruptcies and incessant monetary troubles that people are incessantly complaining about is learning how to improve individual financial standing through sound judgment and budgeting. Life goes on and immediate material satisfaction through compulsory consumption will only hinder the achievement of a better life in the future if the current financial situation of an individual is restrictive of immediate pleasures.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband is the person I am most grateful to in this regard. He always supported me and pushed me to reach higher goals and told me that there is nothing I cannot achieve if I put my mind to it. It is extremely important for everyone to have moral support, because few things are as valuable as a supportive shoulder to lean on and converse with in times when it seems the world is against you.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” Always hire and work with people smarter than you and be a lifelong learner. Only by pushing yourself out of the comfort zone, will get you further. By doing things you have never done, you will get things you never had. These may sound a bit cliché, but as ironic as it may seem, clichés are time-proven truths.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I think one movement that must really catch on is one that would stand for getting rid of the harmful chemicals that the industrial agriculture has been putting into our food for the past 40 years. These chemicals are getting everyone sicker and sicker by the year with chronic diseases we have never even seen before rising exponentially, from Autism in children to cancer in adults. We are what we eat, that is the basic truth. Companies are artificially increasing food volumes through the use of chemicals and the blatant sacrifice of quality. I believe that educating the masses about the dangers of mass produced food and nutritional value that local farmers can bring to your table and supporting such efforts in your community, that is where every mother should concentrate her efforts on. All my food in the house comes from local farms and mills, I get weekly CSA from a local urban farm in Paramus NJ; I support sustainably hunted meat. Sustainable living, healthy food for our children and eradication of chemicals that are allowed in our foods by government bodies is one of my main missions in life.
Thank you for all of these great insights!
About The Author:
Tyler Gallagher is the CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, a “Bitcoin IRA” company. Regal Assets is an international alternative assets firm with offices in the United States, Canada, London and Dubai focused on helping private and institutional wealth procure alternative assets for their investment portfolios. Regal Assets is an Inc. 500 company and has been featured in many publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Market Watch and Reuters. With offices in multiple countries, Regal Assets is uniquely positioned as an international leader in the alternative assets industry and was awarded the first ever crypto-commodities license by the DMCC in late 2017. Regal Assets is currently the only firm in the world that holds a license to legally buy and sell cryptos within the Middle East and works closely with the DMCC to help evolve and grow the understanding and application of blockchain technology. In addition to his role with Regal Assets, Tyler is a regular contributor to Forbes, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and Authority Magazine. Tyler has also been featured in many news publications and has been a guest expert on “The News with Ed Shultz”. Tyler is a proud member of the Forbes Finance Council a private invite only-group of hand-selected industry leaders. Feel free to reach out to Tyler on Linkedin HERE .