SenaHill Transacted $200M In FinTech 2016, 7 Predictions for 2017 with Founding Partner Neil DeSEna

Neil DeSena

In Episode #571, Nathan interviews Neil DeSena. He’s one of the founders of SenaHill Partners. He was previously at Goldman Sachs, where he really led the creation of a pioneering and institutional training technologies system which has been used worldwide for over 20 years. He was the Managing Director, Global Head of REDI Products at Goldman Sachs from 2000 – 2006. Neil’s leadership helped build a leading, global, multi-asset training system that has expanded data centers and global networking through Europe and Asia.



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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – n/a
  • What CEO do you follow? – Duncan Niederauer
  • Favorite online tool? — Salesforce
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Pay a little more attention to the details”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:20 – Nathan introduces Neil to the show
  • 02:20 – Neil shares how their company is finding businesses to invest in
  • 02:40 – Neil and his partners are all entrepreneurs and have experience running businesses
  • 02:54 – Neil shares why they focus on FinTech
  • 04:25 – Average total transaction volume that they’ve had in 2016
  • 04:54 – Fintech in 2017
  • 05:40 – Distributive ledger of concept is ready for primetime
  • 06:00 – Symbiont is well positioned in the distributive ledger of concept space
    • 06:24 – Symbiont will be at the point of formation for all other companies
    • 06:34 – Companies can now be registered digitally
  • 06:46 – Symbiont’s founder, Mark Smith, was Neil’s first advisor
    • 06:50 – Mark also founded Lava Effects
    • 07:00 – Mark teamed up with the most successful open source company
  • 07:45 – Neil’s prediction of how people will respond to Wall Street and their new administration
    • 08:08 – “I’m not quite sure how things are going to work out”
    • 08:14 – Banks have to adjust to it
  • 08:55 – Neil discusses the economy of the distributive ledger
  • 09:45 – The company that Neil thinks is well positioned to take advantage of the no churn economy in the FinTech sector
  • 10:10 – Neil is also interested in the retirement sector
    • 10:30 – There is still no new technology to work around retirement money
    • 10:50 – Neil has seen possible companies, but not one from their portfolio
  • 11:00 – Fundamentals being displaced by quantimentals
  • 12:10 – Neil’s opinion regarding Wealth Front winning over on the money the people currently have on Vanguard
  • 13:20 – There are companies who are trying to bridge the gap between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y
  • 13:50 – SenaHill hasn’t made an investment yet, on an insurance company
  • 14:40 – SenaHill’s focus in 2017
    • 14:50 – “We try to find companies that we can invest in and help and be with them for the life”
  • 15:05 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Pay attention to the details.
  2. Wall Street can be unpredictable because of the new administration – regardless, banks will have to adjust.
  3. There are companies who are trying to bridge the gap between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal– Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives