Mar. 29, 2023
Meet the team: Coeli Ayres, Managing Director
Today, we have the pleasure of catching up with Coeli Ayres, Managing Director at Lime Fintech. She shares her experience and insight on the fintech industry and the challenges ahead. Coeli also touches on Lime's history of innovation and offers career advice for those interested in pursuing a career in fintech.
Coeli Ayres, Managing Director at the brand launch for Lime Financial at NASDAQ in Times Square, May 2022. At the time she was CMO of Lime Trading Corp, a sister company of Lime Fintech.
Interviewer: Hi Coeli! What inspired you to join the fintech industry?

Coeli: I spent most of my career in traditional, corporate environments that are not agile enough to be advantageous to the end user. I love working in a space where pushing the boundaries is celebrated. It's refreshing to know that putting the consumer at the center of our product development is our first and only priority.

Interviewer: How has your experience in the industry shaped your understanding of personal finance?

Coeli: I joke all the time with my family that managing a company budget is WAY easier than managing my own money – and it's true. The takeaway I've found in my personal finances when I started working in finance a decade ago is that I am now way more aware of my options when choosing where to put/spend/save my money. I also find that the more I learn, the more I share my knowledge with others that are marginalized by lack of access and information about those financial tools. When I came to Lime Fintech, I reached a whole new level of understanding about what it truly means to democratize and have been far more aggressive in sharing investment and trading alternatives with friends and family.

Interviewer: What is your favorite thing about working in fintech?

Coeli: We're sitting at the intersection of possibility and probability and the tipping point is often a small spark in a side conversation over a coffee. In no other industry that I've worked has there been such an innate virality to the rise/fall of a company's success than in fintech. You can become successful overnight --and you can be humbled in seconds. It's another tier of transparency, honesty, and innovation that keeps you on your toes and gives your game an edge if you play your cards right.

Interviewer: What do you believe sets your company apart in the fintech space?

Coeli: We have a history of disruption and were one of the first to democratize trading technology when trading went fully digital. To have the foundation of technology that's battle tested and still competitive to this day, keeps us focused on what our legacy will look like in another 20 years. I love that we are able to pull knowledge from so many talented teammates that have the best of the best resumes and cobble it together into something unique for the next generation. To me, our superpower is we have the history, we have the old school traders, and we have the next gen tech to bring it all together to a new era of capital markets.

Interviewer: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the fintech industry today?

Coeli: Clutter. There are a lot of mimic products and sectors that are overcrowded when, at a basal level, they are identical to one another. The tendency we all have to say 'well I can do that too' gets in the way of 'well should I do that too?'. We need to all focus on showing up best for the market where we are truly competitive, and advantageous to our clients. If we are all focused on chasing the shiny object, we will end up emulating the same patterns of the financial services industry that we left.

Interviewer: How do you stay up to date with the latest trends and developments in the fintech world?

Coeli: Relationships with other industry members is everything. The media outlets have an agenda, they have a spin and there's always a filter. Spending time with others 1:1 or at industry events, you get a fresh perspective on possibility and futuristic mindsets--not just documenting what has passed already. I love connecting with others that are chasing toward how things *can* look vs. spectating.

Interviewer: What advice do you have for those interested in pursuing a career in fintech?

Coeli: Don't scrutinize your degree, your experience, or your resume. Bring your individuality and perspective to your interview and the right fit will find you. We all have adopted toxic habits of hiring and firing based on arbitrary criteria of what we 'think' will make someone successful in a role. When you step back, you are looking for someone who can build/design/sell for a fellow human. I find myself as a leader attracted to candidates that are truly themselves and want to bring their own take on the market to the workplace. Don't try to impress anyone; try to be at peace with who you are and you will find the right match in an employer that aligns with your values.

Interviewer: What do you see as the future of fintech, and how do you see your company playing a role in that future?

Coeli: I see an imminent future in new ways to introduce Gen I and Gen Z to futures, commodities, and options strategies with tech to augment the learning curve. This will lead to a hugely competitive industry that benefits everyone throughout the market and will create a tenacious and powerful new base of traders for the next 20 years. Lime is already underway with new partnerships, technology, and infrastructure to provide a lower-barrier-to-entry way for those without dev or quant experience to dabble in those arenas. I cannot wait to see how the legacy market environment reacts to the influx of new strategies, traders, and tech when the playing field is somewhat leveled. Great ideas shouldn't be throttled by technical prowess, and I'm thrilled to be in a position to support the next generation of traders.

It's clear from our conversation with Coeli that fintech is an exciting and rapidly-evolving industry, and Lime Fintech is at the forefront of that innovation. We're grateful for the opportunity to speak with Coeli and learn more about the future of fintech.

Interviewer: Thank you for the interview, Coeli!

[VIDEO] Watch Coeli speak at the Global Fintech Awards about what to NOT do when starting a fintech

About Coeli

Over the past decade, Coeli has led numerous multi-million dollar product development and acquisition projects on a global scale. She is a staunch believer that a company’s success is interdependent on its ability to garner brand advocates—not just clients. Having spent time working in the real estate, chemical, and consumer goods sectors, her passion for people has always brought her back to financial services.

Today, Coeli is bringing her strategic leadership to a relentless pursuit of leveraging technology to empower traders and investors. Her experience in marketing, acquisitions, product development, and analysis is put to work every day to help Lime maximize its industry impact.

Coeli’s mission as the leader of Lime Fintech is to elevate the experience of those systematically marginalized by the myopic defaults of traditional banks and brokerages. Coeli holds a Master of Science in Administration and Marketing from Lindenwood University.

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