In a nutshell: Fregnan, now in its fifth year of business, produces high quality, unbiased financial modelling and forecasting through automation. The company’s self-named ‘Fregnan engine’ uses machine learning to generate insights that traditional spreadsheets are just not capable of. It can create a fully integrated financial model in roughly two minutes, compared to a few days’ work of an analyst.
Argella: What’s your background, how did you get into Fintech?
Vince: I spent 23 years at BP, starting as a chemical engineer and moving into more commercial roles, but I’ve always had an interest in computing and technology. My passion started before I went to University, in fact, in 1983 (aged 17), I actually created my first AI programme.
After I left BP in 2010 I founded two successful financial firms consecutively, but I had a craving to get back to technology. So I combined my experiences from BP and interest in tech to learn more about what was going on in the AI world. This immersion led me to realise – we could do an analyst role differently using computers.
Argella: What makes you tick as an entrepreneur?
Vince: It’s always strange to think of yourself as an entrepreneur, but for me, the two things that continuously drive me forward are change and efficiency. I can’t stand inefficiency – if there’s a better way to do something I want to explore it. Harnessing the power of computing in the financial planning space has been so satisfying in that way. Big change is also what excites me, marginal enhancements would never work for me, I like to do things differently and transform.
Argella: Tell us something people might not know about you?
Vince: Not many know this, but I actually worked for Her Majesty The Queen for 18 months. I was seconded by BP to work directly for ‘The Keeper of the Privy Purse’. It was fascinating, and so different to work in service of your country rather than a company, and the garden parties really are wonderful!
Argella: As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give new and potential founders?
Vince: To start a business you have to be a little bit mad but that’s ok, we all are. Focus is also essential, something I learnt from my many years at BP, you have to very quickly understand what the right things to prioritise are.
I would strongly encourage people to ensure their minimum viable product (MVP) is just that – do as little as possible to get something into the market and start testing and learning.
And finally, don’t be afraid of failure – having something that fails is far easier than something that almost works.
Argella: What do you worry about?
Vince: I’m reaching a point in my life where I really try not to worry. Like so many others, I am now getting used to living with uncertainty. When you start a business, you have no idea if it’s going to work, it’s not something to worry about, it’s something to acknowledge and be aware of whilst not letting it hold you back.
Argella: Finally, how have you found working with Argella’s founder, Amar?
Vince: He’s been delightful. What you need from someone in his role is an understanding of what you can do and what you’re trying to do, and an understanding of how it may be applicable in the wider market space. Amar really understands the capability and market need, he has a dual lense of understanding.
Amar’s network is also second to none and is in a different space to mine which is incredibly valuable.Back to News