If working for Revolut is so harsh, why do people keep going back?
Arjun Thind has joined Revolut, again. Thind, who graduated in mathematics from King's College London around a decade ago, left Revolut in to become a consultant in August, but quickly concluded that this was a mistake.
"I'll be re-joining Revolut," Thind wrote on his LinkedIn profile yesterday, citing the "brilliant colleagues" he worked with there in the past and his enthusiasm for making the app-based bank "the premium product in the market," in the future. He's not the only boomerang: "We've had a few people coming back after realizing that there's no better place than Revolut," says one senior insider. Who? He didn't say.
For those on the outside, the fact that Revolut has returnees might seem surprising. After all, Revolut's reputation as an employer hasn't always been great - it has a reputation for working people hard and for admiring Bridgwater, the hedge fund with a singular culture that some people love, but many do not.
Maybe things are changing as Revolut mellows and grows? The app-based bank raised $800m in July, valuing it at $33bn. Martin Gilbert, the former Standard Life Aberdeen co-chief executive, joined Revolut as chairman in January 2020. Michael Sherwood, the former head of Goldman Sachs International, joined the board two months later. The two have brought additional heft to the upstart bank. Gilbert told the Times recently that Nik Storonsky, Revolut’s co-founder and chief executive and a former Credit Suisse trader in a previous life, is "very easy" and not the hard-driving workaholic he's often depicted to be. Storonsky is just a perfectionist, said Gilbert: "He’s a driven individual, incredibly clever, incredibly bright, but he understands the importance of boards, governance, these things.”
Storonsky himself has spoken about Revolut's culture in the past. "I'm not going to pretend that we're perfect, but we absolutely want to be," he said in 2019. Back then, Revolut had 800 employees. Today, it has over 3,000. Growth has brought change. Some recent reviews of working for Revolut on sites like Blind talk about "smart, driven people." However, others still complain of the "grind" and the "ruthless culture" there.
Thind would clearly agree with the first set of reviews - and he's seen enough to judge. He left Revolut to work for consulting firm Oliver Wyman, but things 'didn't work out.' His previous employers include JPMorgan (where he worked in capital management), HSBC (where he worked in treasury strategy), and the Nationwide Building Society (where he worked in stress testing). Before he left Revolut last year Thind was group treasurer; it's not clear whether this will be his role again.
Thind isn't Revolut's only hire. The bank is in the process of building a crypto exchange and is recruiting for that. In July, it hired Rod Lonardo, a former BCG consultant as a crypto business development manager. In September, Revolut added Saraswathi Nambirajan, a former JPMorgan 'product CFO' as its CFO in the Americas, plus Carlos Selonke as chief information officer from Santander.
Will these new recruits stay? - Revolut has a reputation for high staff turnover. However, Thind's enthusiasm suggests that when Revolut hires people aligned with its motto of "getting sh*t done," they can be big evangelists for the culture. Lonardo seems to fit this bucket. - "Discover where your intellectual arrogance is causing disabling ignorance and overcome it," is Lonardo's motto. So is, "never settle," a phrase that adorns Revolut's walls.
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