Capitalixe is a London-based global consulting firm helping businesses access payments and banking solutions in medium-to-high-risk markets. Founded in 2019, Capitalixe differentiates itself from other advisory firms by not charging clients upfront fees, instead making revenue through commercial agreements with its partners.
Capitalixe has tied up with more than 50 global banks and financial institutions. It specializes in serving industries such as gambling, forex, offshore banking, and crypto.
According to Lissele Pratt, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer of Capitalixe, the firm is able to innovate from a business strategy perspective because of its internal operations and makeup. In part, this stems from Capitalixe leadership pushing back against the traditional culture of a brokerage, which, Pratt reports, can be a homogenizing and unwelcoming environment for women, people of color, and other groups underrepresented in finance.
“Having a more gender balanced and diverse workforce in your business creates a higher return on investment for investors, and also creates more profit for the business as well,” Pratt commented. Previously the only woman on a trading floor in London, Pratt said she felt out of place, and was told that women don’t belong in the industry. Her efforts to create an inclusive and diverse culture aim to buoy employees’ sense of belonging, and encourage them to speak up when they have ideas that fall outside traditional norms.
Pratt said Capitalixe’s efforts to create an inclusive culture begin in the interview process. The firm intentionally sources from a range of backgrounds, including different ages and racial identities; it addresses problems of unconscious bias by prioritizing job competencies over “cultural fit.” “It doesn’t really matter if they’re like us or not,” Pratt said, especially as an all-remote workforce.
To overcome the distance that can come with remote work, the Capitalixe team meets in person every one to two months, and will spend time outside of work together as well. These opportunities to come together can also help employees feel more connected and heard, encouraging them to speak up when they have out-of-the-box ideas.
“We have a lot of employee satisfaction because they’re able to pitch their ideas, and if they’re good, then we’ll implement them,” Pratt said.
In part, Pratt’s leadership style is a direct response—and opposite—to the leadership she witnessed at larger financial institutions, she said. “Be more involved with your team, because if there’s a divide between leaders and the people below them, then they can’t share their ideas,” Pratt said. In that sense, an open-door policy can lead to brand-differentiating ideas and new pathways to growth.
In the coming year, Pratt anticipates continued growth for Capitalixe—expanding into new markets and tapping new talent as well. It may move into new industries, such as travel, jewelry, and the nonprofit sector, and looks to grow its headcount by a third. At the same time, Pratt is committed to being outspoken about discriminatory and harmful workplace practices in finance. “The more people know about what really goes on for some women in the industry, the more we’re going to create change,” she said.
Article in The Financial Revolutionist.