Why Work Here?
by Kyle Downey, CEO & Co-founder - 23 Apr 2022
From Wall Street to Startup
On January 1st, 2021, I revisited my personal goals, and added the following: "leave my job, and start Cloudwall Capital." To leave, and to start: after 17 years at Morgan Stanley, leaving was a daunting prospect, and still in the depths of the pandemic it seemed impossible to start a company as a first-time founder. During my notice period I reached out to Ilya Kulyatin, an experienced hedge fund quant who was passionate about digital assets, about joining as Head of Research and co-founder, and then reached out to Jia Yng Wee, a senior executive who I had worked with together in Shanghai over 10 years ago who was returning home to Singapore, to see if she would head up our Singapore office and join as COO and the third co-founder. With the founding team established and the plan set, on October 29th, 2021, I handed in my badge, and started this journey.
So if you want to know why you should work here, it might help to start with why I work here. I wanted to create a company with a mission I believed in; with values that aligned with my own; that had a culture that made me want to come to work every day, and which would make my colleagues feel the same way; and to do something outrageously ambitious. While in the coming weeks we will do posts showcasing our great employees, as we aim to grow a world-class company I wanted to start with my perspective on why you should join us.
Cloudwall's mission is to accelerate adoption of decentralized finance worldwide, at scale: one day all assets will be digital assets, hundreds of millions of them, not thousands. We believe that a key blocker today is lack of institutional-grade risk management. This gap is holding back the world's largest investors and making regulators hesitate due to worries about systemic risk. Without the ballast of institutional investment at scale, the market will stay small and dominated by speculation, falling short of its potential to transform the economy. By unlocking that patient capital we can create a more equitable, inclusive and efficient economy.
We aim to manifest our values in the choices we make and in how we operate every day. Who we hire; how we do business; the mission we chose: all of these things need to reflect our values, and where our choices do not align with our values, we will make different choices rather than compromising.
Insist on fair dealing with clients, employees, investors, strategic partners and the communities we operate in.
Ensure everyone knows where everyone else stands, and that everyone has the information they need to make sound decisions.
Speak up when something is not right or could be improved; be open to failure in pursuit of learning; be willing to always challenge your ideas with data and client feedback.
Aim to deliver the highest quality products and services for our clients; innovate in pursuit of continuous improvement; reward & recognize merit.
Stay fast and lean. Question processes & practices that don't add value. Move fast, take smart risks, and control the blast radius when you fail.
Satya Nadella said that in our working lives we should aim for harmony, not balance; aiming for the latter fails to acknowledge that our work often occupies a very large part of our days. Harmony to me means that elements of our working selves and family lives support, recognize and ideally enrich each other, even when doing what we need to do professionally is very demanding.
In support of this, we have an unlimited holiday policy globally, and where employees need flexibility on location for a reasonable period of time to work fully remote, it is not an issue. We place a value on being able to get together in person because that is often the best way to work through complex problems, but we are a global firm and regularly work together remotely.
We also believe that work is about learning and growth. That learning benefits the company now, but is something you will carry with you in your onward journey in life. Although we are working within a startups limited resources, we have a liberal policy for approval of training and professional conferences to ensure everyone has a chance to grow. This could be directly related to your current work, or it could be to support a goal to grow in a different direction.
The Department of Unicorn Construction
A rewiring of finance is essential: it must be more equitable, inclusive and efficient, and this will not happen without the foundational infrastructure to support this change. By giving clarity to investors around the world about the risks they face, they can confidently bring capital to where it is most needed, and make better choices.
The world is best served when we as individuals work together in pursuit of great things: we should look back in amazement at what we did despite our doubts about whether it was possible. This degree of ambition requires courage, which is why it is an essential value for us. And it requires success: we will need the resources to build this, both talent and capital, which means to achieve our goals the ambition has to be to build a world-class company. Lots of startups will tell you they want to build a unicorn, but it's what you are building it for that matters most.
Come join us. We are going to build something amazing together.
Our focus in 2022 is on building a world-class R&D organization across both our Research team (quant) and the DevSecOps team (engineering). You can visit our Careers site to see the full list of open roles today. Highlights: