Career Spotlight: A day in the life of… An Investor and CTO
In our career spotlight series, we shine the light on career pathways that talented Black professionals are taking and hope to inspire others on their journey.
Ezechi Britton MBE is founding member, principal investor and CTO at Impact X Capital.
How did you get started in your career/industry?
”That's a complicated question to answer as I certainly didn't start my career as an investor and I took a fairly long and winding road.
In fact, I started out as a software developer. I studied Computer Science at the University of Kent and landed myself an industrial placement at Lehman Brothers (the investment bank). From there I returned as a graduate after taking some time out to travel and spent the next 10 years in Investment Banking technology. Five of those years were with Credit Suisse in Zurich, Switzerland.
Next, I became a fintech entrepreneur and co-founded a startup called Neyber where I was the founding CTO. After leaving Neyber I joined Impact X Capital as a founding member, principal investor and CTO.
Can you tell us about your early academic life?
”Well, I went to a terrible state comprehensive secondary school where the 5 A-C GCSE pass rate was only 14% so my peer group at the time really didn't appreciate education and frankly I was more interested in video games and martial arts. But this lack of academic focus led to me underperforming at GCSE and ultimately failing my A-Levels. However, this was the kick-start that I needed, as it forced me to confront my attitude to studying (or lack thereof) and really apply myself. I realised after a conversation with my dad that my future was in my hands and my hands alone.
Because of that sea change in attitude, I knuckled down re-sat my A-levels and chose to attend the University of Kent specifically because it had an industrial placement year. I knew even then that my educational track record would become a hindrance if I didn't find a way to negate it. This then led to me doing a year-long work placement at Lehman Brothers and ultimately put me on the path that I am on today.
Looking back on those early days, what advice would you give an 18 year old …?
”Study! Life would have been a lot easier if I had simply revised for my exams! But seriously I think I would give the same advice that I give everyone who is at the start of their career. Focus on building a great professional network and a deep technical skill set. The network will create unforeseen opportunities for you whilst the technical skill set will give you the ability to take advantage of those opportunities when they eventually arise.
What are you doing to inspire the next generation?
”If I look at the work that I do with Impact X Capital and Code Untapped, the mentoring I provide to Amos Bursary, Foundervine, and MSDUK, the advice I provide to organisations such as Crisis and Spring and even the honours I have received, I like to think that everything I do has some kind of positive impact on the next generation. I hope that those kids out there who, like me, maybe haven't had the best start in life can look to me and everything that I have done and achieved and realise that it's possible for them to do the same.
To all entrepreneurs and career professionals in finance
Discover the highlights from BLACK FINANCE DAY, an amazing day discussing all things finance with some incredible talks.