Joe Seunghyun Cho is the Co-founder and Founding CEO of LATTICE80 and Co-founder and Chairman of Marvelstone Group which owns 100% of LATTICE80. Joe is an entrepreneur and hedge fund manager who has built a couple of asset management companies and worked on financial institution M&A deals directly.
Joe’s role in LATTICE80 is to open operations in more cities and build a global network.
Joe diversifies his banking solutions in two angles among which first one is his close work with Fintechs via LATTICE80 platform. By working with creative entrepreneurs, Joe and his company always have access to new ideas and innovations. Second angle is their focus on social angles. Joe and his team are specialized and focused in emerging market solutions and services with social impact.
Journey towards Innovative Future
As an entrepreneur, Joe’s journey has always been based on his way of contribution to social impact. As a student, he dreamed of working with the United Nations. He has been volunteered in Nepal as a part of his Korean national service for over 2 years. In early 20s, he found himself drawn towards the financial world and wondered how he can direct his skills to bring positive changes.
Joe’s first experience in building an asset management company and quant hedge fund from scratch gave him many valuable lessons, and he considered it as an achievement to an extent. It was both enjoyable and challenging for him to be able to create a new business as an entrepreneur and an investor.
Joe’s second venture of developing a financial group with partners to acquire a $2B dollar asset management company was another stepping stone. The experience exposed him to new ideas of how innovation can be incorporated to optimize resources in traditional businesses over time, and the importance of having a team with a similar long term vision to make it come true.
This led him to his third experiment of building a next generation financial group, Marvelstone Group. With LATTICE80, Joe, being the group’s innovation arm, brings the existing ecosystems and stakeholders together up to a new level which brings new waves of new solutions and extends the company’s financial reach to more markets and untapped segments. It is important to collaborate and grow together so that Joe and his team can make a difference.
Joe recently finished his 60th travel spending 2 weeks in Europe and 2 weeks in Asia which has been quite challenging. But Joe will continue his journey as it is with meeting Fintech Startups and other stakeholders who are building the future of banking and making the world a better place, as he finds it better for the innovative future of banking sector.
Challenges that Every Entrepreneur Experience
As per Joe’s point of view, it is expected that every entrepreneur faces challenges everyday where expected work challenges can be managed, but few usual things that are not directly work related can be more challenging. People management or developing a progressive work culture is crucial for any growing startup. While one can count on his/her trust worthy people to be the supporters, it can be observed that there may be distractors and even have to deal with new challenges like fake news and Internet trolling these days. But Joe is fortunate to have both his partners as his strong pillars of support.
Evolvement of Bankers
According to Joe, with ascend in the number of pivotal and ground-breaking financial technology, the role of banker is continually evolving and has to be changed as per the requirements. As a new generation of customers (millenials) gearing up and changing the demands, bankers will need to evolve to fit into a new culture of creating the right customer experience, alongside a greater understanding on application of technologies to support that. Joe states that, “I am lucky to be in the position to meet many Fintech companies all over the world. While Core banking is very much still the same, we see that technology is making banking more efficient and smarter.” With this, Joe mentioned Challenger Banks as an example for the relative concern.
It is still a young project focusing on innovation and experimentation. Joe’s job in the second year is to enter more cities and build partnerships globally. His near future goal is to open in 10 cities and initiate more products to bring more services to startups, investors and corporates alike, and as a Fintech startup and platform, the company’s future goal is to get listed eventually.
Joe describes the attributes that every banker should possess the willingness to learn new things and should be adaptable to change. He further explains that banks face continuous pressure from an ever-changing global environment even though nobody has seen significant developments yet. Just by being open to change and new solutions, bankers will be able to stand out among their peers.
Joe’s advice is to listen to the customers and take advantage over the existing banks with legacy systems for the emerging banking enthusiasts.