Seeing an Opportunity to Make a Difference to an Important Market
Romi Sovova, Chief Executive Officer at PensionBee, tells us about how she first went into business, her best and worst decisions and more about her company PensionBee.
Tell us about your dream job as a child.
I wanted to be a lawyer, but I think I also had the business gene pretty early on. My parents say I used to try and sell my artwork to their friends. When I was 6.
Why did you go into business in the first place?
I started my career at Goldman Sachs and I was just really eager to learn about finance. Markets are their own world, with their own language and own key players. I suppose I only truly went “into” business when I started PensionBee and I did it because I had experienced a genuine problem when transferring my own pension. I saw the opportunity to make a big difference to a very important market that often just ignores the people who rely on it.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I don’t really have a Steve Jobs-like role model. I have been inspired by various people along the way, usually people I have worked with. Today I am inspired by the PensionBee team. Culture is at the heart of every organisation and our team’s ability to make the right decisions so we do right by our customers is something I marvel at.
What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?
Best – to start PensionBee. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without this company. Although there were times in the beginning when things were very difficult and I had my doubts. My husband bore the brunt of that. The worst decisions I’ve made have been when I haven’t listened to my gut that a hire might not be right or that a partner might not be genuine. A gut is a very important source of information!
What do you think is the most significant barrier to women in business?
The lack of role models. I find it astonishing that I still click on webpages that proudly display an all-male management team or board. I think formal quotas are necessary, at least until we even things out.
What’s the best advice you have received in business?
Hmm. My latest favourite is that “persistence is the hallmark of the successful”.
What do you do for fun?
Play with my little boy. It’s usually fun.
What did you most fear in the early days of your business?
In the early days one worries that the pieces of the jigsaw won’t fit together. I was very worried that one of the jigsaws would suddenly drop off the table!
What’s next for you and your business?
Lots and lots of growth within the UK and perhaps a bit internationally. We are partnering with like-minded companies to bring a better way of pension saving to the whole country.
If you could tell your younger you something what would you say?
If you’re not happy and having fun, it’s time to move on.
Thank you Romi for sharing your story with Women’s Business News, it’s great to see someone doing something new and useful with pensions.
Move your pension to Pension Bee today at www.pensionbee.com