A Day In The Life Of A Harlem Fintech Exec

March 29, 2017

With the 2017 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards around the corner, Benzinga profiled Harlem resident German Soto-Sanchez a fintech leader whose companies have applied, he is the global head of corporate development for Cloud9 Technologies.

Cloud9 Technologies is a fintech company that creates communications platforms for traders. Using Cloud9 tech, traders can place orders, communicate with the back office, and make secure, high-quality phone calls across the world. The company raised $30 million from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclays PLC last year.

What’s a day in your life like as the Global Head of Corporate Development for Cloud9 Technologies?

German Soto-Sanchez:

  • 5:15 a.m. — Wake up and read my daily affirmation from a book called “Jesus Calling.” Check email (only respond to urgent items) and check daily schedule. Then I head to the gym for some cardio. My gym is eight blocks away, so it takes some motivation to get there (especially when it is 10 degrees outside), but I always enjoy listening to my Birthday Playlist, which is made up of my favorite songs going as far back as my elementary school days!
  • 7 — Arrive back at home in time to see my son off to school and my daughter, who we homeschool. I also have breakfast, which is the same each day — a shake and health bar.
  • 8–8:15 — Leave for work. I live in Harlem, and I am a proud native New Yorker, so I take the subway every day. I normally use my commute to read the news. First I look at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for general news, then I move on to Bloomberg, Benzinga and CB Insights for financial and fintech news.
  • 8:45–9 — The subway is always a little unpredictable, but I try to get to the office before 9 a.m.
  • 9–9:15 — I plan my entire week on Sunday night, and then I reassess each night of the week, so I have a good idea of what my day and my week will look like when I arrive in the morning. I take the first 15 minutes to half hour of the morning to get my bearings and finalize my To Do List. Every day around this time I also fire up our flagship communications platform, the C9 Trader. I usually use it for calls with our partners.
  • 9:15–12:30 p.m. — I reserve the first half of the day for meetings. I am usually meeting with various fintech companies or participating in one of several recurring touchpoint meetings for one of my teams. One example is the meeting for our transcription project. I love using the C9 Trader to conduct meetings—it’s transformed the way I communicate with our clients and partners. The call quality in our meetings with project team members (some of whom are in India) used to be terrible, so we set them up on the C9 Trader in a lab environment, which greatly improved the call quality and our level of interaction. Nowadays, a lot of our partners and vendors ask us for Cloud9 subscriptions in order to interact with us. The experience is that much better.
  • 12:30–1 — My days tend to be very busy, so I always work through lunch.
  • 1–2 — I’ll start the early afternoon by wrapping up any meetings I may have not gotten to in the morning.
  • 2–7 — I like to reserve most of the afternoon for work — I may schedule or attend a meeting here and there (usually a “meet for tea” since I don’t drink coffee), but I like having this time to focus on work. Before the end of the day, I always completely clean out my inbox and make sure all those To Do List items are accomplished.
  • 7–8:15 — I leave the office around 7 p.m. every day except for Fridays, when I leave a little after 6 p.m. to pick up my daughter from her ballet class. On a typical weekday, my son is off at tennis and my wife is taking my daughter to ballet, so I’m the only one home if I arrive before 8:30 p.m. My family likes my cooking, so I make dinner when I can.
  • 8:15–9 — The kids and my wife start arriving home and we all sit around the table and eat. We tend to eat healthy meals — no-fats food and we don’t eat out a lot — but I always make a big, unhealthy brunch on weekends. Kids are in bed by 9 p.m.
  • 11 — I check a few emails before bed and confirm or revise my schedule for the next day, but I prefer not to work from home at night. After spending some time with the family, I tend to go to sleep by 11 p.m. every night.

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