March 1, 2022
Podcast: Fintech as a force for social good
In this episode of the Fintech Thought Leaders podcast by QED Investors, QED Managing Partner Nigel Morris is joined by Atomic CEO David Dindi and QED Partner Amias Gerety.
Tune in to learn:
- [2:06] David's international background which took him from Kenya, through Europe and eventually to the U.S.
- [7:38] Why QED's excitement in Atomic was grounded in the combination of the most cutting edge wealth management techniques inside of a very customer accessible consumer experience.
- [9:41] Why every company should focus on D&I in the early stages of building a business.
- [12:28] How the simplicity of Atomic helps businesses who desire to offer investing as a value add as opposed to a core competent.
- [15:17] Whether the lines between fintechs, banks and credit unions are being blurred.
- [24:02] How Atomic provides access to investing and ownership where access didn't exist previously.
- [30:02] Why the power of compounding is a key aspect in building wealth.
- [32:42] What is on the roadmap for the next 12 months, starting with a tool for graduates with student loan debt.
- [36:15] The traits in co-founders that can lead to long-term success.
- [42:45] How Atomic approaches international expansion by building the capabilities to be able to actually buy and sell and hold securities in different markets and by providing the regulatory coverage to companies that do not have those regulatory licenses to be able to leverage their infrastructure.
- [46:20] Why fintech has the superpower to be a force for social good.
Nigel Morris is the co-founder and managing partner of QED Investors, a fintech venture capital platform focused on disruptive, high-growth financial services companies. QED has made numerous unicorn investments, including Credit Karma, Nubank, Avant, SoFi, Klarna, GreenSky and AvidXchange.
Nigel is the Chairman of ClearScore and Mission Lane and serves on the boards of Red Ventures, AvidXchange, MediaMath and Zopa. He also serves on the board of ideas42, and Scotia’s Digital Advisory Council, and he works in an advisory capacity with General Atlantic and Oliver Wyman.
Prior to QED, Nigel co-founded Capital One Financial Services in 1994. Under Nigel’s leadership as President and Chief Operating Officer, Capital One pioneered an information-based strategy that transformed the consumer lending industry.
Nigel grew up mostly in England and takes immense pride in the fact that he is at least half Welsh. He has an MBA with distinction from London Business School, where he is also a Fellow. He is an avid cyclist, but is happiest when he is at home in Virginia with his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.
David Dindi is the co-founder and CEO of Atomic, a fintech company providing infrastructure and regulatory solutions for companies to offer investing experiences to their customers in a frictionless way. While originally from Kenya, David grew up in Austria and later moved to the United States for college where he studied chemical engineering and computer science at Stanford University.
Amias joined QED as a partner in 2017 focusing on supporting the portfolio and finding new investment opportunities with a focus on back office technologies and infrastructure companies.
Amias brings a deep background in financial markets, compliance, and regtech to the QED team. Most recently, Amias served as the president’s nominee and as acting assistant secretary for financial institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In that role, he was the lead advisor to the secretary on policies affecting financial institutions. He also oversaw a number of programs focused on supporting small business lending and community development. He previously served as the deputy assistant secretary for the Financial Stability Oversight Council, an interagency group of financial regulators charged with monitoring and mitigating potential threats to financial stability. Prior to Treasury, Amias was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman. He also served in a number of policy roles and worked in East Africa for Save the Children. Amias is a recipient of the Alexander Hamilton award, the Treasury’s highest honor.
Amias graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a BA in Social Studies.
Hello, and thank you for joining us today for the QED Fintech Thought Leaders podcast, one of a series and for me personally, Nigel Morris, it is just a real pleasure to be chatting today to Atomic's co-founder and CEO, David Dindi and our very own QED investors partner, Amias Gerety. David, Atomic focuses on making wealth building accessible to every single human being, that's a grand statement, isn't it? By supplying investing infrastructure to consumer facing fintechs and banks. And using the Atomic platform, companies can now launch investing experiences in a matter of weeks, which is awfully fast without the burden of all the operational side of brokerage, and indeed very importantly, compliance requirements and expertise in this space.
So we're really looking forward to hearing a lot more about Atomic today, but before we jump in, if I might David, I'd like you to, if you be kind enough to introduce yourself, you are a Kenyan and we, you and I talked about how my father was with the British Army and actually lived in Nairobi and Mombasa when I was a toddler. But a little bit about you David, about East African fintech and how you got yourself to undergrad and grad I think at Stanford. So a brief synopsis of you, that would be great.
Nigel, first of all, thank you for having me here today. It's really a pleasure to be part of this podcast. As for myself, I was born in Kenya. I lived there until I was about six years old. At the time my father was a lecturer at the University of Nairobi so it is a very interesting upbringing, but then we moved to Austria when I was about six, seven years old. My father got a job at the United Nations and I spent most of my childhood and teenagehood in Vienna.
I then decided to go to the states for college. It was between the UK and the US and the US had a certain appeal to it. I think that America generally has a more innovative mindset in many ways. And so I decided to take that opportunity to go to Stanford. That's where I met Marco and Emma, my co-founders and the rest is history.
I take no umbridge in the statement that you chose the US over the UK for university. And I think the spirit of American entrepreneurism is terrific, of course and you and I are both immigrants to this country. I certainly have much to thank the flexibility and the energy that is America as well as I'm sure we'll come to this the largest, total addressable market on the planet, which doesn't do any harm.
So for those listeners who have not heard Atomic recently won the award for the emerging fintech company, Lendit FinTech Industry Awards presented to the most promising young FinTechs in any vertical. And congrats on that milestone. It's always nice when third parties say nice things about us and we shouldn't let it go to our head at all, but it is nice when you get that little bit of recognition. So David let's go to Atomic. Where did atomic come from as an idea and talk a little bit about where you are in your growth curve.
So just to answer where Atomic came in as an idea, it's really important to discuss our mission and where that mission originates from. As you mentioned earlier, our mission is to make wealth building accessible to every single human being. And the reason why that matters to us at Atomic is because many of us at the company, including myself are where we are today as a byproduct of astronomical odds. If it wasn't for the sacrifices that our parents made to lay the foundation for us to realize our potential, if it wasn't for the support that our friends and champions have provided to us through our endeavors, it's likely that you and I wouldn't be speaking here to one another today, Nigel.
And so not many people have the same opportunities that we've had as a company to realize our potential. And typically what stands in the way of that is financial circumstance, essentially not having the financial freedom to realize one's potential. And so beyond the infrastructure and the regulatory solutions, Atomic really spur out of this desire and movement to eliminate financial circumstance from the equation of success, to make it easy for everyone to start planning for their future.
And we chose to do this by creating a pathway for any company, from a bank to a fintech, to a consumer company, to be able to launch holistic investing experiences in their platform to invite their users, to start planning for their future with them. And just want to pause there to see if there are any questions.
I do want to say I'm sure our listeners have felt this just how genuine and authentic that last paragraph was. We at QED have made 170 over 14, 15 years now from the time Frank Rotman and I started QED. And there's so many companies that come with very incredibly talented co-founders, founders CEOs, and they talk about how they're going to democratize credit and they're going to level the playing field, but very seldom do I hear somebody who speaks so genuinely authentically about, look, I really want to change the world here in an incredibly palpable way. I just wanted to underscore that because I think it's very unusual to hear so stridently, so powerfully. David, tell us a little bit about where the energy comes for that.
I appreciate that. I think the energy comes from my own personal story in the sense that in many ways I'm a beneficiary of the hard work that many people I've done to lay a foundation for myself and for others to be able to aspire to their potential. Similar Marco and Emma have very similar stories to mine. And when I look at the company today, we are incredibly mission driven. All of us are very committed to making wealth building accessible to every single human being. It's something that we really think about every day and aspire to strive towards in the products, how we select to invest in as well as the capabilities that we offer our partners.
I love it. Very exciting. Amias, what was it about David's approach to helping create this generational wealth that really stood out to you? Why is the idea of accessibility such a big deal to QED?
We were most attract by the combination of insights that David had around consumer options for wealth management that simultaneously there was a huge desire to be directly engaged with the market. And in particular, directly engaged with the market through preexisting consumer experiences, whether those were fintech apps or other apps that existed, and an understanding that if people are going to be saving and investing, there are best practices out there.
And the opportunity with Atomic was to marry these two really powerful forces, understanding that best practices in investing exist, and they do drive the best results over the long term as well as understanding that people who are interested in investing become more interested, if they can be more engaged. And Atomics particular approach allows them to embed really the best, the most cutting edge wealth management techniques inside of a very customer accessible consumer experience that can exist within a huge range of existing customer relationships, whether that's tax preparation and turning a tax refund into smart savings or an existing bank account, where if you save more than a thousand dollars, maybe it does make sense to waterfall some of that cash over into a long term investing strategy.
Amias, I'm personally really grateful for the very active role that you've played in leading QED's efforts to focus on D&I, diversity and inclusion within our own organization. And in our own pipeline, we have still a ways to go. But I think that we are certainly moving in the right direction. Why should companies focus on diversity right at the beginning?
Well, I think it there's the point that I think most people recognize which is it's a lot easier to get at problems that you have direct experience with. And generally speaking, one of the big lessons that we give to all of our founders is get as close as you can to the customer, understand the customer's problem, solve this problem for one customer at a time. I taught a course last fall in which the students had to come up with a fintech idea.
And what I noticed in the midterm is that my students would often go to some research report and they'd say, "This is a big problem because 30% of people say on a survey that blank." And I just kept on hammering them, it really matters that 30% of people had some survey response, but in terms of informing your idea, just go find one customer with an acute need.
And I think that the customers that we listen to are naturally going to be connected to our personal histories. And that's why in venture and in fintech in particular, where we're trying to transform people's financial lives, being able to access entrepreneurial talent that has diverse backgrounds will just make us address a wider range of problems. And I think the example that we gave here of an international focus is a perfect example of a US team even with the same commitment to mission, would've been much less likely to start this company as international from the beginning.
One of the things I've been saying a lot is that banks in particular, but I think it would also be for fintechs is that you can't be all things to all people all the time everywhere. And certainly in terms of building infrastructure or embracing next generation digital direct to consumer product, you can't develop it all yourself. And many banks for example, are spending more than half of their tech budget on looking after their legacy systems, let alone building new capability.
And then fintech who have a wedge and are growing nicely, super net promoter scores will start in credit or in debit and then they'll look to add products to the portfolio, the full vista of services. So it seem to me that the pathway that you talk about of you being able to plug and play this kind of capability through the channels of other people is very, very interesting. As you've started to market this, to fintechs other companies, as you say, and banks what are you hearing and which are the ones that are stepping into the breach with the most interest?
What we are hearing is that every company from banks to credit unions, to fintechs, to consumer companies that have a financial components to them are on a race to become the primary financial relationship for their end users. And they recognize that in order to accomplish that they have to satisfy the different needs that their users would have both from the banking side as well as investing side, as their users start to think about planning for the future.
And what we see is consistent across these companies is this desire to offer investing as a value add as opposed to a core competent. Many recognize when they go through the motions of exploring how to offer investing that it is a heavy lift. You need to be regulated by the SEC and by FINRA, you need to build your middle office and your back office operations, you'll need to take on the fiduciary obligations, build your compliance programs, build your systems and your technology to handle fractionalization and also to build the product in many ways.
And so what we are seeing resonate very strongly with companies across the board is this simplicity of Atomic, the fact that we've done all this heavy lifting and we've abstracted it away to make it easy for these companies to offer a whole host of solutions which also includes investing without having to build a core competence around it, without having to hire additional staff or to take on an additional regulatory role.
The regulatory climate is treacherous for those who haven't gone to school in it, and around it, spent most of my life attempting to understand the various regulatory climates wrapped around different GOs and different products. And clearly, as you said, that SEC and FINRA, and all the fiduciary responsibilities are not exactly easy to understand, and much more difficult than understanding to operationalize them. So you take away a lot of the risk here, which is very important.
So as you think about those three different constituencies, where do you think most interest is going to come? Is it going to come for on the fintechs who are building out the Vista of products? I'm watching just about every successful fintech once they get that wedge and get that successful, first product want to add other products, one to create stickiness, two to build brand, three, to increase their ARPU and very few of them are going to build the Atomics of this world.
And then the banks, of course, who have been distributing these products by and large through sales channels, through analog distribution, and then the other, I can only just begin to think about all the other companies who are outside of financial services that could have a an interest. So where do you focus your attention at this point in the early stages of Atomics ascendancy?
So we focus our attention today on fintechs and banks and credit unions. And the reason why we're looking at those constituents first is because the lines between them are becoming blurred. Many banks are looking to become more like fintechs, similar to credit unions and many fintechs are looking to offer the whole host of products that a bank would offer. And so in many ways, their desire to offer investing is happening simultaneously. Of course, the motions are different between a bank and a fintech. fintechs often move faster, banks often move a little bit slower, but the beauty of how we deliver our solution is one where we really make it easy even for banks to be able to launch investing solutions by partnering with their partners. And so our solution already exists on the platforms that they are offering to their end users.
Makes so much sense. When you think about these financial solutions, the investing infrastructure, how much of your focus is on the meat and potatoes. Some index funds, some equity funds, debt, and the robo allocation that is across the different asset classes based on simple algorithms and how much of it is really thinking about the future of some of the alternative investments around ESG. I'm thinking crypto all these very innovative, next generation products that are emerging, are they all encapsulated in the Atomic rubric?
They are all encapsulated in the Atomic rubric. For us one very important aspect of making wealth, building accessible to every single human being is really around providing best in class and best in capabilities to everyone. And to accomplish this, we have had to build everything from scratch. All the technology that we use to manage the life cycle of a trade is custom built. This allows us to offer advanced capabilities like direct indexing at zero account minimums.
And so for the first time, someone who has $100 to invest does not need to buy an ETF to get broad market exposure. We can give that user a basket of all the individual stocks that make up that ETF. And with this individual stock approach, the end user has a lot more control over what their money supports. A lot more control than they would typically have if they were investing in an ESG ETF instead. And for the companies that partner with us, this direct indexing approach allows them to give their customers the engaging experience of holding individual stocks in a responsible way that minimizes idiosyncratic risk.
You're really shifting the power to the consumer where he or she has the opportunity to be able to dial the knobs in a very modular and create a fashion. So I think that that feels really exciting. Amias, there have been advances in the kinds of innovations that help people invest like some of the robo advisors or the ability to trade commission free. But is it accurate to say that these tools haven't really been available to retail investors, the ones who needed the most?
It's certainly correct. So I would say that robo advising has been available for retail investors and a number of great fintechs that have pioneered investing on that side. But what we saw is that the next generation of investing tools actually go beyond the traditional robo advisor. So the traditional robo advisor uses a series of ETFs or large index funds, and then rebalances just within those broad sectoral exposures.
And what we could see is that for today's consumer retail investor, they want different things. They often want ESG, they want engagement with individual stocks. They want also just the most efficient abilities to manage their exposure. And what those needs demand from an investing technology perspective is what is called direct indexing. So rather than investing into another company's basket, you use software to create a basket of fractional shares. So fractional shares mean I own less than one share in my own account.
So I create a basket of fractional shares, but I am the sole owner of my basket. And what this enables is it enables individuals to have pretty sophisticated preferences. So for instance, I can have basically the S&P 500 return, but I also really want to own Tesla. Well, that's something that you can't do as easily with an ETF. Or I want to have basically the S&P 500 churn, but maybe I'm a cross pressured person from an ESG perspective. Maybe I have conservative views in one instance and progressive views in another instance.
And those cross pressured ETFs just don't exist in the market whereas if I own direct shares, I can maybe I don't like sin stocks. I don't like gambling or tobacco, but I also like green and those two things are difficult to combine unless you actually own the stocks themselves. So those kinds of very tailored wealth management approaches just have never been possible with low dollar accounts. So while they exist in the market, the lowest that we have seen is that you can only get those kinds of tools at a hundred thousand dollars or more of investable assets.
I think the question that comes to mind and maybe in the mind of our listeners, David, is how is, how do you educate the consumer to have the confidence, to be able to think about what a balanced portfolio is? What's the difference between active and passive investing? What is a reasonable long run return, how do they optimize taxes? The degree of financial literacy in America and in the UK, as I've explored it over the years is often quite poor. And a lot of people make very bad net economic decisions. And you are providing infrastructure and flexibility to allow somebody to be able to build product on top of your tech stack in a sense, what role do you have if you like in stewarding, in being a scout, an advocate on behalf of the consumer here?
When a company partners with us, we provide them the infrastructure, but we also go beyond and provide them educational resources for them to share with their end users. These educational resources take multiple forms from educational resources within their application that explains various concepts through the user journey, all the way to embedded videos, for instance, that they can place within their experience to educate their user about diversification or about tax loss harvesting, or about making a specific trade.
And so the way that we, at least the way that we position ourselves is by giving people the freedom to choose how they want to invest, but to layer that we with additional information and educational content, to make sure that they make the decision that is right for them. And sometimes we do this through active content, but also within our turnkey experiences, there are multiple educational loops that we feature within.
When you think about your own mission, you're making this available to every human is making sure people, the shift in power, the hegemony that the historic financial institutions have had, where they have been selling people into various products. I'm thinking about the boiler shop broker type environments, and here you are looking to shift the power hegemony to the individual. And the consumer armed with this education is going to be able to make the right decision for themselves and tailor it appropriately as you mentioned with your ESG vignette.
It's incredibly important for us to really give access to investing and ownership where access to investing and ownership didn't exist previously. Even the whole concept of allowing people to own fractional stocks can also allow them to participate in investor advocacy, to vote according to the shares that they own. So it's very important for us at Atomic to really focus on the people who haven't had access to investing in the past. And this is reflected in things like our zero account minimums for direct indexing. Typically, on other platforms you might see that requires a hundred thousand dollars or $500,000 plus, but we've gone above and beyond to make it accessible to everyone even if they're starting with just a dollar.
Very exciting. I love the fact that you're making it. I love the accessible, the ownership and the advocacy, how you can start to vote if you like with your dollars. We are QED have long said that the banks typically haven't done a great job of serving nearly half of America, let alone developing countries will come to that in a second. Whereas if you have a FICO score under 600, I make that number up it's very hard to have banks give you credit. And if you have a average or below FICO score and don't have a lot of money lying around which banks can leverage and are excited about those kind of deposit deposits, and you might not be spending very much. So there's not going to be much debit into change.
So that half of America, I think has been the playground, the opportunity for so many fintechs, the chime somewhat the SoFis, the currents, the Alberts, even the robo advisors have been the Robinhoods of this world. So is it that half of America that's most interesting to you unique access, or is it the half of America that already has some kind of access to these financial service products?
It's a tough, and the reason I say it's tough is because in many ways we are providing an infrastructure that allows any company to be able to offer an investing solution. That means that it might be a company that is targeting the first half that you mentioned, or the second half that you mentioned, what we've seen to be really interesting with our current partners is that for instance, we have a partner that is about to announce their partnership with us in the coming weeks that is focused on a specific affinity group that in the past was under backed.
And it's great to see that they're able to provide a holistic investing experience by using our infrastructure as that like multiplier effect, to allow them to distribute those services to those people. And we're seeing that not only along demographic lines, but also along career lines, like we have a partner upcoming that is serving a specific group of people professionally that in the past haven't had a solution that was designed in their context.
And so by providing that infrastructure, we're seeing that companies are really going above and beyond to distribute this infrastructure to folks who in the past have not had the ability to invest in a way that made sense for their context. Similarly, we have partners who are serving more affluent individuals that are looking to expand their offering as well. And so in many ways we are serving the full gamut. It really depends on the partner and what they want to do with it, and who they want to provide these services to
Very grand aspirations. As you start to market the product, what does the competitive environment look like? Are there lots of little Atomics out there selling to fintechs and credit unions and banks, or do you find yourself in a unique differentiated space?
We find that we're unique on a number of dimensions. To point out to the first is that we make it easy, seamless, and simple to launch an investing solution with us, especially for a company whose core competence is far removed from brokerage and asset management. The way that we do that is that we handle everything. We handle everything end to end for these companies so that they can play to their strengths without getting encumbered in the nuances of offering investing.
The second area of differentiation is our emphasis on holistic wealth management. While we offer fractional trading, we don't believe that fractional trading and isolation is enough for companies to develop long-term relationships with their end users. What they need to do is to help their users build long-term wealth after they've made their first trade. And from our collective experiences within our team at places like personal capital betterments, United income, and other family offices, we've seen that when people engage in long term financial planning, they get empowered, they get educated, they retain at a higher clip, they refer more people, they contribute more into their accounts. And so we've built Atomic to allow companies to be able to offer not only trading, but also to provide holistic wealth management.
Amias, I remember a blog post that you published on the QED website, where you advocated for the concept of the power of compounding. Why has this resonated with so many companies and the use of this platform that can really help every investor who may be exploring wealth management for the first time?
Well, the power of compounding is such a simple and such a powerful tool, which is the right answer for any retail investor is to save money out of every paycheck and ignore what happens with their savings. Because most of the ways that retail investors kind of lose out in the long term is when they buy at the top and sell at the bottom. And so there's very good economic research that says for almost all retail investors, over a 30 or 40 year timeframe, they're just better doing it in the send it and forget it mindset.
So whether the stock market goes up or down 10 for percent, this year over the long term, it tends to go up. And one of the fun things in finance is what we call the rule of 70, which is your money will double on any period by the growth rate divided by 70.
So if the general stock market over the last a hundred years has gone and up 7% a year, that means your money doubles every 10 years. If it goes up 10%, your money doubles in seven years, and that rule of 70 well, it's just sort of an artifact of math, really makes a huge difference to retail investors and it's precisely what platforms like Atomic are trying to enable, which is make it easier for people to get on the ramp of letting their money double.
Most of us if we're lucky we will live reasonably long lives, we will be net savers. And if you're a net saver over 30 or 40 or 50 years, your ability to take advantage of a $10,000 saved in your twenties doubles to 20 doubles to 40 doubles to 80 doubles, to 160 doubles to 320, by the time you're ready to retire. And so even if you don't save all that much, if you give yourself time, the power of compounding takes care of a lot of the gains that you want to save.
QED led your Series A, thank you very much, David. We're really, really darn excited about that. So tell us a little bit about how much of this product you've already built and how much of it is to be built. And if you look over the next 12 months and we are seeing the market's roiling now with inflation worries and worries about what's happening with Russia and Ukraine coming to the end of COVID. What does the next 12 months look like for you and how do macro effect make a difference here?
In terms of what we've done so far, we've built the infrastructure, we've gotten the necessary regulatory licenses, we have several partners live today. We actually just announced a partnership with Upside that is using our info structure to allow individuals who have student debts to refinance that student debt, and to put those savings into an investment portfolio, to allow people to both pay down debt, as well as invest for the future.
In terms of what our product roadmap looks like, a lot of where we're looking to go is to provide that holistic, financial planning experience to allow people to engage in different goals. And so to that end, we are going to be releasing several account types like IRAs, five to nines, custodial accounts in the coming months to just provide that holistic experience. That is tied to goal based planning.
In terms of the markets today, it has been choppy, but a lot of what we focus on is long term planning and long term investing. And we try to ensure that people don't necessarily withhold or stop like from investing, just because of these short term durations of the market early to think about what their long term goals are and how they can start that journey today to get to where they want to get to in the future.
Yeah. I think that we see people overreacting to ups and downs in the market all the time. It always seems to me that the professional money managers have seen the patterns before and are often at an advantage. So educating people on how it's a long run game and it's about consistency and different asset classes over the long run are going to behave in pretty predictable ways. History has shown that to us.
I want to go to, you mentioned Marco and Emma earlier, and how you had a shared history with them in that they also had backgrounds that reflected your commitment to focusing on intergenerational wealth and how to build that and to really leverage what our forefathers had done for us. But tell us a little about Marco and Emma, if you would, and how their backgrounds are complimentary to yours David.
So I met Marco and Emma roughly 10 to 11 years ago. I met Marco my freshman year at college. Neither him nor I had much of a social life. We spent quite a lot of time just studying and doing our P sets at the engineering quad at Stanford. He was studying electrical engineering, I was studying chemical engineering. I also met Emma roughly around this time. We did several assignments together and through those interactions that I had with Marco and Emma, I realized that these two individuals are brilliant, two of the most hardworking, high integrity people that I know.
And I was very certain that I want to work with them at that point in time. As a matter of fact, I asked Emma to work with me. I think this was our sophomore year. Didn't really have anything to work on at the time, but over seven years or so, I just consistently followed up on that. And that's part of the reason why she is here at Atomic today.
In terms of how we all compliment each other, I'd say that Marco is just a very hardworking, very curious person. He himself is from Ecuador and so he has a very similar upbringing to myself and being where he is today as a result of the foundations and the sacrifices that his parents made to enable him to realize his potential. Similarly, Emma has a similar background and she's just someone who is incredibly just smart and sharp. And she's been the lead architect behind a system that we call nucleus that handles all of our clearing and ledger keeping systems as well, which has just been a joy. It's just been a joy to work with her.
And in terms of where I am, I'm the person who always tries to push them further, to really go above and beyond, not in terms of the quality of work or anything, they have super high quality of work, but more in terms of really thinking outside of the box and thinking about ways in which we can make very sophisticated types of offerings available to all individuals.
The measure of a man or a woman is the longevity of the relationships they have. And if your best friend was always somebody that you met five weeks ago, it often reflects on the kind of person you are. It's terrific that you and Marco and Emma go back such a long time in your formative undergrad days at Stanford. That means a lot. And so when I heard you talking about them though, my question that was raised in my mind, was who's doing the selling for Atomic.
I've seen over the years now, really great tech, really appropriate tailored product market fit to customers that in a B2B sense that really need it. And there's a real value add, but because the company is much stronger in terms of its tech, rather than its sales and its ability to articulate the value proposition, particularly to banks, but also increasingly to fintechs and of course, credit unions who's knocking on the door and how developed at this point is your sales apparatus. And how important is that to you going forward?
In terms of who's knocking on the doors, it's myself and Brian Lennon. Brian Lennon joined us from Personal Capital where he led advisory sales for the last eight years. Our sales op process is growing. There's significant demand that has come our way as a result of some of the announcements that we've made. And we've used this opportunity to understand where we have gaps and where we need to resource accordingly.
In terms of the full sales process, part of it is knocking on doors, part of it is taking companies that have come to us through the loop all the way to partnering with us. And part of it is also the development experience that folks have and this is where Marco and Emma truly shine in helping the technical stakeholders and the companies that we work with just have a supportive experience going through loops to have a superb implementation experience and really to go live. And just like we had one partner for instance, complete their integration in just one week. And a lot of that is owing to all the hard work that Marco, Emma and our engineering team as a whole has really put together to make that happen.
David, this maybe too personal question, listening to you talk here, you sound to me like an engineer. You're very logical. You are incredibly calm, and you're very precise in what you say. And the sincerity just comes across. It's glorious to listen to it, but it doesn't fit the archetypical profile of somebody who's doing B2B selling. So I just want to ask you, how does that cap fit for you and how do people receive you when you are telling the narrative of why they should partner up with Atomic?
Selling a product like Atomic has its own nuances. See, many companies already know that they need to offer investing. And so our process is less focused on selling and more focused on guiding them through the complexities of offering investing. And in the process, helping them to build confidence and trust in us as a partner. Most often companies have a rough idea of what they want to offer, but they're still in their learning process of what investing really means on their platform. And so we take the initiative to help them solidify their understanding.
And so, yes, my calmness, my precision, my sincerity might be untraditional for B2B sales however, these same characteristics are incredibly important in building trust and helping our partners navigate the complexities of offering investing.
Great answer. I think that consistency and careful articulation of what Atomic will do and what it won't do can win over many friends and certainly have seen you engender lots of trust and terrific traction in the short time that we've been working together. Let's go to, I'm watching the clock a bit here, but let's go to international for a second. And David you grew up in Kenya and then Austria, and then the US. And QED has invested substantially in Latin America where we've had some success that's been terrific.
And just recently opened up India last year or so. And then just recently with Africa, we see terrific opportunities in a digital world to provide access to core sort of Maslovian basic financial service product across developing countries. And across a lot of what we've seen in Latin America will apply to Africa and India and vice versa. Where is international on your radar? And is it going to be like so many that start in America go to Canada and the UK, and then maybe continental Europe, or are you dreaming of being able to offer your services to a place that you started in Nairobi?
To take a step back, our mission is to make wealth building accessible to every single human being. And that means every single human being globally. To date, we have partners in Latin America and Europe and Africa, as well as Kenya. There are two facets to our international approach that are worth noting. The first is that from an infrastructure perspective, we've built the capabilities to not only allow people to have exposures to US markets, so not only to be able to trade US equities, but to be able to actually buy and sell and hold securities in different markets in Latin America and Africa, in the EU, as well as in Asia.
And this is very important because we see that companies that are looking to offer investing in these regions don't just want to allow people to have of US exposure only, but also to allow them to have a home bias, to be able to buy securities that they know of, or that they're consumers of. And so that's one aspect of our international approach. The second aspect of our international approach is really to provide the regulatory coverage as well in markets, outside of the US to companies that do not have those regulatory licenses to be able to leverage our infrastructure there as well. This is something that we're actively working on, and we have several announcements in the coming months that will make about that regulatory expansion.
You are putting down flags in developing countries all around the world.
Good for you. I think my last question of you David, thank you for your time, is what about QED, if we were to do a real time, we have not rehearsed this question a real time, 360 on Amias Gerety and QED, what would you say?
I'd say they're just awesome. It's been a great partnership thus far, and there are two things that draw me to QED. I think the first is the mission driven elements of QED, and the desire to use fintech as a force for good. And this has been reflected through our investment process and also ever since we closed around and how we've been working with QED and Amias together. The second element that I'm very grateful for QED for is just the raw intellect.
I think that the team as a whole Amias yourself and Camilla and all the folks that we've been interfacing with are just brilliant people, are brilliant people who understand the complexity of an offering like ours and also have the main expertise and the operator expertise to help us where we need help and to support us as we're executing our mission to make world building accessible to every single human being.
David, that is very nice to hear. Thank you. I think 15 years at QED and many years of capital one before that of experience can make certain people at QED look a lot smarter than they really are. So really appreciate that. I think Amias is a terrific human being and a big advocate of Atomic. Amias, when you look at the idea of social mobility and intergenerational poverty, can you tell touch on the idea that David mentioned that fintech has the ability to really be a force for social good?
It certainly does. One of the big things that we think is special about Atomic is the accessibility of investing. And so let's just use an example over the last two years, there have been a lot of people who've gotten excited by the idea of buying single name stocks. And in a two year period where it seems like there are immense riches to be gained every day, oh, if you just buy game stop it goes 10X in a week, those kind of meme stock actions, while they've been kind of exciting, they tend to put individual investors on a roller coaster.
And so imagine being a retail investor who opens an account today and they want to invest a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars. What do you do first? Is the right answer to put all hundred dollars of that into one stock or into a diversified basket?
Well, this is the place where Atomic can make that experience much more accessible because they can give a balanced approach. If you invest in a single stock, there is some real benefit to that. And I think we see this in some of the engagement in the stock market. It connects people to their savings, whether that's emotionally or makes it feel it's understandable, but at the same time, how do you get started? And what Atomic does because it uses this direct index where you give the economic return of a broad index, but you do it through the owning of individual stocks is they can see things like customers who own the index, but also want to own Netflix and Tesla, because those are exciting stocks in their personal lives.
And that balance between engagement and best practice from a economic theory perspective, we think makes investing more sustainable for the long term for any individual. And when you combine that with a distribution approach that will put that inside of a preexisting consumer relationship, we think there's just huge accessibility benefits from taking this approach.
QED has long advocated the position that fintech can be a force for social good, a higher purpose, if you like. And frankly, the level of financial literacy in the US is not great. And I think that seeps down into money management and people looking at their retirement and looking at how they're going to look after themselves with the ups and downs of income. And there's such a space for so many financial service entities, credit unions, banks, fintechs to be able to reach out to populations and help them make better and more informed decisions.
And what is doing, what you are doing is both admirable and really necessary. And I think the product market fit is resounding. And I think the impact that you and your company can have in the future is going to be absolutely invaluable. David, I've really personally really enjoyed this little time that we've spent together. I feel like I know you very well and just really want to be cheering you on from the sidelines loudly and vociferously. So I want to say thank you to our two guests today to Atomic's David Dindi and to Amias Gerety from QED and until next time, thank you very much. Really appreciate it.