Inside the Circle — meet Conor!
Here at Funding Circle, we firmly believe that our amazing team is what makes our company so special. That’s why we created this series to help you get to know the people behind Funding Circle.
Today, meet Conor, our amazing General Counsel who’s been with Funding Circle since January 2014! Learn more about the company he built before coming to Funding Circle, his proudest achievement, and more in this Q&A:
What do you do at Funding Circle?
I lead Funding Circle’s legal, regulatory, and public policy functions in the U.S.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Funding Circle?
At Funding Circle, I’ve been very fortunate to play a small part in democratizing financial services and, more specifically, getting more affordable and safe credit into the hands of thousands of American small businesses who desperately need it. Waking up to help Main Street businesses prosper, create jobs, and vitalize their communities keeps me beating the alarm clock most mornings.
What’s your favorite thing about your role as General Counsel?
I love my role in stewarding corporate culture, values, and citizenship at Funding Circle – something that ultimately shapes the way we engage with small business owners and investors, with one another, and with society as a whole. It’s no secret that Silicon Valley and Wall Street have struggled mightily with culture issues ranging from diversity and inclusion in the workplace to ethics and effective risk management in the business. I strongly believe that General Counsels have an incredible opportunity to ensure that our companies act responsibly and with integrity in everything we do.
What’s your favorite small business to frequent?
Indego Africa, of course! Prior to joining Funding Circle, I had the privilege of building and leading a social enterprise and lifestyle brand called Indego Africa that helped female artisan entrepreneurs lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spend time with my wife, Julia, and my dog, Lady Brienne. Fortunately, the three of us like pretty similar things – listening to reggae, tiring ourselves out, indulging in manifold curiosities about the world, and hanging with the many people we love.
What’s one thing your coworkers probably don’t know about you?
Given certain “constructive feedback” on my attire from coworkers, I suspect they’d be surprised to learn that I co-authored an article with iconic New York fashion designer Nicole Miller that appeared in McKinsey’s social innovation rag. In fact, we also launched a co-branded collection – although at no time during our collaboration did she or anyone else ever let me near anything related to product design…
What’s your proudest achievement in life?
Giving the 2016 commencement address at Milton Academy (my alma mater). Just a massively humbling, once-in-a-lifetime experience. In a talk entitled “We Are Who We’ve Been Waiting For,” I did my best to share how those graduating could continue on their journeys of personal empowerment as they moved into the next phases of their life.
What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
A hockey player. My mother hails from Eveleth, Minnesota and she had me on skates before I turned three. Although fairly radical in almost all other respects, my mother seemed attached to a somewhat more conventional, Minnesotan view of the formative relationship between playing hockey and manhood. This coaxing resulted in a lifelong love of the game and, while I turned out to be vastly better at things like lawyering, I didn’t actually hang up the skates until I moved to San Francisco four years ago.
Interested in helping us build a better financial world? We’re hiring!